2 Events

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) conducts patrols in international waters of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands as the People's Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] guided-missile frigate Yancheng (FFG 546) transits close behind, May 11, 2015.

U.S. Navy Photo/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Costs of Control: Chinese Strategy in the South China Sea, 1988–2015

Thu., Feb. 24, 2022 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm


Speaker: Andrew D. Taffer, Associate, International Security Program

Why has China risked alienating the region — and undermining its grand strategy of rising peacefully in Asia — to advance its claims in the South China Sea (SCS)? How has Beijing managed the tension between its interests in the SCS and its broader strategic objectives? This seminar examines the evolution of China's conduct in the SCS from its entry into the Spratly islands in 1988 until 2015. A framework is developed for conceptualizing the strategic costs and risks associated with Chinese conduct, and it is used to explain variation in China's behavior both over time and among its three major rivals — Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAvc-mhrTkqE9DzXTy0XlhAG7QVdsuAETpu

A Coast Guard patrol vessel passes by Uotsuri, the largest island in the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu chain, 2 October 2012. Now uninhabited, it used to be home to 248 Japanese, in a community of 99 houses in the late 1890s. They were mostly employed working in a Bonito flake factory on the island.

Al Jazeera English

Seminar - Open to the Public

Chinese Wedging in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Dispute: An Empirical Assessment

Thu., Feb. 8, 2018 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Andrew D. Taffer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

This seminar will explore China's contemporary strategy in its offshore territorial conflict with Japan. It will present evidence to suggest that Beijing has adopted a "wedging" strategy in the disputes aimed principally at weakening Japan's with the United States. Along with a close empirical analysis, it is highlighted that much of Beijing's conduct has corresponded with principles of coalition wedging established in Chinese writings and which the Chinese Communist Party has historically employed. The research is then situated in terms of—and used to critically analyze—the international relations literature on "wedging."

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.