China and International Security

China and International Security - Trenton J Morrow PS283...

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Trenton J. Morrow 3/14/08 PS283 – Prisbrey 9:00am – International Security China's Rise in East Asia The emergent East Asia Regional Security Complex is a post-Cold War phenomenon, owing its security linkages to the withdrawal of the Soviet Union and the shifts in power balances that followed. It is a product of the former Northeast and Southeast Asian regional security complexes. It consists of several states: The People's Republic of China, Japan, South and North Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, and the Philippines. While their histories do not necessarily converge at many points, the states of the East Asian regional security complex share a past of European colonialism and engagement and Chinese hegemony. The region is almost entirely comprised of modern states with well-defined ideas of national identity. The only exception is Japan, which exhibits some qualities of a postmodern state. Boundaries are defined along real historical political and economic lines with a few exceptions – primarily over Chinese claims to Xinjiang as well as the question of Taiwan, in addition to disputes over several small islands and maritime boundaries. The formation of the East Asian regional security complex has its roots in the Soviet collapse and the power-political consequences that followed. The shift in global and regional distribution of power weakened support for Vietnam and forced the country to achieve its ends through cooperation in ASEAN, which it joined in 1995; it strengthened China's military position but also forced China to bargain with the United States as the sole global superpower in the region. To pursue its political ends, China cultivated relations with Japan, South Korea, and ASEAN states, and promoted greater East Asian cooperation. Concerns over rising Chinese power throughout Northeast and Southeast Asia served as a key security concern linking the two subregions into a single regional security complex. 1
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And lastly, economic ties that existed between Japan and Southeast Asia as well as the rest of the region contributed to the establishment of an East Asian regional security complex, owing to the relationship between economic ties and political-military stability. The central security issue linking East Asia, however, is the set of military-political concerns focused on China. Stated simply: “The dominant sector of security is the traditional military-political one, albeit with linkages to the economic sector, and China sits at the centre of all these patterns” (Buzan, 2003) Global penetration into the East Asian regional security complex is mainly limited to the United
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China and International Security - Trenton J Morrow PS283...

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