Table of Contents

Handbook of US–China Relations

Handbook of US–China Relations

Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan

This Handbook addresses the key questions surrounding US–China relations: what are the historical and contemporary contexts that underpin this complex relationship? How has the strategic rivalry between the two evolved? What are the key flashpoints in their relationship? What are the key security issues between the two powers? The international contributors explore the historical, political, economic, military, and international and regional spheres of the US–China relationship. The topics they discuss include human rights, Chinese public perception of the United States, US–China strategic rivalry, China’s defence build-up and cyber war.

Chapter 16: The United States and China’s maritime territorial disputes

Chien-peng Chung

Subjects: asian studies, asian politics and policy, politics and public policy, asian politics, international politics, international relations


Much as this chapter is about China’s sovereignty disputes over maritime territories with its neighbors, it is more about the underappreciated roles played by the United States in the claims over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and the various outcrops in the South China Sea such as the Spratlys and the Paracels. The United States has no territorial claims over these islands, but it has been involved in issues related to them since the end of World War II, and continues to be by dint of its security presence in the region. US involvement has been actively sought by countries contesting China’s claims to these territories, such as Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, and those that are not parties to the disputes, but are nonetheless concerned about China asserting its influence in East and Southeast Asia through construction of military facilities on these outcrops. The chapter concludes with possible steps that both China and the United States can take to reduce tension caused by these disputes.

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