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Return of the DragonRising China and Regional Security$
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Denny Roy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159005

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159005.001.0001

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The South China Sea Dispute

The South China Sea Dispute

(p.223) Chapter Eleven The South China Sea Dispute
Return of the Dragon

Denny Roy

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines how the rise of China affects the South China Sea dispute. What is collectively known in the West as the Spratly Islands group is claimed in whole by China and Vietnam and in part by the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. At stake are fishing rights, potentially large hydrocarbon deposits, valuable minerals in the seabed, and access to a strategically important waterway astride important shipping lanes. China's rise has emboldened it to stick uncompromisingly to its expansive and unreasonable claims, to eschew compromise, and to rely increasingly on its growing comparative advantage in the capability to project military or quasi-military force into the South China Sea in defense of Chinese claims. Beijing intends to establish a maritime sphere of influence over the seas on China's periphery now that this objective is becoming feasible. This is exacerbating frictions with the United States as well as with China's Southeast Asian neighbors. China's South China Sea claim is based on the so-called nine-dashed line.

Keywords:   nine-dashed line, China, South China Sea, Spratly Islands, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, sphere of influence, United States, Southeast Asia

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