”Rising and Revising?”: China and the Territorial Status Quo
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis is an investigation of China's territorial disputes, with a focus on how Beijing has behaved in these. With 1989 as its cut-off point the thesis considers unresolved land-border disputes and maritime disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Employing the concepts of “status quo” and “revisionist” the thesis aims to uncover which description best fits China's approach to territorial disputes in the time period under consideration. Its findings are that China in its land-border disputes have overwhelmingly displayed status quo behavior. Six out of eight of these disputes have been solved amicably with no major change of territory or usage of military means. Of the two unresolved disputes, with India and Bhutan, only the latter may fit the description as limited-aims revisionism by Beijing, although it is a case lacking in detailed information. As for the maritime domain the thesis finds possible revisionism in China's disputes with Japan over the Senkaku Islands and Southeast Asian states over the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal. However, action reaction dynamics complicates the picture and suggests that to the extent the limited-aims revisionist label fits these cases it is of a more reactive than proactive kind.