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China's Recent Relations with Maritime Neighbours


Chinese maritime assertiveness since 2008 is a product of China's growing economic and military power combined with a centrally fostered nationalism. Although incidents with several maritime neighbours may not have all been initiated by China, the Chinese over-reacted. Matters were made worse by the opacity of Chinese decision-making processes and by problems of governance as shown by the multiplicity of Chinese authorities in charge of separate naval forces. The American 'pivot' to Asia provides neighbours with a hedge against an overbearing China. But they still need to cultivate relations with China on whom they were economically dependent.
Keywords: Chinese over-reaction, naval forces, maritime neighbours, economic interdependence, hedging