The South China Sea is one of the most important bodies of water in the world, strategically, economically and in China, as the content of this blog often suggests, politically.
The aim is to provide a window into the conversations taking place within China regarding the country’s South China Sea territorial and maritime disputes with its six co-claimants – Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia – plus the U.S., India and any other foreign power that weighs in.
The author is Andrew Chubb, a PhD candidate in International Relations at the University of Western Australia, who is researching the relationship between Chinese public opinion and PRC foreign policy on territorial disputes. My project was prompted by the rising claims of “rising” nationalism as an influence on the Chinese party state’s behaviour, which i am attempting to put to the test on the South China Sea and Diaoyu issues over the period 2007-2014.
Central research questions include:
- What is the nature of Chinese public opinion on different territorial issues, and how is the party-state shaping its development in the era of the Chinese internet?
- How do different foreign policy actors within the party-state make use of public opinion (or the appearance thereof) for their own purposes, and to what policy effect?
- When do the PRC’s actions actually accord with hawkish or nationalistic strains of Chinese public opinion?
- When does Chinese foreign policy defy nationalistic trends in public opinion, and how does the party-state handle the issue domestically?
If you have knowledge of or interest in these issues, please get in touch, either by leaving a comment or by sending an email to achubb ~at~ gmail ~dot~ com.
Regarding translations of comment threads, note that while i try to focus on the comment threads with large numbers of ‘participants’, there is no implication that these conversations are representative of any significant proportion of the PRC population. One percent = roughly 13 million people.
As a non-native reader of Chinese, i especially welcome clarifications, corrections and comments.