China’s Interests in the South China Sea
Whether China is defensive or offensive realist state can be tested from its interests. This chapter discusses China’s interests in five main fields, namely resources, security, geopolitics, Taiwan, and the Party’s legitimacy.
This chapter concludes that from the above-mentioned examination, China’s interests in the South China Sea (SCS) are not necessarily offensive—as often depicted by Western media. Even though China’s military power and interests grow exponentially, since 1995 until 2012, China did not involve in a high-profile confrontation in the SCS. In addition, from an in-depth analysis on China’s interests, there are defensive factors that are often ignored.