Journal Article - Asian Security

Threat and Opportunity: Chinese Wedging in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Dispute

| 2019

Abstract

This paper provides the first systematic analysis of China's conduct in its offshore territorial conflict with Japan to contend that Beijing has adopted a wedging strategy aimed at weakening the U.S.-Japan alliance. Building on previous scholarship, the article demonstrates that over the post–Cold War era China has consistently subordinated its territorial interests in the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute to help advance broader political and strategic goals. Drawing on Chinese writings, I argue that since 2010 Beijing has viewed U.S. and Japanese strategy in the conflict to be intended to contain it and that the empirical record suggests China's conduct has, in turn, sought to counter this perceived threat by weakening the alliance at its core. Beijing, it is argued, has aimed to sow discord in the U.S.-Japan alliance by "making use of contradictions" perceived to afflict U.S. strategy.

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For Academic Citation:

Taffer, Andrew D. "Threat and Opportunity: Chinese Wedging in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Dispute." Asian Security, (2019) .