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|Title:||China’s Dam-Building on the Mekong River: A Case of Issue Linkage Reversed|
|Issue Date:||2015-12-29 16:50:34 (UTC+8)|
|Abstract:||China’s immense military build‐up as well as its emerging global power projection over natural resources may well be perceived as contradictory to its proclaimed peaceful rise/development strategy. China’s yet cautious but extending inroads into the Indian Ocean are the most recent example of this discrepancy. China has been active in sponsoring several port facilities along the Indian Ocean littoral and, simultaneously, has heavily invested in the modernization of its naval capabilities. Building a “blue‐water navy” and acquiring overseas air and naval bases to protect China’s oil supplies and improve its overall geo‐strategic position, however, would represent a major reconceptualization of Chinese national security and have far‐reaching international implications. Consequently, this trend needs closer examination. Providing a step into this direction, I focus on disclosing and assessing different models that potentially drive the development outlined above. I highlight domestic rationales and pit them against foreign policy explanations. While the former are linked to Neoclassical Realism and consider foreign politics primarily as internally driven necessities to guarantee regime survival, the latter revolve around relative capabilities as well as power maximization and are rooted in Neorealism. I argue that neither of these perspectives can be regarded as appropriate to sufficiently explain China’s possible forays into the Indian Ocean. On the one hand, Realist theories neglect that China has acknowledged U.S. predominance for the time being and considers direct confrontation with the U.S. as unfeasible and unwise. Also, an offensive westward strategy would arouse suspicion among most countries in the region and thus be detrimental to China’s “friendly‐neighborhood policy” pursued in the past. On the other hand, domestic rationales also lack explanatory power. Even though China does not defend its oil sea lanes of communication itself, there is currently no obvious danger to their sudden disruption and, thus, no necessity to offensively defend them in order to contribute to the survival of China’s output‐legitimated regime, either. This is especially true since U.S.‐China economic interdependence has grown rapidly and bilateral relations have become more resilient. As a consequence, further approaches have to be devised once China’s forays into the Indic become more manifest.|
|Appears in Collections:||[2010亞太研究英語博士學位學程學術研討會] Conference papers|
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