Title

A critical political geography of China and the South China Sea islands dispute

College

College of Liberal Arts

Department/Unit

International Studies

Document Type

Article

Source Title

Asia-Pacific Social Science Review

Volume

19

Issue

1

First Page

156

Last Page

168

Publication Date

1-1-2019

Abstract

This paper aims to provide an alternative viewpoint on China and the South China Sea islands dispute through the use of political geography. Specifically, this piece employs a world-systems approach and critical political geography [or critical geopolitics] to understand four phenomena: first, the political-economic rationale behind China’s territorial ambitions through the nexus of its political ideology and position in the world economy; second, these ambitions using the “One Belt, One Road initiative;” third, its rise as a potential global hegemon; and lastly, the narratives behind its actions in the South China Sea islands dispute. The paper makes no claims about the superiority of world-systems and critical political geographies in explaining a state’s territorial ambition or expansionary behavior. What it attempts to provide is a different, yet complementary, lens to probe issues like this, which typically are confined to the realm of traditional geopolitics or realist international relations. World-systems and critical political geography offer a promise of cogently examining regional and global issues of this nature. © 2019 by De La Salle University.

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Disciplines

International Relations

Keywords

China--Foreign relations; Boundary disputes; Geopolitics

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