The Sea Dragon Network: implications of the international expansion of China's Maritime shipping industry
Hugar, Wayne R.
Looney, Robert E.
Callahan, Mary P.
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This thesis examines strategic motivations and implications of the international expansion of China's maritime shipping industry (MSI). China's economic growth strategy depends upon maritime shipping to export foreign exchange earning commodities and import energy, industrial, and food resources. As a result, China's MSI is expanding faster than that of any other nation in the world. China's MSI expansion is creating regional shipping networks that increase levels of Sino-foreign trade (SFT) interdependence. The argument herein is that increases in SFT enhance Beijing's regional ability to advance China's economic, political and security interests. The analysis suggests China's foreign policy and overseas investment in strategic resources increase levels of SFT and transportation requirements for China's MSI. China's MSI expansion impacts regional shipping services, schedules, and prices in China's favor. The analysis also suggests China's dependencies on regional MSI and SFT networks increases Beijing's sense of maritime economic vulnerability to perceived threats in international waters. China's maritime security policy and recent naval deployments are examined to assess the potential for China's Navy to protect China's MSI in regions where levels of SFT are high. China's desire to protect its MSI offers opportunities for Sino-U.S. Naval and maritime security cooperation in deterring threats to mutually shared maritime shipping interests.
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