Awaiting a spark: how three chinese territorial disputes could jeopardize peace in Asia

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Authors
Chasse, Gregory Allen
Subjects
China
Central Asia
India
Japan
United States
Military
Modernization
Borders
Independence
Diplomacy
Advisors
Dahl, Erik J.
Date of Issue
2013-12
Date
Dec-13
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The rapid growth and modernization of Chinas economic, political, and military strength over the past two decades has inspired growing acrimony and concern in the United States. Washington strongly desires the continued peace and stability in Asia, and Chinas subsequent rise may eventually threaten American interests in the Pacific. Furthermore, Chinas various territorial disputes could upset regional stability, and as China grows stronger, it may decide to use its increasing military strength to push for resolutions to the disputes in Chinas favor. The question remains: how likely is China to use force to solve its territorial disputes and, should China use force, will the United States ultimately be drawn into the conflict? Case studies that involve three of the most potentially volatile of Chinas territorial disputes in Central Asia, India, and the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands seem to suggest that war is not inevitable, and that historically China has very rarely gone to war to resolve a territorial dispute. Ultimately, historical analysis suggests that China prefers to maintain its territorial disputes so they can be used in diplomatic negotiations as bargaining pieces, and that China has only gone to war when it has lost all bargaining power. Therefore, the current situation, wherein China seemingly has increased its bargaining leverage as its military power has grown, seems to suggest that for the near term, war is highly unlikely.
Type
Thesis
Description
Department
National Security Affairs
Organization
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NPS Report Number
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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