Proceedings of the Universitas Lampung International Conference on Social Sciences (ULICoSS 2021)

China’s Maritime Ambiguity: A Neoclassical Realist Analysis and How it Shaped the Theatre of Conflict In the Disputed Seas

Authors
Heriawan*, heriawanm@hotmail.com
International Relations Department, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia
Flory Abiwawantiabiwantiflory@live.com
Independent Researcher, Jakarta, Indonesia
Corresponding Author
Available Online 6 January 2022.
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.220102.002How to use a DOI?
Keywords
China; East and South China Seas; Maritime Security; Neoclassical Realism; White Hull
Abstract

China’s assertiveness in the East and South China Sea (ESCS), complemented with paradoxical behavior on promoting international maritime cooperation, has left many to conclude that Beijing uses a dual strategy. To expand China’s foreign policy’s interpretation, we present an alternative approach with a neoclassical realist analytical framework to supplement the maritime security perspective. By accommodating domestic political changes, we explain the causal process that leads to China’s maritime ambiguity and illustrates how it shaped the theater of conflict in ESCS. Understanding the disputes from the framework of unit-level factors such as state—especially in China’s local political dynamics—can bring a novel dimension to the discussion. We argue China’s military reform to build a “true maritime power” (海洋强國) through the utilisation of the grey zone strategy via the China Coast Guard (CCG) plays a significant role in intervening against international politics’ dynamic to deter the possibility of high-intensity conflict. Thus, the maritime security of rival country is more focused on how to deal with (1) non-traditional challenges in the sea such as piracy and (2) intergovernmental confidence building through the means of white hull diplomacy—while countering China’s ambition on claiming the rights and interests in ESCS ‘under the threshold of war.’

Copyright
© 2022 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press SARL.
Open Access
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license.

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Volume Title
Proceedings of the Universitas Lampung International Conference on Social Sciences (ULICoSS 2021)
Series
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research
Publication Date
6 January 2022
ISBN
978-94-6239-509-1
ISSN
2352-5398
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.220102.002How to use a DOI?
Copyright
© 2022 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press SARL.
Open Access
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license.

Cite this article

TY  - CONF
AU  - Heriawan
AU  - Flory Abiwawanti
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/01/06
TI  - China’s Maritime Ambiguity: A Neoclassical Realist Analysis and How it Shaped the Theatre of Conflict In the Disputed Seas
BT  - Proceedings of the Universitas Lampung International Conference on Social Sciences (ULICoSS 2021)
PB  - Atlantis Press
SP  - 9
EP  - 15
SN  - 2352-5398
UR  - https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.220102.002
DO  - https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.220102.002
ID  - 2022
ER  -