The three states outside the South China Sea that have the most stake in the power relations in the South China Sea are the United States, Japan, and South Korea. The United States, Japan, and South Korea have both military and economic stake in the area. Economically, these countries rely on the freedom of navigation for trade especially since Japan is an island and require to import goods that they cannot acquire locally. Militarily, the US has multiple military bases in Asia that they would need maritime access to. South Korea requires the help from the US military to defend its territory from the North. As stated in the case study, Japan and China have conflict on a small set of islands. If China gains control of the South China Sea, then it sets a precedent that China can also take the islands claimed by Japan. Also, Japan needs the US for protection from external forces due to the surrender agreement from WWII.
4. Considering China’s strategic thinking, they should and are taking precedence of controlling the South China Sea because it is in their military and economic interest. Since the South China Sea is rich in natural resources, they could use these resources to bolster their economy, use it to fund their military and strengthen their land borders. In controlling the South China Sea, China would provide further strengthen their security by defending their territory through the islands before touching the …show more content…
As globalization continues, now is the time for countries in the South China Sea and foreign powers to stop China’s influence in Asia. If China does succeed in controlling the South China Sea, then that is the point of no return of China’s expanding influence which is why this conflict is so contentious because China would have more resources to subject other states under their influence.
7. Evidently, China has more to lose should military conflict break out in the South China Sea. Geographically, China is at a disadvantage because the military conflict is basically at their front yard while the US is an ocean away, however, advanced weapons may level the playing field. Of course, the US and China are huge trading partners and military conflict would compromise that relationship unless the US is not directly