Security Dilemma Between China and Other South China Sea Claimant States
This chapter applies the concept of security dilemma between China on one side and “other claimants” on the opposite side. Even though the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei do not establish an alliance, they share anxiety of China’s potential of being offensive. On the other hand, China is anxious about controlling the South China Sea and the intervention of external power.
The chapter explains the activation of the dormant security dilemma and how the process reached the stage of spiral, culminated with China’s defection in the control of the Scarborough Shoal and massive construction of artificial islands. It also discusses the rationale of China’s defection by incorporating international and domestic factors, particularly the dynamics within the Chinese politics.