1 February 2012
The Limits of 'Assertive' Behavior: US-China Relations and the South China Sea
This paper argues on the basis of the power-transition theory that China will act more ambiguously regarding the South China Sea dispute. That is, it will keep employing both assertive and conciliatory measures towards ASEAN countries and the US. The author shows that as a rising power, Beijing has not yet reached the key 80% mark of US power and as such is binding its time until it will be a challenger. This can be seen in China's reluctance to label the dispute as a core interest, despite mounting domestic pressure.
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