China’s Unsolved Territorial Disputes: Implications For Its Relations With Neighbors – Analysis

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China’s unresolved land and maritime border disputes with its neighbors continue to be a negative factor in bilateral relations among them; undeniably they also complicate the regional situation. What are the root causes of China’s territorial positions? Why certain disputes remain unsettled? Can such situation lead to future conflicts? Has China begun to work towards implementing an economic interests based foreign policy and if so, how that may impact on the country’s so far adopted core-interest based foreign policy resulting in its territorial assertiveness? These are some of the questions the following study attempts to address.

China, like India, has five thousand years of civilization and history; in both the countries, the roots of the present can always be traced to the past; a prominent instance in the case of China is the influence of China’s founding Emperor Qin Shihuang, on the thinking of the country’s architect, Mao Zedong.[1] Similar is the linkage seen between China’s traditional ‘’ Tian Xia” (Under the Heaven) concept and its current stand on ‘territorial sovereignty’. The concept considers that all the people and areas where they lived belong to the Chinese Emperor, the Son of God, who is in possession of mandate of heaven; regarding areas which are not under the control of the Emperor, their rulers derived their power from the Emperor. [2] It holds that the biggest political unit for the Chinese is the framework of ‘world/society’, not the ‘country or nation state’.

Read more: http://www.eurasiareview.com/03042015-chinas-unsolved-territorial-disputes-implications-for-its-relations-with-neighbors-analysis/

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