Bridging Troubled Waters

Bridging Troubled Waters: China, Japan, and Maritime Order in the East China Sea

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Bridging Troubled Waters
    Book Description:

    Sino-Japanese relations have been repeatedly strained by the territorial dispute over a group of small islands, known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China. The rich fishing grounds, key shipping lanes, and perhaps especially, potentially rich oil deposits around the islands exacerbate this dispute in a confluence of resource pressures, growing nationalism, and rising military spending in the region.Bridging Troubled Watersreminds us that the tensions over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands are only a part of a long history of both conflict and cooperation in maritime relations between Japan and China. James Manicom examines the cooperative history between China and Japan at sea and explains the conditions under which two rivals can manage disputes over issues such as territory, often correlated with war.China and Japan appear incapable of putting history behind them, are poised on the brink of a strategic rivalry, and seem at risk of falling into an unintentional war over disputed maritime claims.Bridging Troubled Waterschallenges this view by offering a case-by-case analysis of how China and Japan have managed maritime tensions since the dispute erupted in 1970. The author advances an approach that offers a trade-off between the most important stakes in the disputed maritime area with a view to establishing a stable maritime order in the East China Sea. The book will be of interest to policymakers, academics, and regional specialists in Asia, security studies, and international conflict and cooperation.

    eISBN: 978-1-62616-036-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. List of Acronyms
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Introduction: Disorder at Sea?
    (pp. 1-14)

    On september 7, 2010, a Chinese fishing boat collided with a Japanese Coast Guard (JCG) vessel in the East China Sea. The collision took place near a group of islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Totaling an area of 7 square kilometers, the five islets and nearby rock formations are 120 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan and approximately 120 nautical miles southwest of Okinawa. As all three of these governments claim sovereignty, all argue their fishermen are entitled to fish near the islands. The ensuing diplomatic crisis paralyzed the China–Japan relationship as Beijing decried the recklessness...

  7. CHAPTER ONE Cooperation and the Value of Maritime Space
    (pp. 15-41)

    This is a book about the ebb and flow of cooperation between two rivals over disputed maritime space. The analysis compares five attempts at cooperation in the East China Sea in the areas of disputed sovereignty, fisheries management, marine surveys, and hydrocarbon resource development, and it draws lessons for remaining challenges in the Sino-Japanese maritime relationship. The theoretical concern relates to the impact of the value of disputed space on cooperative efforts between rival states. The findings may shed light on some of the most pressing issues in East Asian international relations. Why are disputes over tiny rocks seen to...

  8. CHAPTER TWO The Collapse of Cooperation over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands
    (pp. 42-65)

    The senkaku/diaoyu islands lie at the center of Sino-Japanese maritime relations. Claims to the islands emerged following the publication of a bullish report on the hydrocarbon wealth of the East Asian seabed in 1969. This chapter examines the origins of the dispute and traces the evolution of the perceived value of the islands to Chinese and Japanese policymakers. The islands were initially useful as the basis for a claim to maritime space, but over time they became an important nationalist symbol in the bilateral relationship. Nevertheless, the two sides managed tensions via two points of consensus: Deng Xiaoping’s modus vivendi...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Cooperation on Fisheries, 1997–2000
    (pp. 66-91)

    China and japan reached a compromise on their maritime jurisdiction in the East China Sea in November 1997, when they signed the China–Japan Fisheries Agreement. The final agreement was not completed until February 2000, and it came into force in June 2000.¹ The agreement is an example of reciprocal cooperation over an area of mutual interest. The MVM expects a robust agreement with enforceable protocols for managing fish stocks in the East China Sea. The agreement was not without resistance, however. Japan’s long-standing opposition to the EEZ regime needed to be overcome in order to renegotiate its regional fisheries...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR Cooperation on Marine Research Activities, 2000–2001
    (pp. 92-121)

    The second instance of Sino-Japanese cooperation over the East China Sea dispute occurred in February 2001, when the two sides exchanged anote verbalepromising to notify the other when they undertook marine surveys in disputed waters. Once again, the conflict of interest stemmed from an unresolved dimension of maritime jurisdiction in the East China Sea brought to light by China’s rise as a maritime power. Throughout the middle and late 1990s, Chinese naval and marine research vessels were seen more frequently in Japan’s claimed EEZ. Following a number of diplomatic protests in 1999 and 2000, Tokyo attempted to coerce...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Resource Development in the East China Sea, 2005–2008
    (pp. 122-165)

    In 2004 china and japan became embroiled in a dispute over hydrocarbon resource development in the East China Sea. The Chunxiao gas field lies approximately 5 kilometers west of Japan’s median line in China’s claimed waters. It was discovered in 2001 and is operated by the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC). In many ways the field is a symbol in China of its concerted effort to develop its offshore areas and a symbol in Japan of its failure to use its maritime space. Both sides claim the right to exploit the natural gas in the field, but the MVM...

  12. CHAPTER SIX Managing Two Maritime Powers
    (pp. 166-198)

    At the dawn of the twenty-first century, cooperation over contested jurisdiction in the East China Sea seems farfetched. In 2012, the contested-symbolic issue of the sovereignty of the disputed islands resurfaced after a secondary political actor, Tokyo governor Ishihara Shintaro, embarked on a campaign to buy three of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. With the termination of the China–Japan consensus to manage nationalist provocations after September 2010, neither country could ignore Ishihara’s efforts. This round of tension makes the cooperative track record presented in this book all the more compelling. The case studies reveal that Beijing and Tokyo have at times...

  13. Conclusion: Building Maritime Order in the East China Sea
    (pp. 199-208)

    Despite periods of severe tension, the evidence presented in this book suggests that China and Japan are quite capable of managing the tensions that arise from their contested sovereignty and jurisdiction in the East China Sea. Beijing and Tokyo have repeatedly articulated some kind of consensus on a point of difference and, however briefly, have adjusted their behavior in accord with the actual or anticipated preferences of the other party. As illustrated by the MVM, in each instance this point of consensus has addressed only one dimension of disputed space and has left the others unresolved. This reluctance to pursue...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 209-252)
  15. Index
    (pp. 253-266)