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

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: August 29, 2016

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, How Aggressive is China? (August 29, 2016). The Korean Journal of International Studies Vol.14, No.2, p. 291-307, August 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2851087

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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