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China, Japan and the South China Sea Dispute: Pursuing Strategic Goals Through Economic and Institutional Means

Hidetaka Yoshimatsu

Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 2017, vol. 4, issue 3, 294-315

Abstract: This article examines the strategies employed by China and Japan in advancing their national interests in the South China Sea dispute. It argues that both China and Japan have increasingly taken advantage of economic means and formal institutions to pursue political-security goals in relation to maritime disputes in the South China Sea. While China has employed economic means as ‘carrot and stick’ to influence the diplomatic stance of Southeast Asian states, Japan has utilized foreign economic aid for strategic objectives, even revising the basic principles of its development assistance policy. Moreover, China has strengthened institutional ties with ASEAN members by focusing on infrastructure development, whereas Japan has intensified the formation of multilateral institutions by expanding the scope from maritime safety to maritime security targeting China.

Keywords: Southeast Asia; Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); maritime security; institution; foreign economic aid (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1177/2347797017733821

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Handle: RePEc:sae:asseca:v:4:y:2017:i:3:p:294-315