Chinese disputes with Japan in the East China Sea : bilateralism over mulitaleralism

Kim, Kylee Kaleinani
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011]
The major issues of conflict between China and Japan can be divided into the following categories: territory and resource, history and nationalism, militarism and nuclear security and the issues surrounding Taiwan. In terms of the China-Japan relationship, what means does China use to resolve these conflicts? It is my hypothesis that the majority of these issues are dealt with in a bilateral manner whenever possible. While China and Japan do interact through multilateral organizations, the preferred manner of decision making for China is always through the bilateral process, and multilateral decision making is not the primary, or the desirable, avenue through which China resolves these conflicts. Within my paper I analyze why China prefers the bilateral approach, and discuss its implications and outcomes. The case-study method is used in the analysis and the focus is on issues of territory and resource between the states. I look at two long-standing maritime and economic disputes, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands case, as well as the Chunxiao gas field dispute. As is evident through the introduction of my thesis, the time period I focus on is from 1972 to present, since the two countries' relations normalized in this modern era and China became a member of the United Nations (UN). The thesis examines China's use of multilateral institutions, versus its bilateral behavior toward Japan in these specific dispute cases, and hypothesizes about future interaction on these disputes. I have conducted the majority of my research from books, journal articles, and newspaper articles (including United States, Chinese and Japanese news sources). Furthermore, I draw upon official white paper documents from China and Japan, official UN documents, as well as official documents from other relevant organizations. I also utilize testimonies given to the United States Congress, as well as reports from the Congressional Research Service.
M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
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