29 May 2014
Xi Jinping’s declaration that China should strive to become a “true maritime power” is redolent of a Chinese version of the Monroe doctrine or the old Middle Kingdom order. The recent issues in the East and South China seas demonstrate China’s incremental pursuit of its ambition to be the dominant maritime power in the region.
CHINESE PRESIDENT Xi Jinping’s conception of true maritime power is intertwined with several complex issues: internal factors about the legitimacy of his leadership and external factors like territorial disputes in the East and South China seas which concern sovereignty.
East Asian nations must consider the implications of China’s approach and its impact on the region: is it possible to influence and countervail China by standing together, even as Beijing pursues its salami-slicing strategy?
… Captain (ROK Navy Ret.) Sukjoon Yoon is a Senior Research Fellow in the Korea Institute for Maritime Strategy, and visiting professor of the Department of Defence Systems Engineering in Sejong University, Seoul, South Korea.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
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