China’s Nationalist Narrative of the South China Sea: A Preliminary Analysis

  • Kheng Swe LimEmail author
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)


The nationalist narrative in China over the South China Sea islands is shaped by the perception that the United States is trying to contain China, as well as a belief that the smaller Southeast Asian claimant countries have wrongfully taken control over the islands, which China believes to be an integral part of its territory. However, Chinese nationalist feeling over the South China Sea is less strong than that over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, given that the latter touches on the “history issues” that exist between China and Japan, which are absent between China and Southeast Asia. This hints that China may have more room for maneuver with regards to its relations with the South China Sea claimant countries than it does over the East China Sea disputes.


South China Sea Nationalism China Southeast Asia 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.S. Rajaratnam School of International StudiesNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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