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Chinese Strategies for Resolution of the Taiwan and South China Sea Disputes


  • Sonika Gupta

    (The author is post-doctoral Fellow, International, Strategic and Security Studies Program, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India.)


The Taiwan and the South China Sea disputes have seen the application of multi-pronged military, political and economic strategies by China. This became possible with the declining influence of the communist ideology in China's foreign policy and the consequential “thickening of the elite†. It would be erroneous to characterize China's policy as aggressive based on its declaration to reserve its right to use force to resolve these disputes. The two disputes are fundamentally different in terms of their linkages to political legitimacy and China's national objectives. While the Taiwan question lies at the core of Chinese national identity, the South China Sea dispute is linked more to economic and strategic interests even though the sovereignty issue is important in both. The dual need for making an assertive nationalist stand on the Taiwan issue and following a pragmatic economic policy resulted in a strategy of encouraging greater economic integration of Taiwan with the mainland even while not ruling out military action. On the South China Sea problem, China has basically adopted a mix of political and military strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonika Gupta, 2005. "Chinese Strategies for Resolution of the Taiwan and South China Sea Disputes," International Studies, , vol. 42(3-4), pages 247-264, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:intstu:v:42:y:2005:i:3-4:p:247-264

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