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Politics & Law

China is committed to making territorial disputes worse

A Chinese boat collides with a Vietnamese vessel in contested waters of the South China Sea

A Chinese boat collides with a Vietnamese vessel in contested waters of the South China Sea

A leading Chinese analyst says political leaders in Beijing are committed to a strategy that will cause territorial disputes to get worse.

His comments are significant because Chinese officials have repeatedly absolved themselves from responsibility for dangerous territorial disputes that have flared with Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and India.

China has blamed the United States for causing trouble with its neighbours in order to try to “contain” China’s rise.

But asked about a Fairfax report about Australia and India drawing closer together, Shi Yinhong, Professor of International Relations at People’s University, said it was “natural” for those nations to form a “strategic coalition” with others including Japan and the US in response to the strengthening of China and expansion of Chinese naval activity.

The result, he said, was that leaders on all sides were locked into self-reinforcing cycles of aggression, with US-anchored “defensive” coalitions perceived to be “offensive” in Beijing.

Whether or not China’s strategy was counterproductive, Professor Shi said Beijing’s strategic calculus would not change.

He said China would continue on its trajectory because of popular nationalism, dynamics within the armed forces “and of course also our top leaders’ personal beliefs and strategic personalities”.

And that’s why the increasingly militarised disputes across the East China Sea, the South China Sea and also along the spine of the Himalayas are going to get worse.

“This kind of tension between China and the US and US allies will deteriorate rather than improve,” he said. “There could be some tactical change in the direction of moderation but I cannot see any fundamental change in strategic orientation.”

In the past two years China’s territorial conflicts have dramatically escalated with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and India – all of which have flared again in recent months.

The US and its allies, notably Australia and Japan, have also raised serious concerns about military-economic “coercion” and also freedoms of maritime navigation, and over flights around the east and South China Sea.

The timing of the escalation of disputes has coincided with the ascension to power of President Xi Jinping, in November 2012.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald – Brace for more tensions in Asia: Chinese analyst

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20 thoughts on “China is committed to making territorial disputes worse

  1. China Governmental hunt for their lost ancient pride will be their fall. all their South East Asian surrounding Countries are throwing them-self in the big comfortable arms of the USA(even Vietnam, who would ever thought that after their bad blood history)


    Posted by CrazyGuyinThailand | July 3, 2014, 5:00 pm
  2. This is big boys politics. I hope readers dig deeper into the reason why China behave as she do.

    Yes, China will continue to do as she please, especially reclaiming the reefs into islands for missiles/radars installations.. It all depends on how well US handle the situation. Remember US missiles, fighter jets in Okinawa can hit China within half hour, even less. Does anybody want a LCS to cruise up to her coastline to intimidate his country? This is what US do to China and China is reacting. There is no reason why China should not make US pay the price for her belligerence. Does anybody want to live in the shadow of being threatened by missiles from subs, ships, submarines? Maybe nobody remember the Cuban Missile Crisis in the sixties when Florida is within 15 minutes from being nuked. US apparently think she can harrass China without paying a price. China makes sure US will pay dearly for her adventurism.

    So I believe China will make sure she can hit US targets within half hour or less to equalize the threat. Blame it on US, not China. As I said many times, the disputes is not as simple ast it seems. Maritime disputes are a minor part of the big power struggle between US and China.

    Editor’s Note: In response to the many emails about this poster, we do suspect he’s a paid Chinese internet commentator. However, we believe that all people should be allowed to voice their opinions, not just the ones that agree with our agenda. Therefore, at this stage we will not ban him, but will continue to censor his profanity and racial vilification.


    Posted by Fre Okin | July 5, 2014, 6:18 am


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