The catalytic factor of the Sino-Japanese security dilemma: the new 1997 defense guidelines for U.S.-Japan defense cooperation
Huntley, Wade L.
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This research starts with two questions of whether and why China regarded the New 1997 Defense Guidelines (NDG) as a national threat. To answer the first question, this research analyzes and categorizes Beijing’s responses to the NDG. The result of the analysis suggests that the U.S.-Japanese security cooperation, which tried to strengthen their national security, conversely caused Beijing’s suspicion and led China to react diplomatically and militarily. Given Tokyo’s action and Beijing’s reaction, these two states were sinking into the spiral model of a security dilemma. To find the answer of the second question, this thesis uniquely combines two theoretical perspectives—Stephen M. Walt’s balance of threat approach and Alexander Wendt’s constructivist theory. Given that Japan has not revealed its aggressive intentions—considering Tokyo’s upholding a 1 percent norm of the defense budget—since the end of World War II, Walt’s realist logic cannot persuasively explain why China perceived that the NDG was the outcome of Japanese aggressive intention. To supplement Walt’s logic, this research uses Wendt’s perspective. As a result, the Chinese fear about a militarizing Japan has persisted and affected Beijing’s negative interpretation, which because of Tokyo’s aggressive intentions for the resurgence of its militarism, produced the NDG.
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