The More the Merrier? Sino-Japanese security relations in the context of complex interstate rivalry in the Asia-Pacific region

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This paper analyses the evolution of Sino-Japanese rivalry in the security sphere concentrating on the Chinese perspective, and placing it within the wider context of complex interstate rivalry between China, Japan and the United States. From a theoretical viewpoint, this research contributes to the literature on interstate rivalry from multiparty perspective, which has been overlooked in existing research. China–Japan–US complex interstate rivalry includes elements of positional, spatial and ideological rivalry simultaneously. When rivalries mix two or more rivalry types, they become more difficult to resolve. The two broad trends of China’s military build-up and deepening US–Japan alliance evolve in tandem intensifying rivalry dynamics and increasing positional elements of rivalry. There are many indications on various levels that for China, controlling Japan’s international ambitions has become less important and more attention is paid to ways in which Japan helps the United States in reaching its objectives in Asia through their alliance agreement. The cases analysed to display complex interstate rivalry include the Taiwan question, territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, and the North Korean nuclear issue.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPacific Review
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)748-777
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science
  • 6160 Other humanities
  • China
  • Japan
  • complex interstate rivalry
  • Asia-Pacific security
  • the United States
  • WAR

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