China and the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute: Escalation and De-escalation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

China and the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute

Escalation and De-escalation, 1st Edition

By Balazs Szanto


160 pages

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Hardback: 9781138095588
pub: 2017-12-04
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This book examines the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute from a foreign policy perspective, focusing on three key stakeholders: China, Japan and the United States.

The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute is a prominent territorial dispute between China and Japan. This book critically assesses that dispute in a pragmatic, policy-oriented manner. The central question of the work focuses on the various military (direct invasion, coercion) and non-military (bilateral negotiations, binding and non-binding third-party options and delaying) foreign policy avenues available to China to pursue its key interests over the disputed islands. To compare and contrast these different options, the book employs a qualitative rational-choice framework. This allows for a critical analysis on the merits and demerits of various options and to anticipate China’s potential course of action based on the principle that China is expected to act in a rational manner. This research offers two main contributions. First, it adopts a security-focused approach to complement the economic-focused works on the subject. Second, it critically examines the various foreign policy options as opposed to offering an avenue based on purely theoretical assumptions. While the work concludes that a delaying/status quo approach is rational for all parties involved, it highlights alternative policy avenues that can build on the conclusion of the rational-choice analysis. Through this it seeks to address the possibility of escalation and de-escalation on the East China Sea and highlights the critical role pro-active foreign policy making plays in averting a negative outcome of the dispute.

This book will be of much interest to students of Chinese Foreign Policy, Asian Politics, Security Studies and International Relations.


'Overall, the book does well to addresses the possibilities of escalation and de-escalation on the East China Sea as per the various foreign policy options (military and non-military). It is a very timely book to understand the evolving geopolitics where China is carving out new territories through means of coercion, direct invasion, and economic investments in the form of Belt and Road initiative (BRI). This book is an excellent read and useful for researchers, strategic experts, and policy makers.'--Tunchinmang Langel, Strategic Studies Quarterly

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Core of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute

3. Dispute Resolution Options

4. Rational Choice

5. Managing the Dispute

6. Escalation and De-Escalation on the East China Sea

About the Author

Balazs Szanto has a PhD in International and Strategic Studies from The University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.

About the Series

Asian Security Studies

Few regions of the world are fraught with as many security questions as Asia. Within this region it is possible to study great power rivalries, irredentist conflicts, nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation, secessionist movements, ethnoreligious conflicts and inter-state wars. This series publishes the best possible scholarship on the security issues affecting the region, and includes detailed empirical studies, theoretically oriented case studies and policy-relevant analyses as well as more general works.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / General
HISTORY / Asia / China
HISTORY / Asia / Japan
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern