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Potential super power: the study on rising China's geostrategy and its impact on Asia-Pacific security
Wang, Chun Ping
Lin, Bih Jaw
Wang, Chun Ping
Asia-Pacific Geopolitical Subsystem
Balance of Power
The research question of this dissertation is that whether China might seek to apply coercive measures to create an East Asia Geostrategic Realm and to dominate the turf by itself, which just like what pre-modern China’s Empires did. Because of the increasing possibility of armed conflicts between China and other regional powers, including the United States, these measures will put the international security of the Asia-Pacific region in jeopardy. Furthermore, this is not according to what China’s claim on “peaceful development/rising” or the so-called “harmonious world.”
Modern Chinese strategic elites inherit three main geo-strategic legacies such as the Chinese traditional concept of “Tianxia” (天下觀), domestic-oriented strategic culture, and national land-power nature in China’s history. China also receives the European thought of continental-oriented naval strategy from the Soviet Union while Maoist China built its navy which supported by the Soviet’s help in the 1950s. These legacies and foreign naval strategic thought not only shape modern China’s “Land-Power Maritime Geo-strategy,” but also affect the nature, gravity, directions, and the major operations of the geo-strategy.
Base on China’s rapid economic growth and military modernization, the self-confidential Chinese elites gradually transform the traditional concept of Tianxia into the new “Sino-centricism,” which stress on the superiority of China’s culture and politico-economic systems. In terms of the geopolitical codes of modern China, they pursue the realization of territorial claims for the purpose of “union” on the local level; overwhelming the competitions of leadership in East Asia from Japan, India, and the ASEAN for creating a Chinese-dominated East Asian Geostrategic Realm on the regional level; pursuing multi-polarization of the international system and, establishing new international politico-economic orders on the systemic level, and dispel the influence of United States in East Asia by transforming the Asia-Pacific geopolitical structure into a bipolarity on the sub-systemic level. Over all, these three levels of geopolitical codes and the new “Sino-centricism” would not make China be a status-quo power in the Asia-Pacific geopolitical sub-system. Additionally, with regard to the domestic-oriented strategic culture, although it stresses the priority of domestics, it also values power politics and the effectiveness of forces in the international politics. The domestic-oriented strategic culture of China, therefore, has the strong characteristics of hard “realpolitik” and “parabellum”.
China’s traditional land-power nature aside, its continental-oriented naval strategy is developed from the thought of the Soviet naval strategy and put the gravity and directions of China’s “Land-Power Maritime Geo-strategy” in East Asian continent. China does not go beyond the “Asia-Pacific Rim” actually. What China does is using the “two island-chain” defense in West Pacific as a “Great Wall at Sea,” and the seas around the island chains as strategic buffer zone to distinguish the sphere of influence between China and the United States. China applies the strategic principles of “stabilizing West, relying on North, competing for the Southeast” to organize the region in the west of the island chains and shaping its dominance in the East Asian Geostrategic Realm.
The dissertation argues that since China cannot organize the East Asian Strategic Realm by political and military means at present, China’s participations in East Asian integrations are indirect strategic behavior. The purposes of indirect approaches are to utilize China’s economic interests and to obtain the leadership of East Asian integrations. China would not like to compromise with its neighbors and other Asia-Pacific Powers on highly sensitive traditional security issues, like territorial disputes essentially. Nor does China attempt to shape multi-pole geopolitical arrangements to achieve the geopolitical equilibrium of Asia-Pacific Geopolitical Sub-system by applying multi-pole international regimes.
Furthermore, the purpose of China’s “Land-Power Maritime Geo-strategy” is not to replace the United States as the Sea Power in the system just because China lacks the ability of controlling global strategic sea lines of communications. The Chinese naval strategy of active layer defense can still seriously threaten the Sea Power status of the United States and the important geopolitical interests of China’s neighbors. Therefore, the implementations of aforesaid geo-strategy of “stabilizing West, relying on North, competing for the Southeast,” seriously raise “adversary balance of power” in both West and Southeast fronts due to the convergences of geopolitical interests between China and other powers. Nevertheless, the adversary balancing feedback of other Asia-Pacific powers and even the ASEAN countries enhance China’s adversary behavior as well. This reciprocal process cannot create the necessary “associational balance of power” of geopolitical equilibrium. In other words, China’s geo-strategy belongs to the “traditional” type, which stresses the importance of controlling strategic communication in the Asia-Pacific region. It is not the “new” type of pursuing “harmonious world” and geopolitical equilibrium. Therefore, China’s geo-strategy cannot advance the equilibrium of Asia-Pacific geopolitical sub-system. On the contrary, it may raise the possibility of conflicts between China and Asia-Pacific countries, even the United States.
China is not deemed as major traditional threat by other major Asia-Pacific regional powers due to lacking the capabilities of controlling strategic communication of Asia-Pacific geopolitical sub-system. China must do its best to maintain the stability of the surrounding international environment to continue its economic development. Other major Asia-Pacific powers would like to obtain huge economic interests by engaging with China. As a result, the security of Asia-Pacific geopolitical sub-system will gradually develop into a “cold peace” situation, but not the situation of geopolitical equilibrium. The “cold peace” is a situation not only can fill with geopolitical tensions between China and other major Asia-Pacific powers, but also can interact closely with each other on social, economic, cultural and other dimensions, which prevent the crisis of the outbreak of immediate armed conflicts in the region.
Key Words: China, Asia-Pacific Geopolitical Subsystem, Balance of Power, Geopolitical Equilibrium, Geopolitical Code, Strategic Culture, Geo-strategy
|Source URI: ||http://thesis.lib.nccu.edu.tw/record/#G0095253503|
|Data Type: ||thesis|
|Appears in Collections:||[外交學系] 學位論文|
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