Date of this Version
The Asia pivot did not blunt China’s South China Sea strategy. Despite a few successful maneuvers, most of the strategies adopted by the U.S.-aligned Vietnam and the Philippines miscarried. During decades of both confrontation and cooperation with its neighbors, China has perfected a set of responses to territorial disputes. During the pivot, in the face of perceived provocations and operational incompetence, China proceeded and accelerated its successfully strategy and seized multiple opportunities to advance its claims. China has effectively established control of the Scarborough Shoal while creating over 3,200 acres of new land, surpassing all the other claimants’ territories combined. How did China prevail in the South China Sea over other regional powers, especially Vietnam and the Philippines? What types of games were being played out during the pivot and what are the lessons for future interactions? This paper explores how the South China Sea competitors act, react, and interact in strategic pursuit of their own self-interests. It investigates the nature of the multi-level nested games and the pivot’s impact on the South China Sea competition for territory.
Journal, Book or Conference Title
East Asia Security Symposium and Conference 东亚安全座谈谈论会
This document has been peer reviewed.