How Aggressive is China?
The Korean Journal of International Studies Vol.14, No.2, p. 291-307, August 2016
17 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2016
Date Written: August 29, 2016
Several policymakers and other experts have called China’s behavior, especially its activities in the South and East China Seas, ‘aggressive.’ This article compares China’s behavior with a suggested definition of ‘aggression’ based on the one enshrined in international law, and it finds that these experts’ use of the term ‘aggressive’ is inconsistent with this definition. It furthermore compares the reactions of China and the United States to each other’s provocative actions that do not amount to aggression. The article finds that the use of the term ‘aggressive’ to describe China’s behavior is unnecessarily escalatory and concludes by recommending that policymakers and China experts use the label more sparingly, in strict accordance with the suggested definition.
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