Crouching Dragon: The Role of Beijing in the South China Sea Imbroglio

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Questions in Politics


The South China Sea has long been regarded as one of the most complex and challenging ocean-related maritime disputes in East Asia. This region has become critical among the disputing parties because of its geographic position in major oceanic routes used by crude oil tankers from the Persian Gulf to Asia and for transporting goods to the rest of the world, as well as for promising offshore oil and gas reserves. China is asserting its territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea, maintaining its long-standing claim over the Taiwan Strait, and even extending claims to areas of the Indian Ocean. This article analyzes whether China’s blue-water strategy as well as her unclear intentions often create the image that South China Sea will be the best place for China to wage wars. The article ends with the discussion whether Beijing will learn how to share and bear in the South China Sea amidst chaos and tension.