The United States and China’s maritime territorial disputes

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Book chapter

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Handbook of US–China Relations

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Edward Elgar Publishing


Much as this chapter is about China’s sovereignty disputes over maritime territories with its neighbors, it is more about the underappreciated roles played by the United States in the claims over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and the various outcrops in the South China Sea such as the Spratlys and the Paracels. The United States has no territorial claims over these islands, but it has been involved in issues related to them since the end of World War II, and continues to be by dint of its security presence in the region. US involvement has been actively sought by countries contesting China’s claims to these territories, such as Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, and those that are not parties to the disputes, but are nonetheless concerned about China asserting its influence in East and Southeast Asia through construction of military facilities on these outcrops. The chapter concludes with possible steps that both China and the United States can take to reduce tension caused by these disputes.



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Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9781784715724

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Recommended Citation

Chung, C.-P. (2016). The United States and China’s maritime territorial disputes. In A. T. H. Tan (Ed.), Handbook of US–China relations (pp.303-322). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi: 10.4337/9781784715731.00025