China’s Military Modernization, Japan’s Normalization and the South China Sea Territorial Disputes

Published on May 2, 2019

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This book assesses the Sino-Japanese strategic competition in the context of the South China Sea (SCS) territorial disputes. The South China Sea territorial disputes are quickly becoming the most significant security problem in East and Southeast Asia. Two major powers, China and Japan, have interests in the region and are pursuing different strategies that can significantly impact the outcome of the disputes. Utilizing Securitization Theory, this study evaluates the Sino-Japanese strategic competition through political narratives that galvanize the military and economic policies that are transforming the region. It highlights how these narratives, so closely bounded to the political legitimacy of current governments and supported by provocative policies, have resulted in a co-constitutive pattern of enmity and securitization, thus making it increasingly difficult to resolve the disputes.