China’s identity and understanding of national interests in South China Sea

NIE Wenjuan1

(1.Institute of International Relations, China Foreign Affairs University)

【Abstract】In recent years, with the increasing tension in South China Sea, it becomes increasingly important that how to define China’s national interests of South China Sea. The research path of identity provides a theoretical framework for the analysis of this problem. Identity is the understanding of “who I am” of a state, which influences the strategic definition of state actors and affects the understanding of interests of a state in South China Sea issue. At present, there are two understandings of China’s identity, namely, an ordinary country and a major country of the system, which bring about different understandings of national interests in South China Sea for Chinese people. Meanwhile, the international community tends to interpret China’s strategic objectives in South China Sea by seeing China as a rising state. China will see a major shift in its policy toward South China Sea once the understanding of China’s identity as a rising state becomes dominant both in China and abroad.

【Keywords】 South China Sea; identity; national interests; rising state;

【DOI】

【Funds】 China-ASEAN Collaborative Innovation Center for Reginal Development Jointly funded by the Changjiang Scholars Program and Innovation Team Development Program of the Ministry of Education of China (Contract Number: CW201502)

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(Translated by DING Ruwei)

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This Article

ISSN:1007-161X

CN: 11-3706/C

Vol , No. 01, Pages 139-155+160

February 2017

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Article Outline

Abstract

  • 1 Existing understanding of the national interests in South China Sea
  • 2 Identity and understanding of national interests in South China Sea
  • 3 Ambiguity of China’s identity
  • 4 Identity of the rising state of China and the consideration of South China Sea interests
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