International Politics

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 598–617 | Cite as

When national pride meets naval power: maritime insecurity and Chinese hegemony

  • Ja-hyun ChunEmail author
Original Article


Territorial tensions in the waters surrounding China have escalated in recent years. Maritime disputes in the South and East China Seas are, however, not just territorial, but are fundamentally underpinned by China’s attempts to display its growing regional dominance. In this vein, this article focuses on both the tangible and intangible values inherent in the concept of territory, analyzing existing studies proposing that contemporary territorial disputes may transform themselves into military clashes. It shows how China’s national pride and burgeoning military nationalism are connected to tensions with the USA by presenting two case studies. Congruently, the paper critically assesses contemporary claims that the territorial disputes are, in fact, a product of China’s ‘Monroe Doctrine,’ which frequently functions as a warning to the USA. In so doing, the article contributes to understanding the implications of the region’s instability for American foreign policy and, more significantly, for international security.


USA–China hegemony Territorial disputes Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Security 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GSIS (Graduate School of International Studies) at Korea UniversitySeoulKorea

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