Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States : Economically Based Cooperation or Strategic Power Politics? [1st ed.] 9783658316594, 9783658316600

Jörg Vogelmann looks into one of the central political and economic relationships of the 21st century. The author finds

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Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xvi
Introduction (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 1-58
The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 59-203
Grand Theory Perspectives on Sino-U.S. Relations (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 205-340
Empirical Verification (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 341-534
Implications (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 535-561
Conclusion (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 563-568
Back Matter ....Pages 569-664
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Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen

Jörg Vogelmann

Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States Economically Based Cooperation or Strategic Power Politics?

Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen Series Editor Thomas Jäger, Köln, Germany

More information about this series at http://www.springer.com/series/12384

Jörg Vogelmann

Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States Economically Based Cooperation or Strategic Power Politics?

Jörg Vogelmann Stuttgart, Germany Dissertation University of Cologne 2018/2019

ISSN 2626-2339 ISSN 2626-2347  (electronic) Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen ISBN 978-3-658-31659-4 ISBN 978-3-658-31660-0  (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-31660-0 © Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2021 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Springer VS imprint is published by the registered company Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH part of Springer Nature. The registered company address is: Abraham-Lincoln-Str. 46, 65189 Wiesbaden, Germany

To my parents, Ingeborg and Jürgen Vogelmann, and Carina

Acknowledgements The author gained significant insights and received constructive feedback particularly during his stay in 2007/2008 at the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary (Canada) and in 2008 at the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Office of the United Nations and to other International Organizations in Vienna, as a research assistant, associate, and lecturer at the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Stuttgart in 2005-2006/2009-2012, and in 20092018 as a doctoral candidate at Prof. Dr. Thomas Jäger’s Chair of International Politics and Foreign Policy Studies at the Research Institute for Political Science and European Affairs at the University of Cologne. The author would like to extend his most sincere gratitude and appreciation to his primary doctoral adviser, Prof. Dr. Thomas Jäger, to his master’s thesis advisors Prof. Gavin Cameron, PhD (University of Calgary), Prof. Dr. Dirk Nabers (Kiel University), and Prof. Doris Fuchs, PhD (University of Münster), to PD Dr. habil. Carsten Giersch (University of Rostock), Prof. Dr. Christoph Weller (University of Augsburg), Ambassador Peter Gottwald and Counselor Martina Hackelberg, and to all professors, colleagues, interlocutors, friends, and family members that provided so valuable perspectives and support.

Table of Contents 1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 1 1.1 Research Issue and Topicality ................................................... 1 1.2 Review of Literature .................................................................. 22 1.3 Research Design ....................................................................... 35

2 The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations ......................... 59 2.1 China and the United States in the World Economy ............. 69 2.2 China and the United States in the Military Realm .............. 126 2.2.1 Quantitative Military Perspective......................................... 126 2.2.2 Qualitative Military Perspective ........................................... 152 2.3 Synopsis .................................................................................. 181

3 Grand Theory Perspectives on Sino-U.S. Relations ......... 205 3.1 Neoliberalism ........................................................................... 205 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.1.4 3.1.5

The Basic Idea: Interdependence ....................................... 207 From Interdependence to Globalization .............................. 227 From Globalization to Global Governance .......................... 242 Cooperation in a Globalizing World .................................... 250 Neoliberal Hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior................................... 263

3.2 Neorealism ............................................................................... 277 3.2.1 Basic Neorealist Thought: A Rather Grim Picture of World Politics .................................................................. 279 3.2.2 Defensive Neorealism ......................................................... 286 3.2.3 Rise and Fall Neorealism .................................................... 314 3.2.4 Neorealist Hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior................................... 326

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Table of Contents

4 Empirical Verification ........................................................... 341 4.1 The Taiwan Issue..................................................................... 341 4.1.1 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the PRC in the Taiwan Issue .......................................... 345 4.1.2 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the United States in the Taiwan Issue ............................ 380 4.2 The North Korea Issue ............................................................ 415 4.2.1 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the PRC in the North Korea Issue................................... 426 4.2.2 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the United States in the North Korea Issue..................... 465 4.3 Summary and Interpretation of Empirical Results ............... 531

5 Implications........................................................................... 535 5.1 Scholarly Implications ............................................................ 535 5.2 “Real-World” Implications – Sino-U.S. and International Relations in the 21st Century ................................................. 545

6 Conclusion ............................................................................ 563 Bibliography.............................................................................. 569

Table of Contents

List of Figures Figure 1: Figure 2: Figure 3: Figure 4: Figure 5: Figure 6: Figure 7: Figure 8: Figure 9: Figure 10: Figure 11: Figure 12: Figure 13: Figure 14: Figure 15: Figure 16: Figure 17:

Research Design of the Thesis ........................................... 58 GDP of the United States and China, 1991-2021 ............... 76 Percentage of World GDP of the United States and China, 1991-2021 ........................ 77 Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2015 Including the EU ..................................................... 78 Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2021 Including the EU ..................................................... 79 Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2015 (National Basis) ...................................................... 80 Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2021 (National Basis) ...................................................... 80 Annual Exports of Goods of China, the United States, and Germany, 1991-2015 ................................................... 85 Annual Total Trade in Goods of China, the United States, and Germany, 1991-2015 ...................... 86 Overview of Sino-U.S. (Bilateral) Merchandise Trade, 1991-2015 ........................................................................... 93 Inward Flows of FDI in the United States, China, and Hong Kong, 1991-2015 .............................................. 105 Outward Flows of FDI of the United States, China, and Hong Kong, 1991-2015 .............................................. 108 General Government Gross Debt of the United States and China, 2001-2021 ...................... 113 The Exchange Rate of the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi to the U.S. Dollar and PRC Currency Policy, October 1993 - December 2016 ........................................ 120 Military Expenditure of the Top Ten Military Spenders in the World, 1991-2015 (National Basis).......................... 131 Percentage of World Military Expenditure of the Top Ten Military Spenders in 2015 (National Basis) ......... 133 Percentage of World Military Expenditure of the Top Military Spenders in 2015 Including the EU ............... 133

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List of Figures

Figure 18: Percentage of World Military Expenditure of the United States and China, 1991-2015 ...................... 134 Figure 19: PRC Military Expenditure as a Share (%) of U.S. Military Expenditure, 1991-2015............................ 136 Figure 20: Development of U.S. and Chinese Military Expenditure, 1991-2015........................................ 138 Figure 21: Military Expenditure of China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and North Korea, 1991-2015 ......... 141 Figure 22: U.S. and Chinese Military Expenditure as Percentage of GDP, 1991-2015 ................................... 148 Figure 23: Military Expenditure as Percentage of GDP of the Top Ten Military Spenders in 2015 (National Basis) ......... 149 Figure 24: U.S. and Chinese Total Armed Forces Active, 1991-2016 ......................................................................... 150 Figure 25: The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations and the Theory Part of the Thesis ..................................... 203

List of Tables Table 1: Table 2: Table 3: Table 4: Table 5:

The United States in World Trade and Selected U.S. Bilateral Trade in 2015 .......................... 89  The PRC in World Trade and Selected PRC Bilateral Trade in 2015 ......................... 91  Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Interdependence ............... 188  Structural Frame of the Sino-U.S. Economic Power Transition Under Way ............................................ 196  Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Shifts in Military Power ...... 201

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations APEC ARF ASAT ASEAN A2/AD bn. C4ISR

CIA CIIC

CNOOC CPC CVID

DPP DPRK EAS ESM EU FCIC FDI Fed GDP

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ASEAN Regional Forum Anti-Satellite Weapon Association of Southeast Asian Nations Anti-Access/Area Denial (military capabilities) billion Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (military concept/capabilities) Central Intelligence Agency China Internet Information Center (government portal site www.china.org.cn, published under the aegis of the State Council Information Office and the China International Publishing Group) China National Offshore Oil Corporation Communist Party of China Complete, Verifiable, and Irreversible Dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons programs (as a precondition for rewards by the United States; demand/bargaining position particularly of the George W. Bush administration towards North Korea, maintained at least until September 2005) Democratic Progressive Party (in the Republic of China on Taiwan) Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Official denomination of North Korea) East Asia Summit European Stability Mechanism European Union Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Foreign Direct Investment the Federal Reserve System Gross Domestic Product

xiv

GPS GWOT HS

IAEA ICC IGO IISS IMF IOSCPRC IR ISS KEDO

MAD

MCPRC MER NATO NGO NPT NSA PaI PLA PPP PRC R&D RIMPAC

List of Abbreviations

(U.S./satellite-based) Global Positioning System the U.S.-led “Global War on Terror” after 9/11 Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (classification system by the World Customs Organization for traded products) International Atomic Energy Agency International Criminal Court Intergovernmental Organization the International Institute for Strategic Studies International Monetary Fund Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China International Relations (denomination of the discipline) International Space Station Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (founded in 1995 by the United States, Japan, and South Korea, and de facto disbanded in 2005/2006) Mutually Assured Destruction (security policy concept building upon the logics concerning a potential nuclear escalation between at least two nuclear powers with solid second-strike capabilities) Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China Market Exchange Rate North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Transnational) Non-Governmental Organization Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons National Security Agency Book title: “Power and Interdependence” (Keohane/Nye 1977; 1989) People’s Liberation Army (of the PRC) Purchasing Power Parity People’s Republic of China Research and Development (U.S.-led multinational) (maritime) Rim of the Pacific Exercise

List of Abbreviations

RMA

ROC ROK SCO SDR

SIPRI TCOG

THAAD TNC TPP

TRA tr. TTIP

TWEA UN UNCTAD UNDP UNSC

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Revolution in Military Affairs (military concept focusing in this day and age especially on superior military information processing, networked branches/units, and smart weapons systems) Republic of China on Taiwan Republic of Korea (Official denomination of South Korea) Shanghai Cooperation Organization Special Drawing Right (IMF reserve asset, comprising a basket of the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen, the British pound and (since October 2016) the Chinese renminbi/yuan) Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (established in April 1999 to advance policy coordination among the United States, South Korea, and Japan in particular in the North Korea issue) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (U.S. anti-ballistic missile system) Transnational Corporation Trans-Pacific Partnership (international trade agreement between the United States and eleven states in the AsiaPacific (without the PRC); signed in February 2016, ratification though stopped under the Trump administration) Taiwan Relations Act trillion Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (negotiations on such a trade and investment agreement between the United States and the European Union started in 2013; agreement though highly unlikely under the Trump administration) (U.S.) Trading With the Enemy Act United Nations United Nations Conference on Trade and Development United Nations Development Programme United Nations Security Council

xvi

U.S. USBEA USCB USDOD USDOS USDOT USGPO USPACOM

USSR USTR WMD WTO 6PT

9/11 $ £

List of Abbreviations

United States (of America) U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis U.S. Census Bureau U.S. Department of Defense U.S. Department of State U.S. Department of the Treasury U.S. Government Publishing Office United States Pacific Command (geographic/the largest Unified Combatant Command of the United States Armed Forces) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Office of the United States Trade Representative Weapons of Mass Destruction World Trade Organization the Six-Party Talks on the North Korea (nuclear) issue; the parties comprised the United States, the PRC, Russia, Japan, North Korea, and South Korea (the terrorist attacks of) September 11th, 2001 U.S. dollar Pound sterling (currency of the United Kingdom)

List of Abbreviations

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Introduction

1 Introduction

1.1

Research Issue and Topicality

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

The Ascent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) The rise of large newly industrializing countries like China and India belongs to the most fundamental constitutive processes in the evolving international system of the 21st century1. Especially since the world economic crisis in 2007-2009 and the subsequent state debt and economic issues in the old industrialized triad of the world economy (in Europe, the United States, and Japan as well)2, the “new”/resurgent players in world politics have received greater scholarly and public attention. Their economic and political ascent has spurred a vibrant debate in the humanities, the economic and social sciences, and particularly in the discipline of International Relations (IR)3, a debate whose origins can be traced back at least to the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. However, the increasing significance of the emerging markets in general, and of the BRIC4 states in particular, as well as the partly corresponding,

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The doctoral thesis at hand builds to some extent upon the author’s master’s thesis, which was accomplished in 2007-2008 at the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary, Canada, and at the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Stuttgart, Germany (Vogelmann 2008). The triad (of the world economy) is a term commonly used in economics, economic geography and globalization theory and denominates the three centers of the world economy: Europe, North America, and East/Southeast Asia. Formerly, the Asian pillar of the triad had only been represented by Japan. However, the concept has been updated, and now includes the (“tiger”) economies in East/Southeast Asia, and most obviously the PRC as well. The thesis follows the convention that IR denotes the academic discipline of International Relations while lower-case international relations stands for the object of the field’s investigations (Wight 2006: 1; Dunne et al. 2013: v). The BRIC concept was developed in 2001 by Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs, Jim O’Neill. It denominated the larger emerging market economies Brazil, Russia, India and China and highlighted their increasing significance for the world economy (O’Neill

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2021 J. Vogelmann, Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States, Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-31660-0_1

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1 Introduction

lagged, but still proceeding restructuring of international relations such as the foundation and upvaluation of the G20 (now coexisting with the G8/ G7 format)5, quota, voting share, and Special Drawing Right (SDR) basket6 adjustments at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), voting power realignment at the World Bank or UN(SC) reform initiatives have been further empirical catalyzers to the scholarly and public deliberation on the rise of the threshold countries as a central process of our times (IMF 2016e; 2015a; 2015b; The World Bank 2010; Bremmer/Roubini 2011: 3; O’Neill 2001; Jäger 2012c: 160; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 35; Wu 2010: 160; G20.org 2015; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 11; 37f.). The (re-)ascent of China has thereby gained the biggest momentum in this deliberation, and has markedly shaped reflections on the world order of the 21st century. Some scholars even perceive it to represent “the single most important development in the post-Cold War world” (Li 2009: 3). Growing scholarly and public attention has particularly originated from the fact that the People’s Republic of China has in post-Cold War times been the largest, and

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2001). The Chinese triggered inclusion of South Africa into the group in 2010/2011 created the BRICS states (representing at least about one fourth of world GDP and 43% of world population in 2012). To jointly gain more weight in world (economic) politics, BRICS member states have extended their coordination especially since the world financial crisis in 2007-2009. For instance, BRICS leaders signed a stock exchange agreement in March 2012, enabling share transactions solely based on BRICS currencies. In July 2014, they finally agreed to create a BRICS New Development Bank (with an initial capital of $50 bn. and no specific policy requirements for borrowers) as well as a $100 bn. BRICS currency reserve fund (“Contingency Reserve Arrangement”) with headquarters in Shanghai, which can in part be perceived as alternative BRICS institutions to the World Bank and the IMF (Colitt/Galvao 2014; Blume 2012). As the G8/G7 has less and less reflected all the major economic powers, and the G20 has increasingly become the leading international forum for global economic policy coordination, the G8/G7 network had to deal to a certain extent with re-legitimization. After Russia had been excluded in March 2014 due to its annexation of the Crimea (and its policy of supporting the separatists in the Ukraine), the G7 members reconstructed themselves in particular as a group with shared values – and hence as the seven leading industrialized democratic countries; this became evident most notably at the June 2015 G7 summit in Elmau, Germany. In November 2015, the IMF announced that by October 2016, the Chinese renminbi /yuan would be included in the basket of major reserve currencies that make up the SDR; since the latter date, the IMF reserve asset thus comprises the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi/yuan, the Japanese yen, and the British pound (IMF 2016e; 2015b).

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

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the fastest growing one of the major “new”/resurgent players. Besides, the debate has been driven by varying and controversial assessments of the significance of China’s ascent for world politics and the world economy in the 21st century. The Behavior of the U.S. Hegemon Dealing with the new is usually perforce connected with the old; accordingly, actors that become more powerful usually encounter agents and structures that have wielded and will still wield decisive influence. Conveyed to international politics, the economically based rise “of the rest” (Zakaria 2008: 1f.), of the “second world” (Khanna 2008), of the “new Asian hemisphere” (Mahbubani 2008), and in particular the rise of China in “global status” and towards a “great power”, “world power” or “superpower” (Brzezinski 2012; Waltz 1993: 68; Mearsheimer 2001: 381; Ikenberry 2008: 89; The White House/Obama 2013b; Kissinger 2011: 489f.; 493; Lemke 2004: 59f.; 63f.; Wagener 2011b: 243-245; 249f.; 255; Pei 2009; Zimmer 2010: 59; Nathan/Scobell 2012: xii; Tammen et al. 2000: 153; 176; Dillon 2009: ix; Herberg-Rothe 2010: 50; Subramanian 2011; Shirk 2007: 5; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 165; Overholt 1993) raises the “essential question” (Subramanian 2011: 66) of how the established major powers – and most notably the (U.S.) hegemon in the international system – will react to these new players in a “transformed world” (National Intelligence Council 2008). After all, more and more participants in the scholarly and public debate point to the potential that the “shift in the distribution of global power from the West to the East” may end the former’s 500 year old dominance of world politics (Brzezinski 2009: 53f.; Khanna 2008: xxiii). To be more specific, while Kugler still broadly contends that “control over world politics tumbles from the grasp of Western policy makers into the hands of Asian elites” (Kugler 2006: 36), several scholars anticipate that the world order of the 21st century will be particularly (co-) shaped by China (Bergsten et al. 2009; Glaser 2011a; Ikenberry 2011b: 57; Layne 2011: 151; Jacques 2009; Li 2009; Subramanian 2011). At this point, the (behavior of the) still by far dominant player in world politics and designer of the international order we currently live in takes

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center stage: the United States of America. It has most notably been China’s persistent rise that has already triggered a shift in U.S. foreign policy orientation towards (East) Asia in recent years – which became known as the U.S. “strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” (U.S. Department of State (USDOS)/Russel 2014b; USDOS/Moy 2014; USDOS/ Campbell 2011a; The White House/Obama 2011; U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD)/Carter 2015; USDOD/Carter 2013; USDOD 2012: 2; Clinton 2011; Jäger 2012c: 156; 158; Ross 2002: 48; Wortzel 2006: 275278; Overholt 2008: 229-231). U.S. President Barack Obama had repeatedly called himself “America's first Pacific President” (The White House/ Obama 2009; Cooper/Fackler 2009), and had prominently outlined the U.S. strategic realignment in his November 2011 speech at the Australian parliament: “[A]s a Pacific nation, the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future (…). I have directed my national security team to make our presence and mission in the Asia Pacific a top priority. (…) The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay (…). So let there be no doubt: In the Asia Pacific in the 21st century, the United States of America is all in” (The White House/ Obama 2011). While U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had accordingly termed the 21st century “America’s Pacific century”, the ongoing U.S. reorientation towards the Asia-Pacific has at the same time made it clear (as well) that governance of the relationship with ascending China will further emerge as a central long-term challenge for the United States (and vice versa): “China represents one of the most challenging and consequential bilateral relationships the United States has ever had to manage” (USDOS/ Clinton 2011; Clinton 2011; Christensen 2009: 89). (Economic and security) relations with the PRC, and the so-called “China challenge” (Dillon 2007; Zhao/Liu 2007: 585), thereby evolved as prominent issues also in the 2012 and 2016 U.S. presidential primaries/caucuses and campaigns – and especially under the U.S. presidency of Donald Trump, and gave partly rise to “verbal spirals of confrontation” (Jäger 2012b; McCaskill 2016). The significance for world politics and the world economy of the U.S. hegemon’s reaction to China’s increasing global salience thus pro-

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vides fundamental reasons for the thesis at hand to study the (post-Cold War) relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States. It does so also since post-Cold War SinoU.S. ties have evoked crucial research questions especially for the discipline of International Relations: “The rise of China will likely be the most important international relations story of the twenty-first century, but it remains unclear whether that story will have a happy ending. Will China's ascent increase the probability of great-power war? Will an era of U.S.Chinese tension be as dangerous as the Cold War? Will it be even worse, because China, unlike the Soviet Union, will prove a serious economic competitor as well as a geopolitical one? (…) Such broader questions (…) are precisely what international relations theorists study” (Glaser 2011a: 80; emphasis added; Ikenberry et al. 2009: 1; Goldstein 2007: 639f.). The Central Relevance of Sino-U.S. Relations in the 21st Century While not only adherents of (neo-)realist, power transition, and hegemonic cycle theories fear that frictions between China and the United States may increase given that the bilateral gap in economic growth (and the trade imbalances) may likely not decrease substantially in the near and middle term, political economists have undersold themselves in their forecasts when China will overtake the United States in terms of overall economic power. In 2003, Goldman Sachs projected that China might become the world’s biggest economy by 2041 (Wilson/Purushothaman 2003: 3). In 2010, the investment bank accelerated this date to the year 2027 (Goldman Sachs 2010: 9). Finally, the International Monetary Fund reported that in 2014, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) had already overtaken the U.S. GDP7 (IMF 2016a). Such dates of a projected SinoU.S. economic power transition remain naturally speculative and are of secondary significance, here. The ongoing bilateral shift in (relative) capabilities (which increased during the (costly) U.S.-led Global War on

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Of course, this finding rests upon measurement and comparison of the Chinese and the U.S. GDP based on purchasing power parity exchange rates (PPP), and not (yet) on market exchange rates (MER). For the scholarly discourse on these different methods of GDP measurement, see Chapters 2.1 and 2.2.

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1 Introduction

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Terror (GWOT) after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 (9/11) and during the world economic crisis in 2007-2009) has yet had, and will continue to have, decisive impacts on Sino-U.S. relations, world politics, and the world economy (Vogelmann 2011). Scholars increasingly ask if a potential power transition between the United States and China can evolve peacefully/cooperatively in or rather because of an economically interdependent, globalizing world or if – as so often in the history of mankind – there looms a fierce rivalry for (global) hegemony or at least the role of the primary security manager in the Asia-Pacific9 (Khalilzad et al. 1999: xii; Tammen et al. 2000: 146-193; Glaser 2011a; Christensen 2006). While Ikenberry for instance stays optimistic since a U.S.-shaped liberal world order may “provide institutional frameworks and foundations that can accommodate a more powerful China (…) [and; J.V.] tame [its; J.V.] ambitions” (Ikenberry, cit. in Ikenberry/Walt 2007: 19f.; Ikenberry 2011b: 57f.; 62-65), Walt counters that the United States will do its utmost to keep its dominant position in world politics and the Asia-Pacific: “No presidential candidates ever run for office saying they want to make the United States number two” (Walt, cit. in Ikenberry/Walt 2007: 14). As has become clear, Sino-U.S. relations in the 21st century thus bear a wide potential from deterioration into a new Cold or even hot (atomic) War to creating or at least adjusting a prosperous, stable new order in the Asia-Pacific and the international system per se. This is all the more the case since (East) Asia bears still significant flash points where Chinese, U.S. and other states’ (strategic) interests clash, be it in the Taiwan Strait,

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The phrase Global War on Terror was coined by the George W. Bush administration already in September 2001. In 2009, the Obama administration then announced to no longer use this concept, but to rather speak of Overseas Contingency Operation (Vogelmann 2011: 386; IISS 2010: 25-27; Kamen/Wilson 2009). As Global War on Terror has though remained more frequently applied and more familiar in the media, the public and the scholarly realm as well, for the sake of consistency, the thesis applies this term also for post-2008 times. Khalilzad et al. describe the U.S. role in East Asia as being “the region’s preferred security partner and its ultimate security manager” (1999: xii). Citation of Khalilzad et al. will in the following not be added each time the term (primary) security manager comes up; the honor of adequate formulation yet naturally belongs to them. Of course, citation will still be annexed any time the thesis refers to more than the mere mentioning of the term security manager.

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

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on the Korean Peninsula, or in the South China and the East China Sea, to name just the most significant ones (Wagener 2009: 1). Naturally, any outcome will have stark ramifications for world politics and the world economy. Overall, expecting that “much of the future of the world will depend on the U.S.-Chinese relationship” may not seem too bold (Overholt 1993: 365). Research Voids in (Recent) Publications on Sino-U.S. Relations Although the latter projection was already foreseen almost a quarter of a century ago and the IR research debate has proceeded and grown considerably since, progress towards substantiated (IR grand) theory-based and empirically verified explanations concerning the characteristics and the development of (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. relations and the consequences for world politics and the world economy has remained limited. In this respect, too many contributions have been atheoretical or at best pre-theoretical, essayistic or limited to anecdotal empirical evidence. For instance, many publications of the “stream of China-threat books that have come out since the mid-1990s” (Nathan 2011: 155; Huang 2012: 55) have no explicit reference to IR (grand) theory at all, and do neither pursue a sophisticated research design and methodology nor empirical verification of hypotheses – by far not only those originating from outside the academia. Respective releases thus often bear the potential for erratic fluctuations within the surging billows of the zeitgeist and depending on (too) few or unsystematically selected aspects of a complex SinoU.S. empirical reality. In (post-Cold War) times of dynamic complicacy, it may in particular be sophisticated theory (in the wider sense of an explicit, structured, logical, and general system of thought) that can serve as a sound basis for intersubjective/guided debate, deduction of hypotheses and empirical verification – implying that especially theory-guided research may remain crucial for progress towards scientific knowledge and explanation. Studies on the complex (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. relationship may thus greatly profit from explicit (IR (grand)) theory orientation, which promises to stimulate research progress to a far greater extent than atheoretical/descriptive or essayistic contributions.

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1 Introduction

Moreover, as the logic of analysis in the social sciences implies that empirical change in the object of research often necessitates a certain adjustment and further development of the theoretic-conceptual equipment of the discipline10 (Schieder/Spindler 2010: 10f.), the rise of the People’s Republic of China and its relationship with the hegemonic United States may all the more be perceived as a promising and crucial research issue for theory verification and advancement. Accordingly, scholars may evaluate in how far classically stated assumptions of cause and effect remain valid and which (grand theory) approaches provide the most appropriate explanations, need to be revised, honed, or potentially even abandoned. In other words, since IR theory development, advancement, verification and debate have often been influenced by “significant events” in international relations, and the ascent of China can evidently be perceived as such a “significant event”, post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations promise to be especially fertile for advancing and empirically verifying IR (grand) theories (Holsti 1989: 259; Harnisch 2003: 314; Lauth/ Zimmerling 2003: 141f., 165; Betts 1993: 77; Schieder/Spindler 2010: 10f.; Keohane 2008: 708; Weller 2003/2004: 108; 2005: 5f.; 18; Walt 1998: 41). Summing up, a scholarly analysis of (the character of postCold War) Sino-U.S. relations may greatly profit from a sophisticated theoretical foundation and, more specifically, from theoretical alternatives that can be empirically confronted and refined (Opp 2005: 191-203; Lauth/Zimmerling 2003: 141). The thesis thus concurs with Mearsheimer in the sense that to explain the past and “predict the future in Asia, one needs (…) [theories that explain] how rising powers are likely to act and how other states will react to them” (Mearsheimer 2005a: 47). IR Grand Theories and Sino-U.S. Relations With the hegemonic United States and ascending China as central players in the international system, and since Sino-U.S. relations belong to a classical field of research in the discipline of IR – namely great power

10

Only recently, for instance, the majority of academic specialists were taken by surprise by the revolutions in the Arab world in/since 2011, pointing to the fact that sometimes “paradigms fall and theories are shredded by events on the ground” (Gause III 2011: 90).

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

9

politics – a research focus on IR grand theories seems to be promising and appropriate, here11. Accordingly, the thesis shares a skeptical view with “newer scholarship” on strong essentialist positions of a Chinese “singularity” (Nathan 2011: 155). The PRC embodies a (potential) superpower12 with its own great legacy and characteristics, for sure. Nevertheless, this does not render China a state so exceptional and PRC foreign policy action so specific (compared to the behavior of other (super-/great) powers in the anarchic international system) that general IR grand theories may not be able to provide adequate explanations (Betts 2010: 191). Furthermore, as already indicated, IR grand theory schools offer the advantage that these fundamental theoretical perspectives may be less randomly altered in the short-term by (zeitgeist) trends of essayistic interpretation that often oscillate between “China-threat books” (Nathan 2011: 155) and “willful, blinkered optimism” (Friedberg 2011: xiii). Reconstruction of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, and hence the analysis of major factors (especially in the economic and military/security realm) that structurally constrain/influence the behavior of the two super- (and other) powers will thereby serve as a basal step towards the development of alternative IR grand theory pictures of SinoU.S. relations (and eventually the deduction of behavioral hypotheses) (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b). On that score, the age of globalization makes it plausible to append also some economic sciences arguments to IR reflections. Two Influential IR Grand Theory Perspectives on Sino-U.S. Relations Regarding the elaborated, ongoing debate in the academia, policy circles and the media/public on the relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States, one may find the discourse inter alia shaped, or even “largely dominated”, by two alternative perspectives correlating with two grand theory schools in International Relations (Li 2009: 8, 6; Christensen 2006: 81f.; Overholt 2008: 225-

11 12

For a consideration of the research debate on theories of international politics versus theories of foreign policy, see Footnote 49. Perception and application of the term superpower in the thesis at hand will be elaborated in Chapter 1.3.

10

1 Introduction

228; Pan 2004: 305; Goldstein 2007: 639-641). This is partly due to the fact that contemplation upon super-/great power relations almost inevitably implies to deal with “first principles about the causes of war and peace” (Betts 1993: 35) – and hence with a subject that has been strongly influenced by two broad theory traditions at least since Thucydides’ narrative of the Peloponnesian War and the Melian dialogue (Thucydides 1966 [ca. 395 B.C.]: 267-276; Vretska 1966: 20; 24-37; Harnisch 2003: 315f., 343). These schools of thought have yet been significantly advanced and have become very complex especially since the third theory debate in IR13 and the end of the Cold War (Spindler/Schieder 2010: 13f.; Lauth/Zimmerling 2003: 164). Dichotomist theory competition concerning (PRC and U.S.) superpower relations and (foreign policy) behavior may thereby be even more distinct nowadays than during the Cold War era when ties between the Soviet Union and the United States were stronger shaped by military/security issues. Since the ascent of the PRC has so far been predominantly based on its economic success story and not yet to the same extent on its (relative) gains in military power (Ferris 2010: 258f.; Blasko 2012), this background does not necessarily favor one of the schools of thought as it had been the case concerning Soviet-U.S. relations (Zhao 2007: 612; Lauth/Zimmerling 2003: 149). With respect to the two IR grand theory pictures prevailing, there is on the one hand the perspective where ascending China and the U.S. hegemon remain predominantly interested in “[Making] Money, Not War”14 – and

13

14

This “Neo-Neo” or “interparadigm” debate of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s mainly dealt with the (re-)appearance of neoliberal institutionalism and the respective challenge for (till then predominant) neorealism (Schörnig 2010: 88-91). The contributions of Keohane and Grieco in Baldwin’s “Neorealism and Neoliberalism: The Contemporary Debate” offer an excellent first insight into the debate (Keohane 1993; Grieco 1993; Baldwin 1993). “Make Money, Not War” is the title of a contribution by Zbigniew Brzezinski in a short repartee with John Mearsheimer on (future) Sino-U.S. relations in the periodical Foreign Policy (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.; 2005b; 2005c; Mearsheimer 2005a; 2005b; 2005c). The slightly ironic slogan is perceived here as sophisticated also in its historical analogy to U.S. foreign policy and societal developments in the 1960s and 1970s. Considering the slogan “Make Money, Not War” (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.) as appropriate here to generally reflect an (of course vastly more complex) neoliberal perspective on ascending China and the U.S. hegemon and imply one bold and

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

11

hence pursue overall economically based cooperation (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.). Accordingly, China’s tremendous economic (trade, financial and investment) linkages to an interdependent, globalizing world and especially the United States render a policy of confrontation and aggressive moves to change the U.S.-shaped (institutionalized) international system much too costly, and entail a Sino-U.S. relationship based on absolute (economic/plenty) gains, mutual coordination, and foreign policies that renounce the use of coercive diplomacy/military means. Through an (IR-) theoretic lens, this neoliberal picture consists mainly of contributions by interdependence analysis, globalization, capitalist peace, commercial liberalist and global governance approaches, game theory, regime theory and neoliberal institutionalism, as well as hypotheses from the economic sciences. On the other hand, there is the perspective of China “Showing the United States the Door” (Mearsheimer 2005b: 49). This “rather grim picture of world politics” (Mearsheimer 1994/1995: 9) reflects expectations of a 21st century shaped by power politics among major states – despite and because of globalization. Accordingly, China uses its growing capabilities to (partly) challenge the U.S. claim to leadership in the AsiaPacific (if not later Pax Americana per se) and seeks to (re-)establish (regional) hegemony on its own (Khalilzad et al. 1999: 70; Kissinger 2012; Friedberg 2011: 166). Pursuing (strategic) power politics, it tries to increase its security, capabilities, and influence on (neighboring) states, regions, (regional/global) institutions and agendas that may have been dominated by U.S. interests previously. Since “a change in power relations inevitably generates rivalry”, the potential for Sino-U.S. competition, arms races and (strategic) frictions rises (Nathan 2011: 155; Friedberg 2011; Glaser 2011a: 81). Such anticipations of the dynamics between the established U.S. hegemon and its “main emerging” or “most credible” (regional or once even global) “challenger” may be best located within a broad neorealist school of thought (Holslag 2010: 38; Kissinger 2012). As will become clear, though, the extent of pessimism or optimism (and the

simple reason for potential Sino-U.S. economically based cooperation in a globalizing world does of course not mean that geostrategist Brzezinski should be predominantly seen as a neoliberal, which is obviously not the case.

12

1 Introduction

grade of projected competition or cooperation in Sino-U.S. relations) depends on which strands of neorealist theory one adheres. Of course, the highlighting of the strong influence of neoliberal and neorealist perspectives in the discourse on Sino-U.S. relations, or of geoeconomic logics of interdependence, globalization and markets versus geopolitical logics of anarchy, security and strategic power politics (Sandschneider 2007: 16; Rode 2010: 427, Gilpin 1981: 19-21; 219; Barnett/ Sikkink 2008: 65; Jäger 2012c: 151; ten Brink 2011: 64f.; Overholt 2008: 234), may to a certain extent be a (legitimate) simplification. Given that any portrayed (dichotomic) rivalry between (grand) theoretical alternatives in a usually diverse (scholarly) debate on complex issues can ultimately be perceived as such, this may not be problematic. Constructivists for instance might though feel somewhat neglected in the theoretical dichotomy delineated above, and may point to their distinguished input to the debate15. There are yet several reasons for the prominence of neoliberal and neorealist (grand theory) perspectives in the deliberation on (post-Cold War/future) Sino-U.S. relations, as well as for choosing a rationalist research design in the thesis at hand. Firstly, a certain number of constructivist analyses have revealed results that can in the end be also attributed to the two dominant pictures delineated above. Johnston’s constructivist finding for instance that Chinese strategic culture has traditionally favored realpolitik (foreign policy) behavior16 would also be suggested by neorealist scholars17 (Johnston 1996). Secondly, Wendt’s distinctively constructivist perspective that the United States and China may potentially perceive each other no longer as

15

16 17

Constructivist studies have inter alia analyzed how the (civil) societies, elites, the media, “policy intellectuals”, leaders and policy makers in the PRC and the United States have perceived the bilateral relationship against the background of interdependence, relative capability shifts and specific empirical incidents (Li 2009: 6f.). As in many (North American) publications in IR, realpolitik and power politics will be used interchangeably in the thesis at hand. For a definition of realpolitik with references in particular to Machiavelli, see Waltz (1979: 117). The debate between cultural and structural realism is definitely a fertile one and will be revisited in Chapter 5.1.

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

13

Lockean rivals (or as Hobbesian enemies) but may socially (re-)construct themselves as friends in a Kantian way has been only subordinately present in the scholarly and public debate on (post-Cold War/future) superpower relations (Wendt 1999: 246-312; 1992: 400f., 420-22). The “Kantian contingency” may seem a bit too optimistic given the significant and so far persistent differences between the PRC and the United States regarding political systems, ideologies, history, culture/traditions, values and perceptions, religion, certain foreign policy goals and the various politicoeconomic and strategic conflicts (Betts 2010: 192; Kissinger 2011: 530). Thirdly, with contemporary constructivist research increasingly focusing on content analysis, the scholarly reconstruction of for instance collective perceptions remains in particular dependent on reliable, representative data. The latter are though rare concerning “a country like China where circulation of political information is closely monitored and tightly controlled by the government [and where] many Chinese publications tend to (…) provide academic justifications for official policies” (Li 2009: 7; 225). Moreover, limited access to the complex decision-making processes within the PRC administration and (state) institutions, the Communist Party of China (CPC) or the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), a Chinese political tradition of partly empty formula and flowery expressions concerning (foreign) policy goals, as well as the fact that the media/internet have been controlled by the propaganda department and other state institutions18 are further reasons19 to focus on the two prevailing rational-

18 19

Up to one million people in the PRC may work on close monitoring and control of the internet, digital/text phone messages, et cetera (Zakaria, cit. in Griffiths/Luciani 2011: 40). Even analysis of the perceptions of Chinese scholars and experts, which has partly been seen as a way out of the data and research dilemma concerning PRC (foreign) policy making and behavior may not offer a superior solution. For of course, scholarly and expert perceptions do not necessarily reflect the dominant views of leaders, (governmental) decision makers or those of the elite or (civil) society. They may thus mirror and influence the (foreign) policy making process only limitedly, even if their role – and especially the one of the Chinese IR community – has increased since the mid-1990s (Li 2009: 7; 30; 42; 221; 226). Schmidt and Heilmann for instance argue that during crisis or concerning key strategic issues such as great power, Taiwan or Korea policies, PRC foreign policy making remains still highly centralized on single leaders or narrow decision-making circles. Even usually well-informed Chinese scholars then often lack clear knowledge of the key actors and interests that may prevail in

14

1 Introduction

ist IR grand theory perspectives in the (scholarly) debate on Sino-U.S. relations and pursue a rationalist research design, here (Fravel 2008: 125f.; Bergsten et al. 2009: 199-201; Sandschneider 2007: 101f.; Nathan 2011: 156). Accordingly, the thesis will seek to advance and then empirically confront neoliberal and neorealist (grand theory) perspectives on post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations, also since “[s]o far, the China debate among international relations theorists has [mainly; J.V.] pitted optimistic liberals against pessimistic realists” (Glaser 2011a: 81). In contrast to his fallacy of anticipating a capitalist-democratic “end of history” in post-Cold War international relations (with the present-day PRC then embodying “an elephantsized exception” (Betts 2010: 191; Fukuyama 1992)), Fukuyama captures the two prevalent IR grand theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. ties quite well – and partly copes, as the thesis will elaborately do in Chapter Three, with respective options of PRC and U.S. (relational)20 foreign policy behavior: “[T]he United States can (…) seek to isolate China and mobilize the rest of Asia into a coalition to contain growing Chinese power, or it can try to incorporate China into a series of international institutions designed to channel Chinese ambitions and elicit cooperation. (…) [On the other hand; J.V.] the future of this relationship depends on (…) whether China provokes a showdown with Taiwan and uses its economic might to achieve Asian hegemony, or develops into an increasingly

20

the formulation of a foreign policy course (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 28; 62). Furthermore, Blasko highlights that officially stated PRC policies may partly differ from the actual (non-public) policy goals, and official sources may remain “vulnerable to mistakes, deliberate manipulation, and distortion for the purpose of propaganda” (Blasko 2012: xvi). Chinese (governmental) intentions or (governmental/societal) perceptions can thus only limitedly be identified/reconstructed via constructivist (mass media) content analysis. Weber uses the term social relationship to “denote the behavior of a plurality of actors insofar as, in its meaningful content, the action of each takes account of that of the others and is oriented in these terms” (Weber 1978: 26). Accordingly, PRC and U.S. relational foreign policy behavior comprises foreign policy action of the superpowers that is based on “at least a minimum of mutual orientation” and takes at least to some extent potential implications for and (re-)actions of the other one into consideration (Weber 1978: 26-28).

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

15

pluralistic society in which economic interests dictate continuing good relations” (Fukuyama 2005: 79). The Issue of (Future) PRC Political Stability Coming across growing Chinese pluralism, here, one may add a few thoughts on this and related issues such as (future) political stability and a potential democratization in China, for differing (scholarly) expectations in this realm have provided the (IR) debate on (post-Cold War/future) Sino-U.S. relations with additional momentum. Most strands of neorealism stay quite indifferent to variables within the first and second images of international relations21 (Waltz 1979), so that for instance the discrepancy in political systems and ideologies remains from that perspective of rather subordinate relevance for PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior. However, second image oriented (neo-)liberals usually cherish the assumption that an economically rising/more wealthy China may incrementally become more pluralist, liberalize also politically and may ultimately democratize, also since, according to democratic peace theory22, the chances for peace and cooperation between a democratic China and the democratic United States may at least in the middle to long term23 significantly increase (Li 2009: 12; Kant 2012 [1795]; Moravcsik

21

22

23

With respect to the major causes of war, Waltz seminally assigned (potential) variables to the following levels of analysis/categories: “within man [first image of international relations], within the structure of the separate states [second image], [and; J.V.] within the state system [third image]” (Waltz 1959: 12). Democratic peace theory has been traditionally linked to Kant’s liberal “philosophical sketch” of a “perpetual peace” among republics – and in particular to more recent research dealing with the statistical correlation that (and mostly neoliberal and constructivist explanations why) modern democracies have hardly waged war against each other (Kant 2012 [1795]; Moravcsik 2008: 244f.; 1997: 531f.; Hasenclever 2010; Ferguson 2006: 64). Several scholars argue that in regard to emerging or poor democracies, transitional states and mixed regimes, the risk of (nationalist) interstate war may actually increase during the (turbulent) process from autocratic to democratic rule, especially if incomplete democratic transition is coupled with weak (political) institutions (Mansfield/ Snyder 2005: 14; 4-18; 269; Weede 2010: 208; Moravcsik 2008: 245). Democratic peace theory may therefore be rather valid concerning relations between mature democracies. Accordingly, “[n]avigating the dangers of a transitional period in China could well be among the greatest geopolitical challenges facing the United States in the years ahead” (Friedberg 2005: 44). As will be further elaborated, due to analytical

16

1 Introduction

2008: 241f.; 244f.; 1997: 517; 530-532; Hasenclever 2010). As the PRC’s post-1989 democratic reform efforts (since the Tiananmen square massacre) have though at most been conducted at the local level24, projections of classical modernization theory that economic development will almost automatically entail also increasing civic participation and democratization (initiatives) have proven too simplistic (Leonard 2009: 77-112; Weede 2010: 208; Morrison 2003: 43f.; Norris 2002: 36-57). Moreover, although some stress on the international system and U.S. foreign policy has ceased in so far as the post-Mao leadership in the PRC has no longer actively supported a (Chinese diaspora oriented) export of Maoist/ Communist ideology to (Southeast) Asia via Communist insurgencies (Kissinger 2011: 357-359), China’s politico-economic model of an authoritarian government and a market economy – often called the “Beijing Consensus” – represents (at least for developing countries under autocratic rule) a to some extent rival alternative to the capitalist-democratic “Washington Consensus” (Nye 2010b: 144f.; Jäger 2012c: 159; Overholt 2008: 118-120; 226; Ramo 2004). Consequently, against the background that many (neo-)liberals and democratic peace theorists still perceive democratic political institutions as an important precondition for long-term peaceful (and cooperative) Sino-U.S. relations, the so far weak signs of a fundamental democratization of the PRC’s political (Communist oneparty) system, its persistent violations of human rights, as well as the risks of a potential Chinese transitional (democratization) period have stepped up worries and gave further impetus to the ongoing scholarly and public debate on the (future/post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. relationship: “If economic liberalization is decoupled from political democratization, it may underwrite conflict rather than cooperation. (…) The possibility of this

24

reasons regarding research design and parsimony, second image (neo-)liberal arguments can though be only very limitedly considered in the primarily systemic neoliberal (grand theory) picture of post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations developed in the thesis at hand, so that issues of PRC and U.S. (differences in) political systems and ideologies will be analytically left aside in the following. For a more optimistic view on the evolution and prospects of the various political and in particular (local) (quasi-)democratic experiments in the PRC, the growth of “accountability mechanisms” and the political reform debate in China, see Overholt (2008: 114-120).

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

17

combination in China's future (...) makes it the great power in the region about which U.S. strategists should worry most over the long term” (Betts 1993: 36; 75; Weede 2010: 208; Möller 2004a: 5). On the whole, one may quite assume that if the PRC (CPC) leadership and state authorities will fail to provide a continued developmental/(re-) distributive, economically based output legitimacy as well as at least some form of transparency, accountability and improved rule of law in the future, potentially increasing domestic opposition, mass incidents25 and the growing pluralization of Chinese society might then once threaten political stability even if the leadership tries to play the nationalist card (Lampton 2011: 114f.). Premises such as political/social stability (or at least a relatively smooth political/social evolution) and significant economic growth rates remain thus fundamental for the anticipation of a future Chinese superpower role (Friedberg 2010: 34f.; Fukuyama 2012; Nye 2010a: 4; 10; Kennedy 2002; Tammen et al. 2000: 155f; Sandschneider 2007: 87-91; Giersch 2012; Zhao 2007: 622). Even though several “Asian-miracle economies have experienced relatively smooth transitions [from autocratic] to more popularly accountable systems” (Overholt 2008: 120), the assertion that a “Chinese challenge is by no means assured” (Tammen et al. 2000: 42) and potential domestic (political, social and economic) instabilities/risks26 have thus evolved as stand-

25

26

The number of “mass incidents” in the PRC (petitions, sit-ins, demonstrations, strike, ethnical upheaval and violent clashes with security forces) roughly increased tenfold between 1993 and 2004 (Leonard 2009: 103; Hilpert et al. 2005: 12-14; Sandschneider 2007: 85). Persistently high economic growth rates/proceeding economic development and the growing (global) economic embeddedness of the PRC (especially since the WTO accession in 2001) as well as pollution (records), social/ethnic tensions and the growing pluralization of Chinese society have thereby inter alia been linked to probably further increases in mass incidents, (internet) protests and growing strains on (political/social) stability in recent years (Economy 2010: 143-145; Goldstein 2007: 643; Fravel 2010: 519; Friedberg 2010: 34f.; Möller 2004a: 7; IISS 2009: 363). Political unrest in Tibet in 2008, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in 2009 or the rigorous domestic reactions of the PRC security apparatus given the bottom-up revolutions in Northern Africa and the Middle East in/since 2011 may further support this presumption. Sandschneider even speaks of a Chinese domestic “tinder box” (Sandschneider 2007: 229).

18

1 Introduction

ard-question marks in almost any scholarly publication on China’s (postCold War) rise towards a (future) superpower and potential (regional) contender of the United States. Since forecasting remains a controversial and difficult task in the social sciences, the thesis at hand copes deliberately with the (re-)construction and retrospective testing of two dominant IR (grand) theory perspectives on post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations. Issues of (future) political/social stability and a potential Chinese democratization play thus only a subordinate role in the following, also since the focus lies primarily on developing and empirically verifying grand theory pictures of Sino-U.S. relations. As a result, the elaborated rivalry between neoliberal and neorealist (third image) perspectives on Sino-U.S. ties, and thus whether the relationship has “ultimately [been] one of strategic competition or [of economically driven; J.V.] accommodation” (Taylor 2011: 872), evolves even more trenchantly. Research Question and Foci The thesis bears the title “The Relationship between the Ascending People’s Republic of China and the Hegemonic United States since the End of the Cold War. Economically Based Cooperation or Strategic Power Politics?”. Based on the analysis of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, it (re-)constructs and empirically verifies two dominant IR grand theory perspectives on post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations – a neoliberal versus a neorealist one – to answer the following research question: Has the ascent of the People’s Republic of China evoked a relationship with the hegemonic United States characterized rather by economically based cooperation27 or by strategic power politics28 since the end of the Cold War? The former will be predicted by neoliberalism, the latter by neorealism. More specifically, the thesis explores if economically motivated political cooperation in an interdependent, globalizing post-Cold War world has been the stronger (neoliberal) mover of Sino-U.S. relations or if (neorealist) power politics, strategic considera-

27 28

For a distinctive elaboration and conceptualization of (PRC and U.S.) economically based cooperation, see Chapter 3.1. For a distinctive elaboration and conceptualization of (PRC and U.S.) strategic power politics, see Chapter 3.2.

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

19

tions and superpower rivalry have instead prevailed. Hence, the thesis copes with (grand) theories explaining (ongoing) dynamics in world politics, the discipline’s center of gravity (Dunne et al. 2013: v). It thereby systematically addresses a major IR research deficit also in so far as “the main schools of general theory of international relations are not proven in any scientific sense: rather they constitute ways of perceiving international relations, metaphors or models which appeal to their adherents because that is the way they prefer to view the world” (Wilkinson 2007: 2). The latter may not only seem dissatisfying from an epistemological/ methodological point of view, but implies also a dilemma for decision makers: “Unless the underlying logic is examined rather than assumed, policy proposals often argue past each other because proponents take their premises for granted” (Betts 1993: 36). It has thus been (and will continue to be) one of the most evident research tasks in the discipline of International Relations to advance its theoretical body both by theory (re-) construction and (empirical) verification. As the research design (which will be elaborated in Chapter 1.3) will make clear, the thesis deliberately contributes to both aspects of this research tradition. Detailed analysis of (trends in) PRC and U.S. economic and military capabilities and interdependence since the end of the Cold War provides the basis for reconstructing the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties. Based on this major structural foundation, the thesis then (re-) designs an eclectic neoliberal and an eclectic neorealist grand theory picture of Sino-U.S. (and international) relations. Subsequently, it deduces eight respective hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue. These competing neoliberal and neorealist hypotheses will then be “confronted with empirical facts” (Opp 2005: 195; 190-203) and “tested for congruence” (Bennett 2004: 24f.) via four (qualitative) case studies on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue in the maximum post-Cold War time period so far (namely between December 1991 and January 2017). Accordingly, the thesis ultimately provides a judgment on the explanatory power of IR grand theory perspectives and the character of Sino-U.S. relations concerning the last quarter of a century, thereby pursuing two broader research interests.

20

1 Introduction

Firstly, it builds upon selected findings from the third theory debate in IR as well as on recent (theoretical and methodological) research to eclectically (re-)construct and then empirically verify two major IR grand theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. relations. This may yield some fertile results for the ongoing IR (grand) theory debate on the explanatory power/validity of competing paradigms and approaches – and may inter alia add some momentum also to the discourse on a comeback of (neo-)realist approaches and a potential revival of power politics in post-Cold War and especially 21st century international relations (Mearsheimer 2013: 91; Betts 2010: 188; Elman/Jensen 2013: 20; Snyder 2004a: 53-56; Walt 1998: 35; 43; 2002: 197f.; 219; 230; Ferris 2010: 251; Baylis/Wirtz 2010: 14; Schörnig 2010: 67f.; Schieder/Spindler 2010: 10f.). Besides, the thesis hopes to stimulate further theoretically well-grounded research on the relationship between China and the United States, as well as on the (politico-economic) effects of the rise of major newly industrializing countries. Secondly, to put it carefully with respect to the many pitfalls and weak record of prognoses in the social sciences, showing that one theory has been more accurate in explaining post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue) confirms anticipated causal relations, conditions and broad (structural/behavioral) trends/tendencies in Sino-U.S. and international relations that have been active to date, and might still be active tomorrow (Kennedy 1987: 438-441; Betts 2010: 193). This naturally entails consequences for the perception of China’s ascent, and the formulation of respective (foreign) policies: “By liberal logic, other countries are more dangerous if they are lean and hungry than if they are fat and happy. Realists, however, worry that prosperity may just make them muscular and ambitious. Prospects for China (…) thus have radically different implications for stability, depending on which models of the causes of war and peace are superimposed on the future” (Betts 1993: 50). Of course, (U.S.) foreign policy makers and pundits differ widely if a strategy of engaging China actually means “Fostering Stability or Creating a Monster” (Christensen 2006: 81) – with most of them probably lying in between. Nevertheless, the influence on (foreign) policy making of the two dominant IR grand theory perspectives (re-)constructed and empirically

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

21

verified in the thesis at hand should not be underestimated: “Assumptions about cause and effect in most arguments derive, often unconsciously, from these philosophies” (Betts 1993: 35; Kast 1997: 25). Accordingly, the thesis may provide some substantial “anchor” knowledge on the explanatory power of neoliberal and neorealist IR (grand) theory perspectives as well as on where China and the United States have been heading to in the post-Cold War era – which may be of significant value for (foreign) policy and decision makers29 (Betts 2010: 194; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 38). After all, “the approaches they select to meet the China challenge will have great impact on not only their relations with China but also the strategic balance of the future world” (Zhao/Liu 2007: 585; Pan 2004: 325f.). Or, to put it with Glaser, “the outcome of China's rise will depend (…) on how well U.S. and Chinese leaders manage the situation” (Glaser 2011a: 81). Overall, the relevance of the relationship between ascending China and the hegemonic United States for world politics, the world economy, and the discipline of IR has become more than obvious. Today, we take for granted that international relations, the world economy, science or (world) culture have been heavily influenced by the United States (Zakaria 2008: 2). However, if the international system is – despite and because of globalization – becoming increasingly shaped (again) by the interaction of old and new super-/major powers, and in particular by a potential Chinese (regional) challenger and the established hegemon United States, then the discipline of International Relations may greatly profit from tested (IR grand) theories and theory-guided analyses/knowledge that help to explain such fundamental processes (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 38). Exploring if post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations have been rather (neoliberally) marked by economically based cooperation or (neorealistically) by strategic power politics may significantly contribute to this end; apart from enriching the IR (theory) debate, the thesis thereby hopes to provide

29

From a more humble perspective, the thesis may at least help (foreign) policy and decision makers to structure thoughts and reflect on (often implicit) estimations of cause and effect. This may inter alia promote intersubjective debate and foster the development of adequate (policy) solutions.

22

1 Introduction

some valuable insights into one of the central political and economic relationships of the 21st century. 1.2

Review of Literature

1.2 Review of Literature

As has already been indicated, reams of publications have dealt with the (structural) rise of major threshold countries and the implications for world politics and the world economy. The (re-)emergence of (potential) super-/ great powers in Asia, and most obviously ascending China have thereby ranked prominently in the scholarly and public debate. Naturally, these structural shifts have often been analyzed with respect to the (perceived) fixed point in post-Cold War international relations so far: the hegemonic United States. The rise of China and its impact on Sino-U.S. relations have thus increasingly gained attention; this has been reflected in the publication market as well, especially since the world economic crisis in 2007-2009 and the relenting boom of publications on 9/11 and the GWOT after the retreat of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 and the significant reduction of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2011-2014 (Vogelmann 2011: 385387; 403; The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 2013: 49; Vogt 2011). Accordingly, the present thesis on the relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States lies within a core area of interest of International Relations, the social and economic sciences, and the scholarly and public debate in general. Nevertheless, the research debate is still far from reaching its climax. Not only in regard to the proceeding empirical (structural) shifts and interdependencies in Sino-U.S. ties, which will be closely analyzed in Chapter Two, but also with respect to the so far rather limited theoretical and theory-guided insights into the superpower relationship, it seems to be no bold prediction that subsequent scholars may once describe the U.S.China debate of the first years of the 21st century as having still been in its infancy. As Wu for instance argues, “[b]ooks on China and its impact on the world are flying off the shelves of major bookshops. These are [yet] generally written by authors with no academic background and

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authority to speak of” (Wu 2009: 1). Although this perspective may be provocatively and somewhat broad-brush, Wu though indicates not without cause that the debate on the ascent of China has often lacked theoretical embeddedness, depth, and a scholarly orientation towards theory advancement and/or empirical verification. In other words, employment of IR (grand) theories in publications on rising China and Sino-U.S. relations in particular has thus often remained cursory. Neoliberal and neorealist perspectives, and respective (foreign policy) predictions30 and hypotheses that are systematically tested empirically via qualitative and/or quantitative methods have all the more been in the minority. Rather, largely “atheoretical” empirical descriptions or essayistic interpretations, sometimes based only on anecdotal evidence, seem to preponderate – and may thereby entail the risk of erratic conclusions. Of course, this is to be regretted from an epistemological/methodological point of view, for China’s increasing global significance and the development of Sino-U.S. relations in particular imply a major contemporary challenge to IR (grand) theory – and hence provide crucial opportunities for verifying and advancing generic, systematic, and causal knowledge that constitutes the foundation of the IR discipline (Fravel 2010: 526; Schieder/ Spindler 2010: 10f.). Unlike the majority of publications on Sino-U.S. relations so far, the thesis hence deliberately opted for applying an IR grand theory oriented research design. Seeking to answer the (grand) theory driven research question if the ascent of China has evoked a relationship with the hegemonic United States characterized rather by economically based cooperation or by strategic power politics, it strives to enable both theoretical progress in IR and to provide advanced theory-guided (empirical) insights into post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations. The following review of literature thereby focuses in particular on differences of previous publications with the research design at hand, and points to remaining research gaps

30

According to Elman, “a foreign-policy prediction can be either a retrodiction or a forecast. (…) retrodictive predictions deal with outcomes that have already occurred. Forecasts deal with future outcomes that are expected to occur. While it seems counterintuitive to talk about ‘predicting’ events that have already taken place, in fact the great majority of predictions in international relations theories are of historical events” (Elman 1996a: 13).

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1 Introduction

whose closing the thesis seeks to contribute to. Due to time and space constraints, it is naturally only possible to sketch few publications that the author perceives as particularly influential or meaningful in the context of the thesis. Giving an example for the neglect of (IR) theory in recent publications on ascending China and Sino-U.S. relations, Schmidt and Heilmann’s otherwise brilliant monograph on Chinese foreign policy and foreign trade copes for instance almost solely with empirics, and deliberately rejects explicit linkages to IR approaches (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012). Since the authors though inevitably reenter (as any scholar) the realm of theory when interpreting the empirical “facts”, their concepts and models behind these interpretations have to remain implicit and vague. Of course, reading between the lines suggests that the authors are no strong adherents of a (neo-)realist worldview. On the whole, however, their analysis lacks comprehensiveness in so far as theoretical perspectives or at least some theoretical links could have quite been included. Even more decidedly, Sandschneider criticizes the “Begriffslastigkeit” of standardized (IR) theory debate on international politics31, which he argues to have almost no effects in the public sphere (Sandschneider 2007: 3). The thesis at hand does not share this skeptical view. At first, as has been indicated, the influence of (IR) theory on (U.S. and PRC) foreign policy making should not be underrated (Betts 1993: 35; Li 2009: 7). Furthermore, it may exactly be the standardization of theoretical language in the sense of an intersubjectively shared meaning of technical terms and scholarly concepts that paves the way towards improved accuracy of applied models and explanations, easier structuring/comparability of perceptions, as well as heightened possibilities for the generalization of case-specific findings. Since “we approach everything in the light of a preconceived theory”

31

Sandschneider argues that the multitude of specific scholarly concepts and definitions in political science and IR debates make these hard to understand or participate in for laymen. Accordingly, they might apparently become only accessible “to professional hikers in the academic ivory towers” (Sandschneider 2007: 3; translation by author). This has though been the case in any advanced discipline of science and embodies a precondition for (theory-guided) research progress, as will be argued in the following.

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(Popper 1970: 52), explication of afore implicit (subjective) mental models and thus “intersubjectivity” of debate has long been established as a core element of science; the process towards a common scholarly realm of explicitly standardized theory concepts may thus be a significant driver of IR research progress, and promises to reduce at least to some (limited) extent the huge backlog to the far more successful natural sciences, who have greatly benefitted – among other major factors – from the strict clarity of standardized mathematical language. In this respect, Sandschneider’s monograph might be stronger popular science oriented and may not directly seek to advance the IR theory debate or to provide theory-guided insights into China’s rise and its relations with the United States and “the West” (Sandschneider 2007). By contrast, although Kissinger’s recent publication “On China” has found reception by a wider public, it has proven to be enormously influential in the academic realm as well (Kissinger 2011). This has not only been due to this high-profile author, but also due to his abundant use of high-level primary sources. The monograph embodies a formidable synopsis, not to say one of the most comprehensive publications on Chinese foreign policy interaction with the West/the United States, offering excellent insight views on the thinking of Chinese leaders especially since Mao Zedong. Nevertheless, Kissinger stays at best implicitly realist, and barely copes with, designs or empirically verifies distinctive IR (grand) theories. “On China”, with its multitude of integrated, though sometimes underspecified variables, is definitely not a parsimonious, theory-guided analysis. It embodies a thoroughly legitimate, but different research intent and design than the thesis at hand, also since it touches upon Taiwan and Korea issues only peripherally. Beyond that, Kissinger’s emphasis on a Chinese singularity, and his optimism regarding a potential realization of a Sino-U.S.-led “Pacific Community” may not be completely shared, here (Kissinger 2011: 527-530)32. Last but not least, in contrast to Kissinger’s

32

As indicated, the thesis at hand does not perceive China as a power so specific in its historic, cultural or societal context that general or systemic IR (grand) theories could not be successfully applied to explain patterns of its (foreign policy) behavior. Kissinger should though also not be misconceived in this regard – his notion of a “singu-

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1 Introduction

argument that the United States has “the capacity (…) to arrest or perhaps reverse by its own efforts” the Sino-U.S. “gap in development [velocity]” (Kissinger 2011: 525), the thesis at hand perceives the available U.S. (fiscal-economic) freedom of action more limited and points to the enormous “natural” (population-based) Chinese potential. A detailed analysis of Sino-U.S. capability shifts, structural ties and interdependence (especially in the economic and military realm) would though have gone beyond the scope of Kissinger’s already voluminous monograph. Consequently, the thesis takes “On China’s” rather peripheral consideration of structural (economic and military) aspects as a starting point and closely analyzes in Chapter Two the (post-Cold War) structural frame of SinoU.S. ties, whereupon the neoliberal and neorealist grand theory pictures of the relationship will then be (re-)constructed. More pessimistically than Kissinger, Friedberg argues that ties between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States will in the longer term be increasingly marked by intense competition for power/influence and supremacy in Asia (Friedberg 2011; 2012). Yet, he does (as well) not deal with IR theory advancement and empirical verification in the narrow sense. Analyzing in his 2011 monograph the current deliberation on, and the historic development of Sino-U.S. relations, he rather focuses on prominent U.S. China policy buzzwords such as containment, alignment or “congagement”33 (Friedberg 2011: 58-119). Consequently, the publication takes on a quite comprehensive, but at the same time rather essayistic character. In addition, it differs from the thesis at hand by paying little attention to proceeding Sino-U.S. shifts in economic capabilities and strong bilateral interdependence (see thereunto also Jacques 2011). In contrast to his publication in 2011, Friedberg’s article in 2005 (on “The Future of U.S.-China Relations”) considers explicitly the “three main camps in contemporary international relations theorizing: liberalism, realism, and constructivism” (Friedberg 2005: 7; 9). For

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larity” of China is far less absolute than many of his critics presume. Reproaches of cultural determinism are thus of little substance (see thereunto also Jäger 2012a). These terms will be elaborated further below.

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each of these paradigms, it discusses an optimistic and a pessimistic variant concerning future Sino-U.S. ties, resulting in six theoretical lenses (Friedberg 2005: 10). This theoretical contribution is to be welcomed, but has at the same time little in common with the research design of the thesis at hand. Rather than reconstructing competing (optimistic/pessimistic) intra-paradigm perspectives like Friedberg, the thesis seeks to deduce stringently one most plausible hypothesis for each (neoliberal and neorealist) grand theory perspective and case. Leaving, unlike Friedberg, constructivism aside (for elaborated reasons), the thesis then empirically verifies these hypotheses; this ultimately enables conclusions on the character of post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations. Despite these differences in research purpose and design, Friedberg’s brilliant analytical insights into the various streams of (intra-)theoretical debate on the U.S.-China dyad and in terms of the future of the relationship have though proven to be fertile for the thesis at hand – and the discipline of IR in general (Friedberg 2005). As Friedberg, Wagener points to significant research deficits concerning Sino-U.S. competition for power and influence (Wagener 2009: xii; Friedberg 2011: xiii-xv). Applying a neorealist lens, he finally corroborates the existence of a U.S. security strategy for Southeast Asia (and the AsiaPacific) against the background of a perceived Chinese (regional) longterm challenge – and confirms the utility of “functional offensive neorealism” for explaining U.S. security policy in Southeast Asia (Wagener 2009: xif.; 15-17; 407-410; 785-791; 820f.). Wagener’s focus on (a potential) U.S. security strategy, on a specific neorealist approach and Southeast Asia though reflects a different research perspective than in the thesis at hand – also since he does not cope in the narrow sense with competitive grand theory testing, a neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations, the Taiwan issue or the North Korea issue. Similarly, Nathan and Scobell’s excellent, “mostly realist” (and partly constructivist) analysis of Chinese foreign policy does only shortly consider “the U.S. Threat”, Taiwan, North and South Korea – and does even less so deal with (neo-) liberalism (Nathan/Scobell 2012: xvi; 89-138; 193-240). Their research intention is to comprehensively assess “China’s Search For Security”,

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1 Introduction

and not to explicitly (re-)design and empirically verify IR grand theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. relations (Nathan/Scobell 2012). Kast gives at least some attention to IR theory in his monograph on the China policy and East Asia strategy of the Clinton administration; he considers neorealism on eleven, and liberalist, institutionalist and interdependence approaches on four pages (Kast 1997). However, the limited amount of space given to these theory schools already reveals that he copes (as well) only subordinately with IR grand theory. As he does not empirically (competitively) verify theoretical alternatives, but ultimately develops scenarios of future Sino-U.S. relations, it becomes evident that Kast pursues a different research intention than the thesis at hand. Additionally, he almost exclusively copes with the U.S., but not explicitly with the Chinese perspective (Kast 1997: 6). Similarly, Kast’s dissertation in 1998 deals predominantly with the U.S. strategic perspective (and a “new” international order) in the Asia-Pacific, and finally delineates a U.S. (minimalist, off-shore balancing) strategy for a (so perceived) increasingly multipolar state system in the region, thereby considering China, Japan, Russia, the two Koreas, Taiwan, and the ASEAN (Kast 1998: 31; 40-146; 162; 239; 253-260). The thesis at hand may thus to a certain extent verify some of Kast’s (almost) 20-year-old findings (Kast 1997; 1998). Building upon detailed analysis of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of SinoU.S. ties, and dealing with the (re-)construction and empirical verification of two influential IR grand theory perspectives (via four qualitative case studies on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue), it though markedly differs from Kast’s 1997 and 1998 monographs – and hopes to provide some valuable theory-guided insights into (the character of) post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations. In a 2006 journal article titled “Fostering Stability or Creating a Monster”, Christensen deals with two competing theoretical lenses on U.S. policy towards East Asia/China and on (regional) trends in post-Cold War SinoU.S. relations that have quite some common ground with the IR grand theory pictures (re-)designed and empirically tested in the thesis at hand

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(Christensen 2006). On a closer inspection, it becomes though clear that Christensen’s positive-sum versus zero-sum theoretical perspectives vary significantly from the here developed neoliberal and neorealist picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular – for Christensen (re-) constructs both the positive- and the zero-sum lens by reverting to a mixture of arguments from all three dominant (neorealist, neoliberal, and constructivist) IR grand theory schools (Christensen 2006: 84). Furthermore, he does not deal with empirical verification of the theory lenses, and ultimately focuses on a moderate synthesis model. The thesis thus differs from Christensen’s 2006 article by (re-)constructing – and empirically verifying – two alternative IR grand theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. relations that deliberately remain within the paradigmatic borders of neoliberalism and neorealism. Two in many aspects excellent articles of Goldstein (1997/1998 and 2007) resemble the thesis in so far as he deals in 1997/1998 inter alia with estimating the PRC increase in (relative) capabilities, as well as with some theoretical (power, regime, institutional, interdependence and nuclear peace) perspectives on the international implications of that rise (Goldstein 1997/1998). Furthermore, Goldstein perceives the Sino-U.S. flashpoints in the Taiwan Strait and on the Korean Peninsula (as well as in the South China Sea) as adequate empirical cases in the post-Cold War era for verifying two competing IR theory perspectives (Goldstein 2007). The two articles though count only about 40 pages each, and have to rely on “still skimpy”, “arguably inconclusive” and “admittedly incomplete” evidence; Goldstein’s “preliminary assessment” thus remains far more limited in scope, aspiration, and findings than the thesis at hand – also as the latter takes advantage of analyzing post-Cold War empirical (structural and behavioral) data from the last quarter of a century (Goldstein 2007: 639-642; 657f.; 676; 1997/1998). What is more, Goldstein deals in his 2007 contribution with two narrow, clearly defined approaches of power transition theory and institutionalism (Goldstein 2007: 639641). In contrast, the thesis analyzes the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties and (re-)constructs thereupon a broad, eclectic and complex neoliberal and neorealist picture of world politics and Sino-U.S.

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1 Introduction

relations in particular. Not surprisingly, the here derived hypotheses thus vary significantly from Goldstein’s theoretical deductions. Last but not least, Goldstein might treat power transition theory too simplistic, at least according to the influential school of Organski and his successors (Tammen et al. 2000); Goldstein does for instance not specify a variable that Organski’s power transition theorists perceive as central for the deduction of hypotheses inter alia on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior and the character of Sino-U.S. relations – namely to define if ascending China has been/will be a satisfied (status quo) or a dissatisfied (revisionist) power (Goldstein 2007: 640f.; Tammen et al. 2000: 9-13; Tammen 2006: 571; Fravel 2010: 505; Johnston 2003). Picking up here some arguments of Tammen et al. (2000), these scholars project that until 2050, China may likely pass the United States in overall power – and that 21st century international relations may (hence) become increasingly marked by Sino-U.S. rivalry (Tammen et al. 2000: 153-193; Kugler 2006: 36; 39). While the thesis at hand quite profits from the insights of Organski’s power transition school, it though draws in Chapter 3.2.3 only to a certain extent upon the respective theory; the approach still leaves open too many questions – inter alia on how to answer in a methodologically sound and sophisticated way if a state has been/will be satisfied or dissatisfied (Tammen et al. 2000: 9-13; Goldstein 2007: 640f.). Bailey touches as well upon research questions related to the thesis when reflecting for instance on “whether China’s power would be exercised through economic strength alone, or whether it would take on some military aspect (…) [or when pointing out that; J.V.] [t]he debate as to whether China will be a benign or a menacing power in the twenty-first century and how others should best react, by cooperating, containing, or challenging, preoccupies policy makers. This is especially so in the USA” (Bailey 2007: 213; 4). His monograph though differs fundamentally from the thesis at hand as it neither copes with a systematic analysis of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, nor with IR grand theory (re-)construction and (case-specific) empirical verification – but develops instead inter alia a centennial perspective on great power strategy and behavior in (East) Asia (Bailey 2007: 111-227). In contrast, Foot’s

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short examination of modes of regional security/conflict management in the South China Sea, the (China-)Taiwan issue, and concerning the Korean Peninsula bears similarities with the present thesis insofar as it concludes that these empirical cases confirm the significance of realist (deterrence) and liberal (economically based) factors – though also of constructivist ones (Foot 2007: 103-112). Overall, however, arguing that realism, liberalism, and constructivism more or less matter all three in these cases is not necessarily a new finding in IR (Foot 2007: 110-112). Lee’s dissertation on the Taiwan issue, which focuses on the U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific after the end of the Cold War, considers neoliberal and neorealist grand theories and respective conceptions of U.S. strategic behavior on thirteen pages (Lee 2003: 28-40). Yet, in the following main analysis, he only limitedly takes these IR theory aspects into account (Lee 2003). By contrast, Cho provides a comprehensive, theoryguided analysis of post-Cold War U.S. North Korea policy and resulting North Korean options for action (Cho 2007). Both Lee and Cho do though not focus on IR (grand) theory (re-)construction and empirical verification in the narrow sense, and thus feature related, but different research intentions and designs than the thesis at hand (Lee 2003; Cho 2007). Cho for instance copes with (neo-)realist, but hardly with neoliberal perspectives, deals with U.S., but only limitedly with PRC foreign and security policy, and concentrates on North Korea, but hardly on the Taiwan issue (Cho 2007). Just as the vast majority of publications on post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations, the four scholarly contributions reviewed in this paragraph thus vary significantly from the developed research design of the thesis at hand – which deduces from two influential, reconstructed IR grand theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. relations respective hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior concerning two major (bilateral/regional) flashpoints, and then, after empirically verifying these deductions, draws conclusions regarding the IR (grand) theory debate and (the character of) Sino-U.S. relations in particular. As indicated in the introduction, Mearsheimer and Brzezinski’s short repartee in 2005 on the implications of China’s rise for future Sino-U.S. ties

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1 Introduction

and the (mid- to long-term) risk of war served as a source of inspiration for the thesis at hand (Brzezinski 2005a; 2005b; 2005c; Mearsheimer 2005a; 2005b; 2005c). Brzezinski’s key phrase “Make Money, Not War” for instance represents a strong line of reasoning in the here developed neoliberal picture of word politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.). Furthermore, Mearsheimer’s argumentation implies an impressive, stringently formulated (though too narrow) neorealist projection of the further course of the superpower relationship in the 21st century (Mearsheimer 2005a; 2005b; 2005c). Barely occupying five pages, the discourse between these two IR heavyweights can though naturally be only taken as a starting point. In the end, the thesis thus (re-) constructs (and empirically verifies) a broad, eclectic and (more) complex neorealist and neoliberal perspective on Sino-U.S. relations. Similarly, Mearsheimer’s two-page “case study” concerning offensive and defensive neorealist perspectives on the issue if China “can (…) rise peacefully” has been a further source of inspiration when developing the thesis’ multifaceted neorealist picture of Sino-U.S. ties (Mearsheimer 2013: 8890). In regard to the multitude of constructivist publications on China and Sino-U.S. relations, one may inter alia pick out Johnston’s prominent contribution in 1996, which argues that due to a persistent Chinese “parabellum” strategic culture prevailing over a pacifist/accommodationist (idealist) Confucian-Mencian paradigm, China has predominantly pursued a (cultural realist, ideationally based) realpolitik foreign policy in historic, Maoist, and post-Maoist times; as already indicated, neorealists would anticipate Chinese realpolitik (foreign policy) behavior as well, though naturally premised on a different structural, anarchy- and capability-based, model of explanation (Johnston 1996: 217-221; 248). Scobell, too, confirms a strong realpolitik strategic tradition in China, and finds at the same time an influential, more conflict-averse, defensive-minded paradigm; he then argues that this dualistic interplay results in a strategic culture termed the “Chinese Cult of Defense, in which realist behavior dominates but is justified as defensive on the basis of a pacifist selfperception” (Scobell 2003: 38; 1-5; 9; 15-39; 192-198). In contrast to

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Johnston and Scobell, it has become clear that the present thesis does (for elaborated reasons) not follow a constructivist research tradition, but pursues to (re-)construct/enhance and (competitively) verify neoliberal and neorealist IR grand theory pictures of Sino-U.S. relations. Its findings (inter alia) on post-Cold War PRC (relational) foreign policy behavior and the character of Sino-U.S. ties may though to a certain degree enable a judgement to what extent Johnston’s and Scobell’s conclusions regarding Chinese external behavior have still remained valid; with the ongoing (politico-economic and military) rise, strong interdependence and the increasing significance of China in the post-Cold War world, theoryguided research inter alia on China’s strategic (foreign policy) orientation, behavior and respective implications has become even more relevant than in 1996 and 2003 (Johnston 1996; Scobell 2003). Rather than relying (like Johnston and Scobell) on constructivist (content) analysis of writings by Sun Tzu, Confucius, Mencius, and Mao in particular and of Chinese strategic culture in general (Johnston 1996; Scobell 2003), the thesis at hand though deliberately focuses on a rationalist research design – more precisely on (quantitative and qualitative) analysis of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, respective (re-)construction of two rationalist, predominantly structuralist IR grand theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. relations, and their empirical verification. Returning finally to an issue already mentioned when discussing Friedberg (2011), any review of literature on Sino-U.S. relations has to deal with the ongoing debate on (the appropriate) U.S. China policy/strategy, a deliberation often circling around the prominent, but simplistic buzzwords engagement versus containment (see for instance Betts 1993: 54; Christensen 2006: 125; Economy 2010: 151; Friedberg 2011: 58-119; Friedrich 2000: 129; Goldstein 2007: 646; Kast 1998: 96-112; Khalilzad et al. 1999: xvf.; 63-75; Kirshner 2012: 53; Lee 2003: 4f.; Mearsheimer 2001: 400-402; Möller 2002: 5; 19f.; Nye 1997: 75f.; Rudolf 2006: 6; 10-18). Several authors thereby find a U.S. “two-pronged strategy” in their analyses of past U.S. behavior (Friedberg 2012: 48) – and/or advocate a “via media” for future U.S. China policy: “[A] ‘third way’ policy would continue to try to bring China into the current international system while both pre-

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1 Introduction

paring for [and strategically hedging against; J.V.] a possible Chinese challenge to it” (Khalilzad et al. 1999: xvi; 72; Medeiros 2005/2006: 145153; Rudolf 2006: 6; 11-18). Such combination concepts have inter alia been termed U.S. “modified”, “limited”, “conditioned/selective” or “constructive” engagement (Khalilzad et al. 1999: xvi; 72f.; Khalilzad 1999; Gill 1999: 75f.; Kast 1998: 96; 255; Nye 1997: 75), “congagement” (Khalilzad et al. 1999: 72-75; Khalilzad 1999; Friedberg 2011: 88-119; Rudolf 2006: 6; 11-18), as well as “gentle” or “polite” containment (Möller 2002: 5; 19f.; Betts 1993: 54). From a skeptical view, however, one may argue that thoughtless/inadequate application of such denominations implies significant scholarly risks and (analytical) weaknesses (Nye 1997: 75f.). Oftentimes, terms on the engagement-containment scale built only on few aspects of the far more complex, sophisticated neoliberal, neorealist, constructivist or further IR bodies of thought behind. In other words, underspecified concepts such as “limited engagement” may imply the risk of erratic perception. Consequently, the thesis shares the view that unless closely related or integrated into a broader IR theory framework, “[b]uzzwords such as ‘containment,’ ‘engagement,’ (…) ‘congagement’ (…) the notion of a ‘G-2’ [or of ‘Chimerica’; J.V.] will (…) [hardly; J.V.] be useful concepts in the years to come” (Economy 2010: 151). According to a strictly theory-oriented research design, the thesis thus applies terms such as engagement and containment only with a clear reference to the (re-)constructed neoliberal and neorealist (grand) theory perspectives. On the whole, the review of literature on (ascending) China and Sino-U.S. ties has revealed a significant research gap: while systematic, theoryguided studies have been in the minority, complex IR (grand) theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. relations have even less so been developed, confronted, and empirically tested. Accordingly, the research design of the thesis seeks to (re-)construct and then empirically verify two broad/eclectic neoliberal and neorealist (grand) theory perspectives on the post-Cold War relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States.

1.3 Research Design

1.3

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Research Design

1.3 Research Design

The research question of the thesis meets central scholarly requirements: if the ascent of China has evoked a relationship with the hegemonic United States characterized by economically based cooperation or by strategic power politics in the post-Cold War era remains consequential for the “real world”, and a scholarly answer contributes to academic literature as well as to the solution of significant (theoretical) “research puzzles” (King et al. 1994: 15; Sprinz/Wolinsky-Nahmias 2004a: 4; Katzenstein/Sil 2008: 110; Eckstein 1975: 91). The title and the research question thereby already indicate that the present thesis copes with (re-) constructing a neoliberal and a neorealist IR (grand) theory perspective on Sino-U.S. relations – and their empirical verification. With “[s]ocial science (…) [seeking] to develop and evaluate theories” (King et al. 1995: 475), it thus stands in a major research tradition. To scholarly pursue such a research objective and ultimately answer the research question of the thesis at hand necessitates a systematic, closely elaborated research design. The latter thereby usually arises from reflections on the relative weight, linkage and significance of theory and empiricism, not to say on the specifics of theory (re-)construction and/or theory evaluation. Accordingly, the research design of the thesis will be more closely elucidated in the following. Theory (Re-)Construction Regarding the (re-)construction of IR grand theory perspectives, one may first of all highlight that the discipline’s competing schools of thought are (evidently) no coherent paradigms, but consist in turn of manifold (competing) approaches – and thus embody rather collections of theories structured around some core assumptions (Meyers 2011: 490-493; 497504; Wilkinson 2007: 1f.). Comprising offensive, defensive, neoclassical, rise-and-fall and other strands, (neo-)realism for instance has considerably expanded especially since the third theory debate in IR and the end of the Cold War, and has partly even integrated some liberal and constructivist conceptions (see for example Waltz 1959; 1979; Mearsheimer 1990; 1994/1995; 2001; Baumann et al. 1999; Van Evera 1998; Tammen et al.

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1 Introduction

2000; Glaser 2011a; 2011b; 2010; 1997; 1994/1995; Grieco 1993; Walt 1987; 1988; 2002: 202-230; Legro/Moravcsik 1999; Rose 1998; Jervis 1978; Schweller 1994; Wohlforth 2009; 1994/1995; 1993; Snyder 1991; Gilpin 1981; Pape 2005; Buzan 1991; Brooks 1997). Similarly, the neoliberal school today includes interdependence (analysis), globalization, capitalist peace, global governance, regime theoretic and neoliberal institutionalist, as well as ideal, commercial and republican liberalist branches, to name just a few; in addition, its borders with constructivism have become increasingly blurred (see for instance Keohane/Nye 1977; 1989; 2000; Axelrod 1984; Keohane 1984; Russett/Oneal 2001; Moravcsik 2008; 1997; Fuchs 2005). Taking this intra-paradigm pluralism in IR into account, it has been deliberately decided here to design two broad and eclectic, though rationalist and predominantly structuralist neorealist and neoliberal (grand) theory pictures of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular, while at the same time respecting (“neo-neo”) inter-paradigm borders34. In this way, the thesis seeks to benefit from the multitudinous post-Cold War and recent advances within these broad IR (grand) theory schools, which serve as the basis for ultimately deriving actor- and casespecific hypotheses that can then be empirically evaluated. Theory Evaluation Due to time and space constraints, the philosophy of science and methodological research debate can naturally not be adequately dealt with, here. Overall, it remains though evident that there is no agreement in the scientific community on a most adequate method of theory evaluation – especially not in the social sciences. Scholars dealing with theory testing and (thus) methodology35 have hence to be conscious of the various (competing) epistemological and methodological lines of reasoning. As the thesis at hand seeks to empirically assay if a neoliberal or a neorealist (grand) theory perspective captures and explains post-Cold War Sino-

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For further elaboration on the level of analysis chosen for (re-)constructing the competing theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. ties, and the debate on theories of international politics versus theories of foreign policy, see Footnote 49. “Methodology refers to systematically structured or codified ways to tests theories” (Sprinz/Wolinsky-Nahmias 2004a: 4).

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U.S. relations (and behavior) more accurately, it may first stand to reason here to orientate the research design on Popper’s influential methodological falsificationism (Popper 2005: 16-19). According to this philosophy of science strand, scholars should examine if empirical data contradict and thus falsify a theory (which will then be dismissed) instead of endlessly and impossibly seeking to empirically confirm its truth (Popper 2005: 1619; 255f.). Not only adherents of critical rationalism thereby share the position that “‘good’ science consists of theories that (…) [can in principle be empirically falsified and; J.V.] survive [such; J.V.] severe tests” (Elman/ Elman 2003: 19). Although a theory can thus never be definitively verified, it may be perceived as corroborated as long as it has not been falsified by any strict test (Popper 2005: 237f.; 252f.). While often seen as “the key to science” (King et al. 1994: 100), Popper’s methodological falsificationism has though not remained unchallenged. In general, assaying a theory with empirical facts evokes the fundamental problem that “there is no natural (…) demarcation between [fallible] observational and [fallible] theoretical propositions” (Lakatos 1970: 99f.). Lakatos for instance pessimistically concludes that “we cannot prove theories and we cannot disprove them either”, a statement that in principle even Popper acknowledges, at least with respect to the impossibility of verifying as well as certainly falsifying a theory empirically (Lakatos 1970: 100; Popper 2005: 506-508). Furthermore, Lakatos points to the fact that if applied dogmatically, Popper’s criterion of falsifiability would imply all probabilistic theories to be dismissed, “for no finite sample can ever disprove a universal probabilistic theory” (Lakatos 1970: 102; Popper 2005: 16-19). Since neoliberalism, neorealism, and ultimately any social science theory can be perceived to be probabilistic, (grand) theory testing with respect to Sino-U.S. relations (and superpower behavior) remains no easy endeavor (also) from an epistemological point of view. This becomes even more evident regarding the deficiency of theories in the

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narrow sense in International Relations , and the high obstacles here to adequate empirical testing of hypotheses and “falsifiable propositions”, respectively (Brooks/Wohlforth 2011: 215). Randomized selection of cases/subjects and (hence) control and isolation of variables remain often impossible in a discipline that has to predominantly rely on ex-post-factodesigns, quasi-experiments, and often rather correlational than causal analysis (Behnke et al. 2010: 49-96; Sprinz/Wolinsky-Nahmias 2004b: 379). Empirical verification of IR (grand) theory perspectives may thus evoke even more (validity) issues than the Lakatosian critique of Popper had originally in mind. Nevertheless, Waltz rightly postulates that “[d]espite all of the difficulties of testing, we need to evaluate theories in order to get rid of the wrong ones” (Waltz 2003: x). Similarly, King, Keohane and Verba still perceive theory testing against “the hard facts of empirical reality” as a central task of science and a fundamental precondition for the generation of knowledge (King et al. 1995: 475; 1994: 16). Putting Popperian rigor and Lakatosian skepticism partly aside, King et al.’s pragmatic middle ground logic of inference has become quite influential in the social sciences: “[F]or evaluating existing social scientific theories, the asymmetry between verification and falsification is not as significant. Either one adds to our scientific knowledge. The question is less whether (…) a theory is false or not—virtually every interesting social science theory has at least one observable implication that appears wrong—than how much of the world the theory can help us explain. (…) Each test of a theory affects both the estimate of its validity and the uncertainty of that estimate” (King et al. 1994: 101; 103; 3). The thesis (necessarily) shares this via media orientation of King et al. (King et al. 1994; 1995). Although there is no method (in the social sciences) to definitively prove a theory false or true, scholars of this prag-

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In Mearsheimer’s words, “[t]he study of international relations, like the other social sciences, does not yet resemble the hard sciences. Our stock of theories is spotty and often poorly tested” (Mearsheimer 1990: 9).

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matist epistemological school hope to at least “approach truth” (Popper 2005: 510f.; 516) via critical empirical testing and, more precisely, recurrent attempts of both theory falsification and confirmation (King et al. 1994: 101; Waltz 1997: 913-916; 103; Opp 2005: 189-191). Following this middle ground logic of inference in the thesis at hand implies that if the empirical data considered in Chapter Four repeatedly confirm one (grand) theory picture of Sino-U.S. relations stronger or disprove it to a lesser extent than the theoretical competitor, one may be more confident that the respective IR grand theory perspective captures and explains SinoU.S. relations more accurately37 (at least until subsequent research might prove the opposite). Accordingly, empirical confrontation of alternative theories in the same cases remains among the most effective research designs in the social sciences – and thus serves as a model for the thesis at hand (Opp 2005: 191-203; Eckstein 1975: 125f.; McKeown 1999: 182). With their alternative logics and hence different anticipations of causal relations, values, and the significance of variables, the empirical confrontation of neoliberalism and neorealism promises to be fertile. Competitive theory testing concerning Sino-U.S. relations (and behavior) thereby necessitates to theoretically deduce specific “falsifiable propositions”, not to say testable hypotheses that at best depict causal relations between (independent and dependent) variables (Popper 2005: 23f.; Eckstein 1975: 91; 125f.; Brooks/Wohlforth 2011: 215). Such IR hypotheses can then be empirically corroborated or impugned by theory testing case studies or quantitative methods (Bennett 2004: 22; Sprinz/Wolinsky-Nahmias 2004a: 4f.). Case Study Design Of the three major methods applied in the social sciences and IR – formal methods, quantitative research, and case studies38 – the latter seem

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Further considerations on that matter, especially regarding a most likely/least likely case study design, will be elaborated below in the section “Selection of the Cases”. Bennett defines a case study as “the investigation of a well-defined aspect of a historical happening that the investigator selects for analysis (…). [He thereby] (…) decides which class of events (…) and which variables to focus upon” (Bennett 2004:

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most adequate here to verify the developed IR (grand) theory perspectives on the complex relationship between ascending China and the hegemonic United States: “[T]he argument for case studies (…) seems strongest in regard to (…) macropolitical phenomena, i.e., units of political study of considerable magnitude or complexity, such as nation-states and subjects virtually coterminous with them” (Eckstein 1975: 80). Similar to Eckstein, Bennett seems to also suggest a case study methodology to scholarly answer the thesis’ research question on the character of postCold War Sino-U.S. relations: “The comparative advantages of case study methods include (…) developing historical explanations of particular cases, attaining high levels of construct [internal; J.V.] validity, and using contingent generalizations to model complex relationships such as path dependency and multiple interactions effects” (Bennett 2004: 19; 22; 34-39; 46; Sprinz/Wolinsky-Nahmias 2004a: 2; 13f.). Overall, after decades of criticism of qualitative methodology, scholars have recently pointed to a renaissance of case study research in International Relations, with some even arguing that “qualitative methods (…) [have become; J.V.] indisputably prominent, if not pre-eminent” (Bennett/ Elman 2008: 499; cf. Sprinz/Wolinsky-Nahmias 2004a: 6f.). While following a (neo-)positivist, empirical-analytical research tradition, and relying in Chapter Two on both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the (postCold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations, Chapter Four finally applies a qualitative case study design to empirically verify the derived neoliberal and neorealist hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior (Milner 2009: 5). To raise the validity of the analysis, the theoretically predicted values/manifestations of the dependent variable, namely PRC and U.S. economically based cooperation or strategic power politics, will be case (and actor) specifically “operationalized” via short, concentrated descriptions (Stykow et al. 2009: 164). Empirical analysis of post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior thus ultimately enables a respective verification/falsifica-

21). Similarly, Odell perceives a case as “an instance of a class of events or phenomena of interest to the investigator” (Odell 2004: 57).

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tion of the deduced hypotheses. Besides, as the reliability and the chances for a generalization of the findings increase with the number of cases, overall eight hypotheses will be tested in four empirical case studies (Stykow et al. 2009: 164). In the end, the research design may thus prove quite appropriate for empirically confronting a neoliberal and a neorealist picture of Sino-U.S. relations – and hence for answering the research question if Sino-U.S. ties have been rather marked by economically based cooperation or by strategic power politics in the post-Cold War era. Nevertheless, the thesis remains also conscious of the various limitations of case study methods, concerning inter alia issues of case selection (biases), the generalization of findings, potential indeterminacy or the inability to judge the causal weight of variables (Bennett 2004: 19f.). Beyond that, it is naturally unfeasible to trace in high resolution all the step-bystep processes in the post-Cold War era that led to PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy decisions/behavior (in the Taiwan issue or the North Korea issue). This may be all the more the case regarding the elaborated research obstacles that circulation of political information/the media have been tightly controlled in China, decision-making processes within the PRC administration, (state) institutions, the CPC and the PLA remain partly obscure, and access to high-level Chinese sources and archive data on post-Cold War (foreign) policies remains often difficult or restricted (the latter is also valid for still classified U.S. documents/data) (Li 2009: 7; 225). While arising opportunities of process tracing will be utilized, the thesis relies overall more on congruence testing as the primary withincase method of analysis. Accordingly, this implies to verify “whether the predicted value of the dependent variable, in view of the values of the case’s independent variables, is congruent with the actual outcome in the case” (Bennett 2004: 24f.; 22f.). Selection of the Cases When verifying theory with empirical data, any scholar has to justify why he selects for this purpose exactly these (and not other) cutouts of a complex empirical reality. Issues of selection- and confirmation bias (in any nonrandom choice of cases) have thereby received increasing attention

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in the social sciences (Sprinz/Wolinsky-Nahmias 2004b: 368; 378; Kacowicz 2004: 112f.; Bennett/Elman 2008: 510; 512; Bennett 2004: 39-41; Opp 2005: 202). The thesis handles these matters carefully. In the end, it has been decided to apply four case studies to verify through the window of two central Sino-U.S. flashpoints – the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue – eight derived hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior, and hence ultimately the (re-)constructed neoliberal and neorealist perspectives on post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations39. Accordingly, case study number 1 analyzes “the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the PRC in the Taiwan issue”; case study number 2 copes with “the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the United States in the Taiwan issue”; case study number 3 analyzes “the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the PRC in the North Korea issue”, and case study number 4 assays “the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the United States in the North Korea issue”. As indicated, this selection of the cases rests upon various reasons and may entail significant methodological benefits. Scholars usually select cases for investigation that seem “intrinsically important” in the “real world” and/or against a scholarly/methodological background (King et al. 1994: 15; Odell 2004: 58). Since “Taiwan and Korea [may; J.V.] have replaced the Cold War’s Berlin as focal points for potential Great Power conflict” (Kugler 2006: 40), it seems almost self-evident (and scholarly appropriate) to empirically verify IR grand theory perspectives on the relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the

39

This research approach also bears some resemblance to Lebow/Stein (1994). Applying a case study design to assess the effect of deterrence and compellence in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and the 1973 Middle East crisis, Lebow and Stein argue that “[t]hese two crises provide a window on the broader relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War” (Lebow/Stein 1994: 5). Furthermore, as the thesis at hand, the two scholars perceive inter alia “real-world significance” as an important reason for the selection of cases: “We examine the impact of deterrence and compellence in detailed studies of the two most acute SovietAmerican confrontations of the last quarter century (…). The choice of the Cuban missile crisis [thereby; J.V.] needs little justification. It is universally recognized as the most acute confrontation of the Cold War” (Lebow/Stein 1994: 4f.; King et al. 1994: 15).

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hegemonic United States via case studies on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the (so crucial) Taiwan issue and North Korea issue. These flashpoints have recurrently actuated critical high politics interactions of the two superpowers and reflect an interconnectedness of security and (politico-)economic aspects that may be highly appropriate for the empirical confrontation of neoliberal and neorealist (grand) theory pictures of Sino-U.S. relations. On the one hand, it may have been in these two “hotspots that Beijing and Washington have worked most closely together” (Zhao 2007: 625). On the other hand, these issues still bear a significant potential for Sino-U.S. tensions and military escalation: “China and the USA could get dragged into a war over Taiwan, or even North Korea” (Mearsheimer 2013: 91; Layne 2011: 154). PRC leaders such as Jiang Zemin have recurrently pointed out that “[t]he Taiwan question is the most important and the most sensitive issue at the core of China-U.S. relations” (Jiang, cit. in The White House 1998; Kissinger 2011: 483), and (North) Korea crises have as well been prominent foci of Sino-U.S. (foreign) policy interaction. Long after the bloody battles in 1950-1953 between North Korean/Chinese and South Korean/U.S./UN troops during the “forgotten war” on the Korean Peninsula (Jäger 2011: 9), the international atmosphere along and concerning the 38th latitude north has continued to be more or less shaped by (strategic) tensions and military incidents; especially the North Korean nuclear issue has yet entailed intensive bi- and multilateral negotiations among the United States and the PRC as well as the two Koreas, Japan, Russia, and further (great) powers at the United Nations (Security Council) (UN/ UNSC) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arenas in New York, Vienna and Geneva or at the Three- and Six-Party Talks (6PT) in Beijing, to name just a few settings. On the whole, the four case studies on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue thus cover two central “hot spots” of Sino-U.S. (foreign) policy interaction – and world politics (Foot 2007: 93f.; Acharya/Goh 2007: 10). Moreover, the case selection here entails also significant methodological advantages regarding the research objective (and research question) of

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the thesis. More precisely, it may ultimately enable to generalize to a certain extent results of the empirical verification of the derived neoliberal and neorealist hypotheses: “[C]ase study findings (…) [may; J.V.] be generalized beyond the type of case studied (…) when a theory fails to fit a case that it appeared most likely to explain” (Bennett 2004: 19f.; 42f.; Bennett/Elman 2008: 513). At this point, one enters the methodological realm of most likely/least likely (and partly of “crucial/critical”) case study designs: “Most likely cases are those in which a theory is likely to provide a good explanation if it applies to any cases at all, and least-likely cases are ‘tough test’ cases in which the theory in question is unlikely to provide a good explanation. A theory that fails to fit a most-likely case is strongly impugned, while a theory that fits even a case in which it is least likely gains confidence. (…) scholars have more recently clarified that whether a case is most likely or least likely for a theory should be judged, not just by its values on the variables of that theory, but on the values of variables pointed to by alternative theories as well” (Bennett/Elman 2008: 505; Eckstein 1975: 118-120; Bennett 2004: 29f.; 41-43; Grieco 1993: 131; Odell 2004: 61-63; Kacowicz 2004: 115f.; McKeown 1999: 166f.; 180f.; 184). According to the alternative neoliberal and neorealist (grand) theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. relations (re-)constructed in Chapter Three, one may classify the four cases analyzed in Chapter Four as follows. As Grieco points out, “[i]t is widely accepted – even by neoliberals – that realism has great explanatory power in national security affairs” (Grieco 1993: 131). Regarding recurrent post-Cold War PLA maneuvers and missile drills in/near the Taiwan Strait or with a Taiwan contingency background, U.S. (carrier strike group) counter-maneuvers, significant U.S. arms sales to the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC), respective SinoU.S. and PRC-ROC tensions and a high relevance of strategic and security aspects in the Taiwan issue, perceiving the two case studies “the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the PRC in the Taiwan issue” and “the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the United States in the Taiwan issue” as most likely cases for a neorealist picture of Sino-U.S. relations may be hardly questioned. This line of reasoning suggests at the same time that the two case studies on the Taiwan issue may be rather least likely cases for a neoliberal (grand) theory perspective on

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Sino-U.S. ties: “[I]f neoliberal theorists wanted to design a (…) [least likely; J.V.] experiment to demonstrate the superiority of their approach, they would focus not on North-North economic relations but rather on (…) East-West military interactions” (Grieco 1993: 139; emphasis added). In other words, a neoliberal picture of world politics (that focuses on absolute gain making/“make money” imperatives and (hence) mostly economically based interstate cooperation in a globalizing world) may be rather expected to least likely provide superior explanations for an international issue apparently shaped by strategic (superpower) tensions and behavior (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.). In a nutshell, one may judge the two case studies on the Taiwan issue in Chapter 4.1 as most likely cases for a neorealist – and least likely cases for a neoliberal – (grand) theory perspective on Sino-U.S. relations. To classify the cases “the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the PRC in the North Korea issue” and “the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the United States in the North Korea issue” seems to be a more complex endeavor. At first glance, the North Korea issue seems to more or less pit the United States and its allies Japan, South Korea, and in the UNSC also France and the United Kingdom against the PRC and its ally North Korea (as well as Russia). Moreover, given the strategic and security aspects concerning the DPRK (nuclear programs and conventional military capabilities) and the Korean Peninsula in general, the two case studies on the North Korea issue are definitely not least likely cases for neorealism. As will be elaborated in the following, most evidently since the North Korea issue has partly provided almost ideal-typical conditions for a neoliberally predicted “Evolution of [stable Sino-U.S./international; J.V.] Cooperation” (Axelrod 1984; emphasis added), one may though perceive the two respective case studies on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior rather as “mixed” (instead of most likely) cases for neorealism. From a neoliberal point of view, scholars may inter alia highlight that aside from the DPRK, the other five powers directly involved in the North Korea issue (and the Six-Party Talks) have been the largest (China), the second largest (United States), the fourth largest (Japan), the sixth largest (Russia), and the 13th largest (South Korea) national

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economies in the world (CIA 2016b) – and these key actors have increasingly become (economically) interdependent41 in a globalizing world. Since the consideration of the effects of (trans- and international) (economic) interdependence on interstate behavior has been a traditional, basic element of a neoliberal picture of world politics, the latter may hence prove quite adequate for explaining PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the North Korea issue. Most importantly, however, especially the Six-Party Talks embodied for years a diplomatic (pre-/ quasi-institutionalized) platform for recurrent, concentrated, and indefinite (diplomatic) interaction among the same (limited number of) (interdependent) states – a setting that seems to be taken right out of a neoliberal (game-theoretic) textbook. As will be highlighted, neoliberals have perceived such repetitive rounds of talks among the same (six) players as an “iterated/multiple-play prisoner’s dilemma” under the “shadow of the future”, where issues of bargaining can be broken down into small pieces – and stable Sino-U.S./international cooperation may be likely to evolve (Axelrod 1984: 126-132; Keohane 1984: 75-79; Hardin 1982: 5; 13; 145151; 170; 186). Longstanding Sino-U.S. diplomatic interaction concerning the North Korea (nuclear) issue inter alia in the UNSC, the IAEA, the “Four-Party Peace Talks”, and especially in the Three- and Six-Party Talks thus seems to reflect conditions where neoliberalism promises to provide superior explanations. Accordingly, one may perceive the two case studies in Chapter 4.2 on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the North Korea issue as most likely cases for a neoliberal – and as “mixed” cases for a neorealist – (grand) theory perspective on Sino-U.S. relations. Summing up, the thesis seeks to utilize significant methodological opportunities that arise out of a research design that empirically verifies the derived neoliberal and neorealist hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior by applying four deliberately se-

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CIA data are 2015 estimates and PPP-based, here (CIA 2016b). The (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations, which has inter alia been marked by strong (economic) interdependence, will be closely analyzed in Chapter Two.

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lected case studies on the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue. The two Taiwan cases can thereby be perceived as most likely ones for a neorealist – and least likely ones for a neoliberal picture of Sino-U.S. relations. If the deduced neoliberal hypotheses on superpower behavior in the Taiwan issue thus prove more adequate than the neorealist hypotheses, neoliberalism will be strongly corroborated and neorealism strongly impugned (Bennett/Elman 2008: 505). If neorealist explanations though prove empirically superior, this IR grand theory perspective will be perceived to a certain extent more adequate and neoliberalism to some extent falsified. Furthermore, the two case studies on the North Korea issue may be judged as most likely cases for a neoliberal – and as “mixed” cases for a neorealist – perspective on Sino-U.S. ties. Superior neorealist explanatory power in the North Korea cases will thus strongly undermine confidence in a neoliberal picture of Sino-U.S. relations, and verify to a certain extent the neorealist lens; analogically, superior neoliberal hypotheses will to a certain extent corroborate a neoliberal, and impugn to some extent a neorealist perspective on superpower ties (Bennett 2004: 29). What is more, since the four case studies on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue can be (partly) perceived as most likely/least likely cases for a neoliberal and a neorealist perspective on Sino-U.S. ties, they may indeed imply severe tests of theories that may to a certain extent allow for a generalization of the findings concerning post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations at large – and may naturally enable some prudent judgements on the appropriateness and explanatory power of neoliberal and neorealist (grand) theory perspectives in post-Cold War times42; in

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Naturally, it remains though clear that regarding the disadvantages of case study methods with respect to a generalization (and the representativeness) of the findings (compared to quantitative methods), one may acknowledge (despite the least likely/ most likely case study design applied here) that such an inference has to stay to a certain extent probabilistic and tentative; as will be elaborated in Chapter 5.1, further research should thus ensue to establish more specific knowledge on the epistemological possibilities and limitations, and the principles and methods that enable or constrain a (partial) generalization of case study findings (Bennett 2004: 42f.; Odell 2004: 69-71; Bennett/Elman 2008: 513; Mitchell/Bernauer 2004: 98-102; Kacowicz 2004: 108-111; McKeown 1999: 184).

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other words, the four case studies of the thesis promise to be “most theoretically informative” – and to provide a methodologically sophisticated answer to the research question if the ascent of China has evoked a post-Cold War relationship with the hegemonic United States characterized rather by economically based cooperation or by strategic power politics (Bennett 2004: 29f.; 41-43, 49; 51). Time Span of Case Study Analysis As world politics and Sino-U.S. relations changed profoundly with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War era suggests itself here as an adequate time span of analysis. From an anti-Soviet (informal) Sino-U.S. quasi-alliance that had evolved in the 1970s and 1980s (since U.S. President Richard Nixon's 1971 shift in U.S. China policy and his famous 1972 state visit to the PRC), a more complex and to some extent still “undefined character” of Sino-U.S. relations has ensued since the end of the Cold War (Kan 2014a: I; 1; Dumbaugh 2009: 2f.; Tkacik 2002; 2007: 139f.). Furthermore, the (politico-)economic rise of the People’s Republic of China has most evidently emerged (and finally become undeniable) in the post-Cold War era – and this empirical process has increasingly been perceived as a significant challenge for IR (grand) theories (Schieder/Spindler 2010: 10f.). Last but not least, any research design that copes with theory testing via empirical case studies has to naturally cover a sufficient period of time: “The idea (…) is to find time spans over which findings are unlikely to be significantly distorted by fortuitous shortterm events” (Eckstein 1975: 124; 135). Accordingly, the four case studies here on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue cover the maximum post-Cold War period of analysis so far: running from December 199143 till January

43

December 1991 has been chosen here as the starting point of empirical analysis since that month can be perceived (with the signing of the Belavezha Accords by the leaders of Russia (Boris Yeltsin), Ukraine and Belarus on December 8th, 1991, and the resignation of the President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev 17 days later) as the end point of the dissolution process of the Soviet Union (Parfitt 2013). Accordingly, U.S. President George H. W. Bush declared in his January 1992 State of the Union address that “[w]e gather tonight at a dramatic and deeply promising time in our history and in the history of man on Earth. For in the past 12 months, the world has known

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2017, the empirical case studies analyze in the last quarter of a century post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior during (periods of) the U.S. presidencies of George H. W. Bush (1989-1993), Bill Clinton (1993-2001), George W. Bush (2001-2009), and Barack Obama (2009-2017) (including the president-elect period of Donald Trump), as well as during (periods of) the leadership of Deng Xiaoping (who died in 1997) and the PRC presidencies of Jiang Zemin (1993-2003), Hu Jintao (2003-2013), and Xi Jinping (2013- ) (The White House 2013; Kissinger 2011: 437; Hilpert et al. 2005: 8; 13; Krahl/Wacker 2012; USA.gov 2016). More precisely, at the end point of empirical analysis on January 20th, 2017, U.S. President Barack Obama’s second term of office ended, and Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States; at the same time, Xi Jinping was at the end of his fourth year as PRC president (USA.gov 2016; Krahl/Wacker 2012; Kissinger 2011: 512; IISS 2017: 27). Sources Chapter Two’s detailed analysis of trends in post-Cold War PRC and U.S. economic and military capabilities as well as bilateral (economic) interdependence – and hence ultimately the analysis of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations – rests inter alia upon data taken from (or their selection/calculation has been inspired by) the International Monetary Fund (IMF 2016a; 2016b; 2016c; 2016d; 2016e; 2015a; 2015b), the World Bank (The World Bank 2016a; 2016b; 2016c; 2011; 2010), the World Trade Organization (WTO) (WTO 2016), the United Nations (UN 2016), in particular the United Nations Comtrade Database (UN Comtrade Database 2016) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b; 2016c), the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS 2017; 2016; 2015; 2014a; 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004,

changes of almost Biblical proportions. And even now, months after the failed coup that doomed a failed system, I’m not sure we’ve absorbed the full impact, the full import of what happened. But communism died this year. (…) the biggest thing that has happened in the world in my life, in our lives, is this: By the grace of God, America won the cold war” (USGPO/Bush 1992b: 156f.).

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2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) (SIPRI 2017a; 2017b; 2017c; 2017d; 2017e; 2016a; 2016b; 2016c; 2016d; 2016e; 2016f; 2016g; 2015; 2011), the U.S. Department of the Treasury (USDOT), the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Fed) (USDOT et al. 2016; 2007; USDOT 2016a; 2016b), the U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD 2015; 2014; 2013; 2012; 2011, 2010), the U.S. Census Bureau (USCB) and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (USBEA) (USCB 2016a; 2016b; 2016c; USCB/USBEA 2016), the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) (USTR 2016a; 2016b; 2010), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (CIA 2016a; 2016b; 2016c; 2003), the Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China (IOSCPRC) (IOSCPRC 2013; 2011; 2009; 2006; 2004; 2002; 2000; 1998), the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MCPRC) (MCPRC 2016a; 2016b), the State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the People’s Republic of China (2016), the U.S.-China Business Council (uschina.org 2016; 2011), Oanda (2017), Jäger/Beckmann (2011b), Baumann et al. (1999), Ikenberry et al. (2009), Brooks/ Wohlforth (2008), Tammen et al. (2000), Schmidt/Heilmann (2012), Garcia-Herrero et al. (2015), Dobbs et al. (2015), Dollar (2016; 2015), Schnabel (2010a/2010b), Blasko (2012; 2006), Vogelmann (2011), and many other sources. Moreover, the four empirical case studies in Chapter Four verify the eight derived neoliberal and neorealist hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue by analyzing a wide range of primary and secondary sources. As one may nominally define foreign policy (behavior) as the purposeful actions (and non-actions) of a state and its respective authorities/institutions (government, foreign service, parliament, et cetera) in regard to the implementation of preferred contents concerning, and the organizational steering of relations with its environment, the foreign policy behavior of the superpowers will be traced here by analyzing official documents/laws, national strategies and plans, (decision) statements and

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quotes of U.S./PRC presidents and other senior (foreign) policy actors, as well as manifest empirical actions (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 19; Lauth/ Zimmerling 2003: 144f.). While focusing in the (documentary) research on U.S. and Chinese primary sources (published in English), the case studies also utilize secondary sources that mostly comprise scholarly publications and publicly available/media sources such as articles of major (international) newspapers44. In the end, the very high number and wide range of sources considered in the thesis at hand may enable an appropriate analysis of the relationship between ascending China and the hegemonic United States since the end of the Cold War. Concepts There exist a variety of capability- and influence-based classificatory concepts to denominate (the power status of) the United States and/or China, such as superpower, dominant power, great power, world power, global power, middle power, regional power, unipole, hegemon(y), empire, lead nation, primacy, et cetera (Ikenberry et al. 2009: 1; 4; Tammen et al. 2000: 4; 6f.; 10; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008; Gilpin 1981: 30; 88; 232; Modelski 1987: 9-11; 17; Topp 2002: 58f.; 261-347). Dealing with their adequate definition and differentiation would be the research task of another thesis and can naturally not be adequately accomplished here. Nevertheless, two concepts, superpower(s) and hegemony, come up frequently in the thesis at hand, so that their implied meaning and the reasons for their application may be briefly elaborated in the following. Although a denomination originally used for the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union (Fox 1944: 20f.; 12; 17; 156-162), and then especially for the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, designating the United States as a superpower has widely per-

44

Additionally, the author gained valuable insights and received constructive feedback in various interlocutions with scholars and pundits; several journeys to the United States, the PRC, and countries such as India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Russia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Australia, and others complemented the author’s perception of Sino-U.S. and Asia-Pacific relations with personal impressions.

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sisted in the academia, the media and the public to this day (Ikenberry et al. 2009: 1; Nye 2010a: 3; Gilpin 1981: 30; 88; 214; 229; Huntington 1999; Jäger 2008a: 10; 14; Tammen et al. 2000: 55f; Drezner 2009a; IISS 2012: 39; Dukes 2001; Spiegel 2010). At the same time, the politicoeconomic ascent of the People’s Republic of China has become most evident since the end of the Cold War, unleashing new scholarly classification efforts concerning its rank among the other (major) states in the system. Categorizing China or any other state according to its capabilities and/or influence will though always remain controversial, for each concept or measurement of state power has stayed “amorphous” and contested46, especially during periods of (rapid) change in the international system (Weber 1978: 53; Jäger 2008a: 10; Baumann et al. 1999: 255257). If one for example assumes, similarly to Tammen et al. (2000: 610), a four-level pyramidal state system of on top the dominant (hegemonic) power and its (potential) contender (both termed superpowers in the thesis at hand), followed by few great powers, some middle powers and finally a large number of small powers at the base, one accordingly finds scholarly assignments of the PRC to all of these levels, except for the small powers section. Schwarzenberger’s classification of China as a middle power may seem somewhat outdated today (Schwarzenberger 1955: 78). Jäger conceptualizes a middle power as a state whose combined capabilities do not allow for autonomous influence and participation in shaping the international system, but that plays a more or less significant role as an ally or adversary for the world powers and in regional politics (Jäger 2008a: 19; 17-26). Having extended its influence to almost all areas and issues

45 46

By contrast, Russia has only partly been termed a superpower since the demise of the Soviet Union. A general theory or at least sophisticated scholarly concept of for instance middle powers has hardly existed until Jäger (2008). Although more publications have dealt with the classification of great powers, scholarly precision could as well be only limitedly reached. The categories great and world power have often been used as synonyms, but actually denominate different concepts. While terms like great or middle power refer to the capabilities of a state, concepts such as world or regional power indicate the range of (politico-economic) influence (Jäger 2008: 10f.).

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around the globe and becoming a leading international actor (Economy 2010: 142; 145f.), the PRC may thus no longer be perceived as a middle power like Poland, which possesses (apart from now and then more decisive roles via its relations with leading/important states or within and via the European Union (EU)) only moderate to little influence on developments beyond its borders (Jäger 2008a: 11). Even if one may perceive Russia as a very strong middle power (Jäger 2008a: 31), China nowadays (2015 data) exceeds the former already more than five times in (PPP-based) economic size, almost ten times in population, has a defense expenditure more than twice as high, and has been upgrading its (conventional but also the so far limited nuclear) military capabilities significantly in recent times (see Chapters 2.1 and 2.2) (IMF 2017; SIPRI 2016a). Conceptualizing China influence based as a world power or capability based as a great power, and thus as one of the states that decisively shape “the international allocation of values [and therefore] the political matrix within which international activity takes place”, has become quite common (Easton 1953: 139). With respect to U.S. (foreign) policy makers, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick for instance urged the PRC already in 2005 “to become a responsible stakeholder” – and hence a shaper of the international system: “Today, from the United Nations to the World Trade Organization, from agreements on ozone depletion to pacts on nuclear weapons, China is a player at the table (…). Whether in commodities, clothing, computers, or capital markets, China’s presence is felt every day” (USDOS/Zoellick 2005; The White House 2006b: 41; Kissinger 2011: 499; Rudolf 2006: 14). Even more decidedly, U.S. President Barack Obama, hosting in June 2013 PRC President Xi Jinping for the first time, had welcomed “the continuing peaceful rise of China as a world power” (The White House/Obama 2013b; emphasis added). In regard to scholarly views, Kissinger perceives as well the PRC as “undeniably ‘arriving’ as a world power, with interests in every corner of the globe [and] a central role (…) in regional and world affairs” (Kissinger 2011: 489; 493). Ikenberry concludes that “[b]y all measures, China is a great power on the rise” (Ikenberry 2008: 89), and Mearsheimer similarly sees China and

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Russia as great powers that “both have nuclear arsenals (…) [and] the capability to contest and probably thwart a U.S. invasion of their homeland” (Mearsheimer 2001: 381). Lemke, Wagener, Pei, Zimmer, HerbergRothe and many other scholars more or less share this perception of China as a great- and/or world power (Lemke 2004: 59f.; 63f.; Wagener 2011b: 243-245; 249f.; 255; Pei 2009; Zimmer 2010: 59; Herberg-Rothe 2010: 50). Nathan and Scobell provide a comprehensive argumentation in this respect: “Great power is a vague term, but China deserves it by any measure: the extent and strategic location of its territory, the size and dynamism of its population, the value and growth rate of its economy, its massive share of global trade, the size and sophistication of its military, the reach of its diplomatic interests, and its level of cultural influence. It has become one of a small number of countries that have significant national interests in every part of the world (…) and whose voice must be heard in the solution of every global problem. It is one of the few countries that command the attention, whether willingly or grudgingly, of every other country and every international organization. It is the only country widely seen as a possible threat to U.S. predominance” (Nathan/Scobell 2012: xii). Last but not least, next to classifying the United States as a superpower, categorizing (future) China as such (Tammen et al. 2000: 153; 176; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 165), or as “the second superpower of the twenty-first century” (Dillon 2009: ix), has become frequent in the scientific community, the media and the public as well. Denominations of the PRC as a superpower thereby vary to a certain extent in focus; some authors perceive China as “The Inevitable Superpower” (Subramanian 2011), some point to the PRC as an “economic superpower” (Kissinger 2011: 490; Shirk 2007: 5; Overholt 1993), as a “super country” in population, (territorial) size and governance (Angang 2012: 5), and others already contemplate on the strategic implications of its so far predominantly (politico-)economic ascent: “Should China become especially wealthy, it could readily become a military superpower” (Mearsheimer 2001: 56). The term superpower(s) thereby offers distinctive advantages for the thesis at hand. Firstly, denominating China as a superpower reflects both its

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prevailing capabilities and to some extent anticipated future increases in its power resources; such an umbrella function seems to be particularly compatible with the here analyzed post-Cold War PRC and U.S. capability trends under way – and thus with the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations reconstructed in Chapter Two. Secondly, superpowers nowadays offers the linguistic opportunity to parsimoniously comprise the currently most powerful state, the hegemonic United States, and the rising (potential) number two (and possible U.S. (regional) challenger) in the system, the ascending People’s Republic of China, in one term (Sinha 2009: 357). In other words, the thesis applies the term superpower(s) heuristically to denominate in a linguistically concise way the United States and China. Furthermore, the thesis bears the title “The Relationship between the Ascending People’s Republic of China and the Hegemonic United States since the End of the Cold War” (emphasis added). The term hegemonic is thereby used in the wider sense to imply that while China has evidently been rising towards a (future) superpower, the United States has since the end of the Cold War stayed the unquestioned (capability- and influence-based) number one power so far and has been accepted (or at least tolerated) by a significant number of (major) states in the system as a lead nation, also due to the provision of international (collective) goods. In contrast to the term empire, the concept of hegemony thus remains more or less linked to acceptance of the lead state’s international role by formally equal political actors (Topp 2002: 18; 30f.; 58-60; 64-74; 282; 329-335; Jäger 2008b: 120; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 37; Triepel 1961: 176; 224; Münkler 2005: 18f.). This does naturally not preclude the existence of (major) states and (potential) challengers that do not follow this leadership and/or (clandestinely, openly, issue-specifically or broadly) oppose hegemonically induced cooperation. Nor does it imply that all states that accept/tolerate a U.S. lead role must equally agree, comply, support or participate in any foreign policy measure of the hegemon. While the followers thus retain a certain degree of choice between (costly) behavioral alternatives, they have overall though to more or less reciprocate for the (collective) goods, services, and (potential) benefits provided by the

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hegemon – be it by carrying of (partial) material burdens (via for instance military assistance, side payments or the tolerance of costs entailed by specific hegemonic policies) or immaterially (via for example affirmative appreciation and (thus) status/moral, informational or political/bargaining support for the lead nation). Willingness to comply with hegemonic expectations and the degree of free/cheap riding thereby differ across states and issues in the international system (Topp 2002: 59; 133-138). On the whole, U.S. hegemony is to signify here that since the end of the Cold War, a large number of (major) states (across various regions in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia/the Asia-Pacific) have more or less accepted the lead position and lead role of the United States, for it has remained the most powerful nation with a superior capacity for providing (collective) goods and shaping (significant) issues and structures in the international system. The term “hegemonic United States” is thus applied here in the wider sense to indicate that despite the PRC’s politico-economic ascent in recent years, the United States can still draw to a far greater extent than China upon “acknowledged leadership and dominant influence” in world politics (Schroeder 2003; Topp 2002: 282; 329-335). Conclusion Summing up, the research design of the thesis has become evident (see Figure 1). Closely analyzing post-Cold War trends in PRC and U.S. economic and military capabilities as well as Sino-U.S. interdependence, Chapter Two reconstructs the (post-Cold War) structural frame of SinoU.S. ties. This serves as a major structural foundation for the development of two (structural) IR (grand) theory pictures of Sino-U.S. relations. Drawing inter alia on pivotal interdependence (analysis), globalization, capitalist peace, commercial liberalist, global governance, game theoretic, regime theoretic, neoliberal institutionalist and economic science approaches on the one hand, and classical/basic (neo-)realist thought and various defensive and rise and fall neorealist strands of theory on the other hand, Chapter Three designs a neoliberal (“economically based cooperation”) and a neorealist (“strategic power politics”) perspective on Sino-U.S. relations. From these advanced theoretical frames, four case-

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specific neoliberal and four case-specific neorealist hypotheses will be deduced. Four case studies on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue then empirically verify these hypotheses in Chapter Four. Finally, Chapter Five deals with the implications of the findings. Knowing if the ascent of the People’s Republic of China has evoked a relationship with the hegemonic United States characterized rather by economically based cooperation or by strategic power politics since the end of the Cold War may ultimately allow for some prudent conclusions concerning Sino-U.S. ties and world politics in the 21st century as well as further research in IR.

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Figure 1: Research Design of the Thesis Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations Sino-U.S. Interdependence

Sino-U.S. Economic Power Transition

Sino-U.S. Shifts in Military Power

(Structural) IR Grand Theory Pictures Neoliberal Perspective on Sino-U.S. Relations “Economically Based Cooperation”

Neorealist Perspective on Sino-U.S. Relations “Strategic Power Politics”

Deduction of Eight Case-Specific Hypotheses Neoliberal Hypothesis: PRC (Relational) Neorealist Hypothesis: PRC (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior in the Taiwan Issue Foreign Policy Behavior in the Taiwan Issue Neoliberal Hypothesis: PRC (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior in the North Korea Issue

Neorealist Hypothesis: PRC (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior in the North Korea Issue

Neoliberal Hypothesis: U.S. (Relational) Neorealist Hypothesis: U.S. (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior in the Taiwan Issue Foreign Policy Behavior in the Taiwan Issue Neoliberal Hypothesis: U.S. (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior in the North Korea Issue

Neorealist Hypothesis: U.S. (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior in the North Korea Issue

Empirical Verification by Four Case Studies The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the PRC in the Taiwan Issue

The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the United States in the Taiwan Issue

The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the PRC in the North Korea Issue

The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the United States in the North Korea Issue

Implications & Conclusion Source: By author.

2

The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations

2 The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations Dealing with the research issue and the research design of the thesis (as well as giving a review of respective scholarly literature), Chapter One has highlighted the ongoing, vibrant debate in the academia, policy circles and the media/public on the rise of China and the (post-Cold War/ future) relationship with the hegemonic United States, and has indicated the two most influential (grand) theory perspectives therein. Naturally, it has been the rapid increase and huge potential of Chinese, and the slower relative growth of U.S. capabilities as well as the extent of SinoU.S. interdependence that has stimulated this vivid deliberation and provided it with a global momentousness. The neoliberal-neorealist divide thereby makes clear that scholars’ differing points of view partly result on the one hand from diverging ontological assumptions about the essence of the (social) world, the trans- and international system, and state action therein (Goldstein 2007: 639; Keohane/Nye 1989: 23; Christensen 2006: 81f.). On the other hand, participants in the debate also vary in their interpretation of the numerous empirical parameters on Sino-U.S. interdependence, capabilities, and their extrapolation to the future. Scholars for instance disagree if China may outgrow the United States in overall capability by mid-century, even earlier (Kugler 2006: 36, 39; Khalilzad et al. 1999: xii; Ross 2002: 81; Subramanian 2011), or if the United States may otherwise manage to “remain more powerful than any single state” in the 21st century (Nye 2010a: 4-6, 10-12; 2010b: 151; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008; 2011). It is clear that such estimations significantly affect the derivable hypotheses (and the perceived currentness) of (structural) IR grand theories, especially as the latter assign different causal weight/effects to (shifts in) state capabilities and international interdependence. 2 The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2021 J. Vogelmann, Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States, Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-31660-0_2

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Since scholars and pundits end up with so widely varying, partly opposing interpretations of the empirical background (and thus the perceived Salience) of the “China challenge” (Dillon 2007; Zhao/Liu 2007: 585), this gives reason here to develop an own assessment of post-Cold War SinoU.S. interdependence and Chinese gains towards the United States in certain categories of (economic and military) power. Just as the thesis thereby reconstructs a major structural foundation for (IR grand) theoretical judgements and (behavioral) deductions, analyses of interstate ties and Sino-U.S. relations in particular may usually profit greatly from such an endeavor. This holds especially true if, as in the present case, the research design focuses on neorealist and neoliberal/neoinstitutionalist IR (grand) theories (Jäger 2008a: 9f.); neorealism ultimately conceptualizes the international distribution of capabilities as decisive for the structure of (and behavior in) the anarchic international system, neoinstitutionalism deals with the effects of asymmetrically distributed, interdependent state capabilities for (institutionalized) cooperation, and neoliberalism acknowledges unequal chances for (state) preference realization, which depend at least partly on the underlying resource bases (Jäger 2008a: 10). In recent publications on Sino-U.S. relations, estimations of capability developments and bilateral interdependence have though (too) often been neglected: “What is lacking (…) is an analysis of the material realities of China's relative power (…). By focusing on intentions, Friedberg [for instance; J.V.], like Kissinger, leaves out any serious accounting of China's capability to achieve the goals that various writers propose” (Nathan 2011: 155f., referring to Kissinger 2011 and Friedberg 2011). Accordingly, the thesis will in the following deliberately consider post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relative) capability trends and bilateral interdependence. These analyses are to finally enable the reconstruction of the (postCold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations, whereupon the two IR grand theory pictures will then be (re-)designed in Chapter Three. On a more abstract view, the research question if post-Cold War SinoU.S. relations have been rather marked by economically based cooperation or by strategic power politics deals in essence – as most theoretical endeavors in IR – with the behavior of actors in international relations.

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Yet, as the agent-structure debate has long established (see for instance Wight 2006), PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy decisions/actions are naturally embedded into – and heavily influenced by – the greater structural environment. Beyond the anticipation for instance that the ascent of the PRC may turn Chinese leaders more confident and U.S. elites more concerned (Jervis 2006: 206f.), one may more generally conceptualize inter- and transnational47 structural framework conditions as constraints48 (not in a deterministic, but a probabilistic sense) on the freedom of (foreign policy) action of states, especially in the economic and security realm; to cut the matter short, interstate/superpower relations, strategies, and actions/operational foreign policies develop within powerful (and evolving) structural frames/environmental conditions that function as systemic constraints on behavior by influencing the resulting costs of action alternatives: “[S]tructures (…) encourage states to do some things and to refrain from doing others. (…) [Although states] are free to do any fool thing they care to, (…) they are likely to be rewarded for behavior that is responsive to structural pressures and punished for behavior that is not” (Waltz 1997: 915; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 15-17; 19-40; Jäger 2008a: 25f.; Kirshner 2012: 56; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 3f.; Schweller 2011: 176f.). Of course, next to inter- and transnational structural factors on the third image (systemic) level, foreign policies are to a certain extent also shaped by domestic (subsystemic) variables emanating from “within man” (first image) or from “within the structure of the separate states” (second image) (Waltz 1959: 12; 1996: 57; Elman 1996a: 12; 16; 30-42; 47f.; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 25; Jäger/Dylla 2008: 290; Masala 2010a: 58f.).

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According to the most common use in IR, the term transnational will be applied in the thesis to denote transborder relations where at least one unit consists of nonstate/nongovernmental (and thus for instance of civil society or business) actors or variables. Transnational ties thus comprise here transborder relations between solely nonstate, but also between nonstate and state actors/variables. For the proposal to distinguish transnational relations (between solely societal actors) from transversnational relations (between societal and governmental actors), see Jäger/Beckmann (2011b: 27). The analytical dealing here with domestic structural constraints and variables will be elaborated in the following paragraph.

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Kissinger for instance illustrates that the U.S. decision for sanctions against the PRC after the 1989 Tiananmen square massacre was mainly domestically (public opinion and Congress) driven, forcing U.S. President George H. W. Bush to act for some time against strong systemic incentives to strengthen the quasi-alliance with Beijing. In regard to foreign policy making, intrastate (subsystemic) factors can thus quite (decisively) interfere with the usually highly influential imperatives resulting from the inter-/transnational environment (Kissinger 2011: 411-428; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 25; Elman 1996a: 12; 16; 30-42; 47f.; Waltz 1996: 57; Glaser 1994/1995: 86). Nevertheless, to analytically limit the tremendous complexity of (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. relations and allow for parsimonious, coherent, and effective theory (re-)construction (and evaluation), the thesis at hand deliberately decided to concentrate predominantly on variables relevant for the third image of international relations when analyzing the (post-Cold War) structural frame and designing the competing IR grand theory pictures of (the bilateral system of) Sino-U.S. ties; theorizing while analytically setting aside either domestic-level or trans-/ international variables thereby follows a long research tradition in IR that has arisen from the scholarly intricacies of uniting systemic with subsystemic levels of analysis: “Students of international politics will do well to concentrate on, and make use of, separate theories of internal and external politics” (Waltz 1996: 57). Similarly, Keohane and Nye argue that to focus on the systemic level “[a]s a strategy for research (…) [may; J.V.] probably [be; J.V.] wise, since it is terribly difficult to link domestic politics and the international system together theoretically without reducing the analysis to little more than a descriptive hodgepodge” (Keohane/Nye 1987: 739). In 2002, Keohane pointed out once more that “it is difficult to construct a theory that simultaneously takes into account relations between states and relations within them, and that remains parsimonious”49 (Keohane 2002: 7).

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As has become clear, the thesis thus mainly focuses on structural third image IR grand theory perspectives; as the research debate on theories of international politics versus theories of foreign policy has long established, this does though not imply that IR grand theories may not be suited to derive foreign policy explanations/predictions, and thus case-specific hypotheses of (PRC and U.S.) (relational) foreign policy behav-

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Coming back to structural constraints on (foreign policy) action, chances of interest realization as well as the distribution of security, economic, and participatory values in the international system are usually linked to the (relative share of) power actors have at their (potential) disposal – and to structural interdependencies between them (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 18). As a consequence, international politics has often been perceived as the politics of the few. Next to general structural frame conditions, the capability bases of great and superpowers like the ascending PRC or the hegemonic United States embody the biggest (potential) external constraints on the discretionary of states; accordingly, the number of super-/ great powers in the system “structures the horizon of states’ probable actions and reactions, narrowing the range of choice and providing subtle incentives and disincentives for certain types of behavior” (Ikenberry et al. 2009: 5; Jäger 2008b: 119; 121). The United States, and increasingly China, hence prove particularly decisive as they influence the overall (institutionalized) structure of the international system/environment, thereby affecting the (socio-economic and political) conditions of existence of all

ior (Elman 1996a: 10-13; 16; 30-42; 47f.; 1996b: 60f.; Baumann et al. 1999: 246f.; 282; Carlsnaes 2002: 336; Harnisch 2003: 321-325; Walt 2002: 227f.; Schweller 2003: 321f.; cf. Waltz 1996: 54-57; 1979: 71f.). While Waltz maintains the position that neorealism (as a systemic theory of international politics) may be able to explain the foreign policy behavior of individual states only partially (Waltz 1996: 54-57; 1979: 71f.), Elman convincingly elaborates a more optimistic argumentation that appears to be increasingly shared by (neorealist) scholars in recent times: “[N]eorealist theories can be employed as theories of foreign policy. I can find no convincing epistemological or methodological reasons why neorealist theories should not be used to predict an individual state’s behavior” (Elman 1996a: 12; 10f.; Elman 1996b: 60f.; Harnisch 2003: 321f.; 324f.). The thesis shares this view, and perceives neoliberal and neorealist IR grand theory perspectives as most adequate for analyzing so complex research issues as post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations. More precisely, since trans- and international structures usually constrain to a considerable extent state behavior in the international system, structural IR grand theories, which embody the most sophisticated and parsimonious bodies of thought in the discipline of IR – and which build here upon the closely analyzed (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties – have been deliberately chosen to derive hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior, and ultimately to determine the character of post-Cold War superpower relations. Although here usually set aside subsystemic factors may sometimes interfere with influential third image variables, IR grand theories may still be able to provide appropriate explanations for international politics and (PRC and U.S.) foreign policy behavior (Elman 1996a: 12; 16; 30-42; 47f.; 1996b: 60f.; Baumann et al. 1999: 246f.; 282; Carlsnaes 2002: 336; Harnisch 2003: 321-325; Walt 2002: 227f.).

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other states (Jäger 2008a: 10; 26; 2008b: 119). Due to their significance in the political, economic, military, science, cultural, and other realms, and directly via (regulatory) policies, they influence the (re-)distribution of values, other actors’ freedom of action/expectations, and (hence) the “implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures” in the trans- and international system (Krasner 1983: 2; Jäger 2012c: 149; 2008b: 119). Accentuated relevance of the United States and China for world politics and the world economy thereby arises also from the development that the two economically intertwined superpowers have become deeply embedded into post-Cold War “GIT”-processes (globalization, internationalization and transnationalization), while their economic potentials and (conventional and nuclear) military capabilities further constrain and interrelate their (economic and security) policies – and those of other actors (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 23-34; Kissinger 2011: 480; Jäger 2015: 14; 16). Although China has not been able (yet) to balance (for instance inter alia with Russia) the global edge in power of the (regulatory) hegemon United States, it can embody a considerable regional and to an increasing extent international (UNSC) constraint on U.S. freedom of (foreign policy) action in the sense that it may affect the costs of U.S. behavioral options (Jäger 2008a: 27; Jäger/Dylla 2008: 319). While the PRC has thus become at the minimum a state of strong significance within the U.S. “international environment” (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 15), the United States remains in turn China’s main point of reference regarding international relations (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 20; 22). PRC and U.S. (relative) capability positions and interdependence can thus be conceptualized as heavily affecting the structure of, and freedom of action within, the international and the bilateral system (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 15-19; 21-40); detailed analysis of post-Cold War trends in PRC and U.S. capabilities and Sino-U.S. interdependence makes it hence possible to reconstruct the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations, whereupon the (structural) IR grand theory pictures will then be developed. As indicated, such a proceeding becomes especially compatible and promising since the (structural) neoliberal perspective in Chapter 3.1

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and the (structural) neorealist picture in Chapter 3.2 are primarily located on the third image level of analysis as well (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 16f.). Since the reconstruction of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of SinoU.S. ties is based on the analysis of PRC and U.S. (trends in) power positions and interdependence, it seems appropriate here to analytically apply a “working concept of power” that draws eclectically on some key elements of power theory. IR literature deals abundantly and at the same time controversially with this core concept of political science and respective subdivisions, such as material, ideational, instrumental, structural or discursive (sources of) power – or with categorizations like political, economic, military, technological, cultural or soft power50 (Fuchs 2005: 75f.; 78f.; Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 72; Waltz 1979: 129-131; Jäger 1996: 72-74; 2008: 17; 22; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 19-21; Nye 1990; 2010a; 2010b; Topp 2002: 41-53; Elman 1996a: 44). Due to time and space constraints, Dahl’s prominent definition may serve here as a starting point: “A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not otherwise do” (Dahl 1957: 202f.). In international politics, too, power is first and foremost the capacity to realize one’s interests and “attain the outcomes one wants” despite structural constraints and potential opposition by other actors (Nye 2010a: 2; Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.). The latter aspect refers to Weber’s classical, highly influential definition of power as “the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rests” (Weber 1978: 53; Meyer/van der Dennen 2002: 498). One may become more specific here by arguing that regarding (state) interaction in the international system, the probability to successfully carry out one’s will against potential resistance of other actors usually depends strongly on the (potential) capabilities/resources one can mobilize and (more or less effectively) apply for goal attainment, thereby also enabling the option to

50

For a closer consideration of the concept of power, see Jäger (1996: 71-106), Fuchs (2005), and Fuchs with Vogelmann (2008).

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positively or negatively (costly) sanction the behavior of others (Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; Tammen et al. 2000: 20; 196; Jäger 1996: 81f.; 87; 100; Weber 1978: 53). These capabilities/resources however are unevenly distributed among (state) actors (Ikenberry et al. 2009: 3-5; Waltz 1979: 97). Consequently, power usually rests upon one’s share of capabilities in relation to the capability bases of other actors, with this context naturally influencing any (state/superpower) relationship (Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; Jäger 1996: 76). Coming across a further basal distinction in power theory here, as has become evident, the thesis focuses in this chapter on the concept of power as “control over resources”, and not yet on the concept of “power (…) as influence [and thus as] (…) control over [interdependent/regional; J.V.] actors and outcomes”51 (Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; Hart 1976; Brooks/Wohlforth 2011: 202; 2008: 13; Wohlforth 1994/1995: 97; Keohane/Nye 1989: 11; 18; Ikenberry et al. 2009: 3-5; Jäger 1996: 92). The latter conception, addressing to what extent a (state) actor can translate its capabilities into effective influence (on the intentions and (foreign policy) behavior of other actors in certain (regional) settings), will then be closer considered in the IR grand theory chapter (see Chapter Three) (Ikenberry et al. 2009: 1-3; Jäger 1996: 75). While there exists no comprehensive list, much less shared scholarly agreement on the specific resources of power and their measurement (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 19-21; Baumann et al. 1999: 255f.; Hart 1976: 289f.), Waltz at least established a seminal, widely used concept of combined state capabilities that may to some extent reflect overall state power: “[S]ize of population and territory, resource endowment, economic capability, military strength, political stability and competence” (Waltz

51

The thesis frequently applies the terms power as “control over resources” and/or “control over actors and outcomes” (Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; Hart 1976). Due to reasons of legibility, citation of Baumann et al. (1999) and Hart (1976) can though not be added each time these denominations come up; the honor of adequate formulation, conceptualization, and explication yet naturally belongs to them. Of course, citation of Baumann et al. (1999) and Hart (1976) will still be annexed any time the thesis refers to more than the mere mentioning of these terms.

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52

1979: 131) . Political stability and competence will not be explicitly considered in the following. The former has been already addressed in the introduction; accordingly, one may simply (analytically) note here that – while not neglecting rising stress levels on the Chinese political system and with persistent political/social stability remaining fundamental for a future Chinese superpower role – the PRC and U.S. political systems have remained sufficiently stable to function and subsist in post-Cold War times. With respect to the category of (political) competence, respective scholarly concepts, operationalizations and measurements differ widely and have often remained vague or neglected (Baumann et al. 1999: 255f.). An assessment of the post-Cold War evolution of PRC and U.S. (relative) political competence thus remains difficult and would justify a separate thesis. The same holds true in regard to a detailed judgement on overall PRC and U.S. resource endowment, which would be a challenging task for any team of geoscientists that lies beyond the scope of this thesis. General aspects, like the growing Chinese, and a partly decreasing U.S. dependency on the import of (energy) resources, as well as Sino-U.S. rivalry for (access to) crude oil53, natural gas, industrial metals or rare earths will yet come up recurrently, of course. While the PRC and U.S. population and national territories will be also set into relation, analysis of the (post-Cold war) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties will in the following primarily focus on the evolution of bilateral (economic) interdependence as well as the development of PRC and U.S. economic and military capabilities since 1991. Such an approach seems also appropriate since the latter two categories can be perceived as central elements of state power; application of economic leverage and (threat of) the use of military means/force have been prominent in human histo-

52

53

Ikenberry et al. for instance apply roughly the same conception of state capabilities, but speak of “organizational-institutional ‘competence’” instead of “political stability and competence”; Ferris copes respectively with the “administrative capacity and political structure of a state” (Ikenberry et al. 2009: 4f.; Waltz 1979: 131; Ferris 2010: 249). Wagener estimates the detected U.S. and Chinese reserves of crude oil to be quite evenly distributed: the United States may theoretically possess about 19 bn. barrel, and the PRC about 20 bn. barrel of crude oil reserves (Wagener 2011b: 244). Such numbers remain though always heavily contested.

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ry, and have remained significant in super-/great power and international relations to this day (Baumann et al. 1999: 256; Jäger 2005a: 14; Zimmer 2010: 54-56). These key capabilities have also been reflected in the officially stated PRC “goal of building a prosperous country and a strong military” (Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China (IOSCPRC) 2011; Johnston 1996: 257). The thesis thereby concentrates on two widely used measures of economic and military capability: GDP and defense spending (Ikenberry et al. 2009: 6). Moreover, it carries out a more comprehensive analysis of PRC and U.S. (relative) power positions and interdependence by considering further economic categories such as trade and currency relations, debtor/creditor status54, (foreign direct) investment, and fiscal strength. Beyond that, it necessarily adds a qualitative perspective on PRC and U.S. military trends and capabilities. Just as economic and military capabilities remain intertwined (at least in the middle and long run), the analyses here naturally draw on both economic and political science methods and research traditions (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 12). While humbly recognizing that cross-country comparisons of state power variables remain a complex and disputed task, Chapter 2.1 nevertheless strives in the following for a quantitative analysis of post-Cold War PRC and U.S. economic capabilities and interdependence.

54

As Subramanian argues, “GDP matters because it determines the overall resources that a country can muster to project power against potential rivals or otherwise have its way. Trade, and especially imports, determines how much leverage a country can get from offering or denying other countries access to its markets. And being a leading financier confers extraordinary influence over other countries that need funds, especially in times of crisis” (Subramanian 2011: 67).

2.1 China and the United States in the World Economy

2.1

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China and the United States in the World Economy

2.1 China and the United States in the World Economy

Overview “China is in the midst of one of the most remarkable processes of economic growth and modernization that the world has ever seen” (Khalilzad et al. 1999: 85; Kissinger 2011: 479; Hilpert 2011: 35; Weede 2010: 206; Harvey 2007: 7; Subramanian 2012). Other industrializing countries may have grown faster for some periods in modern times (Wolf 2005). Yet, the “phenomenal rise” of the PRC has been the economic success story at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, with up to 400 million Chinese leaving poverty behind (Wu 2009: 1; Leonard 2009: 18; 40; Mahbubani 2008: 2; Zakaria 2008: 3). Despite persistent Communist one-party rule, Deng Xiaoping’s growth-orientated reforms since 1978 partially ended command economy, and set the framework for a pragmatist “capitalist” economic development under the privilege of the (mainly coastal) special economic zones (Kissinger 321-446; Möller 2004a: 7; Wolf 2005: 50; Wu 2009: 3; Bagnai/Mongeau Ospina 2009: 9). In the 1980s and early 1990s, the reforms paid off; the Chinese economy became increasingly open and integrated into the goods (and partly capital/ service) flows of the world economy. After Deng’s 1992 “Journey to the South”, and the CPC decision for a “socialist market economy”, the PRC hence gradually arrived as an (economic) great power on the world stage: “China is rapidly becoming a great power in every dimension: internal economy, external trade, and military capability” (Waltz 1993: 68; Schüller 2000: 135; Overholt 2008: 114; Sandschneider 2007: 63). Between 2001 and 2004, for instance, the country accounted for 35% of the global growth in demand for crude oil; in 2005, 26% of the world’s crude steel, and 47% of the cement was used there; for quite some time, China has thus been the largest importer of almost any major commodity category (Kissinger 2012; Flavin/Gardner 2006: 5; Müller 2006: 9). Although scholars, pundits, and the media have recurrently (and again recently) worried about a “hard landing” of the Chinese economy inter alia due to turbulences on the financial markets, credit bubbles, non-performing loans, and misallocations in regard to huge amounts of state bank

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granted credit to often poorly competitive state-owned enterprises, substantial (off-balance sheet) borrowing by local (provincial/municipal) administrations, potential real estate and infrastructure investment bubbles, credit crunches in the private sector and an extensive shadow banking system, China’s demographic challenges, high unemployment rates and deficient social welfare and pension systems, skyrocketing rates of pollution and environmental degradation, high inflation rates of for instance 24% in 1994 and again over 5% in 2008/2011, partly extensive levels of corruption/mismanagement, limited possibilities for smooth adaptations in the political, legal, economic, and financial system, as well as the rise of social inequality and tensions between the disadvantaged inland provinces, rural population, migrant workers, and the urban profiteers in the rich coastal areas, these dangers to economic growth, social and political stability could be counteracted, contained or at least postponed successfully (Economy 2010: 143; IMF 2016a; IISS 2012: 214; USDOD 2015: 25; Kissinger 2012; Dobbs et al. 2015: 9-11; 75-89; Overholt 2008: 50, 226f.; Schmidt 2009: 133-153; Pei 2006; Zhao 2007: 622). Accordingly, despite at times even efforts of the PRC leadership to cool down economic growth, China’s gross domestic product increased impressively at an annual average of about 11%-13% between 1980 and 2015 (IMF 2016a)55. Naturally, this implied Chinese relative gains in economic power also with regard to its most important bilateral relationship – the one with the United States: “Since the end of the Cold War the US economy has been expanding at an average of about 3% per year while China has enjoyed annual growth rates closer to 10%” (Friedberg 2010: 32; Loong 2005: 73). The PRC had already proven to be one of few regional areas of relative stability during the Asian Crisis of 1997/1998 – and did so again on a global scale in the world financial crisis of 2007-2009. While the U.S. economy declined by 2.8% in 2009, the Chinese rose by 9.2%. In 2010, the U.S.-PRC discrepancy in GDP growth still listed 8.1 percentage

55

If one relies on nominal GDP data, the annual increase is about 10.8%; PPP-based numbers reveal an annual growth rate of about 12.6% between 1980 and 2015 (IMF 2016a).

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points (IMF 2016a). Thus, while most of the world (and especially the U.S.) economy was badly struck by the economic shocks of the (U.S.) mortgage crisis, the Lehman bankruptcy, the ensuing global financial market and banking crisis in 2008/2009, and again by the Euro crisis since 2009, the U.S. debt-ceiling crises in 2011, 2013, and 2015, and by the 2011 earth quake/tsunami/Fukushima incident in Japan, China pulled through these times with rather limited injuries – and embodied the main locomotive of global recovery (Layne 2011: 159; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 85f.; IISS 2016: 31; 2014: 34; Abrams 2015; Wasson/House 2015). That the world economy’s dependence on the United States has been declining and Asian markets and other threshold countries, above all China, have increased their significance in global economic processes has become clear not only to the automotive industry; in 2009, China evolved as the biggest car market56 – a property the United States had claimed before for about 100 years (Schmidt 2010; Becker 2016). Foundation (in 1999) and upvaluation (in 2008) of the G20 (partly at the expense of the G7/G8) by internationally integrating China and other major (threshold) countries as primary rule makers or at least key negotiation partners concerning global (economic) policy coordination, as well as the increasing IMF/World Bank quota/voting shares/voting power for the PRC and other threshold nations (and inclusion of the Chinese renminbi into the IMF’s SDR basket) can be seen as further consequences of changing (economic) weights in the global system (IMF 2016e; 2015a; 2015b; The World Bank 2010; G20.org 2015; Bremmer/Roubini 2011: 3; Jäger 2012c: 160; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 35; Wu 2010: 160; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 11; 37f.). On the dark side, China’s various pollution records and serious environmental problems (of global significance) can be perceived as another quasi-indicator of its rapid economic ascent (Economy/Lieberthal 2007). For example, the Chinese carbon dioxide output (without Hong Kong emissions) increased by 249% between 1991 and 2011, whereas the United States listed a 10% rise during that time (The World Bank 2016a). Already in 2006, the PRC thereby surpassed the United States as the largest CO2 emitter, and in 2011, respective PRC emission (with-

56

In 2009, China also emerged as the world’s largest car manufacturer (Becker 2016).

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out Hong Kong) were already about 70% higher than those of the United States (The World Bank 2016a; 2016b: 86; 90; Schmidt/ Heilmann 2012: 89f.; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency 2007). The Post-Cold War Evolution of the PRC and the U.S. GDP Before analyzing in more detail the post-Cold War evolution of the PRC and the U.S. GDP, one has to take the scholarly discourse on the two standard methods of international GDP comparison into account: “One way is to convert the value of GDP into (…) the dollar using the average annual market exchange rate [MER] (…). A second way is to convert GDP using purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates” (Crane et al 2005: 9f.). The World Bank defines the PPP conversion factor as “the number of units of a country's currency required to buy the same amount of goods and services in the domestic market as a U.S. dollar would buy in the United States” (The World Bank 2016c; Soubbotina/Sheram 2000: 13). Whether nominal/MER- or PPP-based GDP numbers are more appropriate to capture and compare the overall economic size and economic power of states has thereby been an issue of scholarly debate – especially when dealing with threshold versus industrialized countries like the Sino-U.S. dyad. The different methods of GDP calculation have thus been one reason for varying scholarly assessments of the Sino-U.S. power ratio and the velocity of changes therein: “China is widely viewed as the country with the greatest potential to challenge the United States (…). More than any single indicator, estimates of China’s GDP measured using purchasing power parity (PPP) have fueled this perception” (Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 40). While for instance Brooks/Wohlforth and Posen argue that a PPP-based Chinese GDP may overstate the PRC’s economic power (in comparison with the United States) (Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 42; Posen 2003: 10), the International Institute for Strategic Studies endorses this method especially in regard to developing (and threshold) countries: “[In these cases] (…) economists prefer to use [the PPP] (…) method to derive a more meaningful conversion” (IISS 2007: 341). Crane et al. admit that MERbased GDP data bear the advantage of being relatively easy to calculate,

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and may better capture the role and sphere of influence a state may have at the international (financial) markets and concerning internationally traded goods and services. Nevertheless, they share the PPP argumentation when it comes to the PRC: “[I]n the case of many developing countries, including China, the use of market exchange rates to measure GDP (…) introduces a downward bias in comparison with developed countries (…) [due to] the lower relative cost of important basic goods and services (…) and (…) the ‘weakness’ of currencies” (Crane et al. 2005: 10, 15f.). Although the downward bias in MER-based Chinese GDP data may partly diminish in future if the PRC enhances its integration into global (financial) markets, if its economy and (labor) prices continue to rise, and if its currency appreciates, the IMF still projects the PPP-based Chinese GDP to likely remain (till 2021) about 1.8 to 1.7 times greater than its MER-based equivalent (IMF 2016a; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 42). To give an illustrating example, even building sophisticated military equipment like an aircraft carrier is supposed to be sizably cheaper for the Chinese in Dalian than for the United States in Newport News – due to lower Chinese costs for labor-intensive and non-tradable goods and services, and although the PRC has to (still) buy substantial shares of the (technological) resources at world market prices (Crane et al. 2005: 16). Significant proportions of the Chinese GDP in Renminbi are thus worth more than portrayed by a market exchange rate conversion of Renminbi to U.S. dollar. In other words, “$1 purchases significantly more goods and services produced in China than MERs imply” (IISS 2013: 215). Also regarding the so far rather depreciated Chinese currency (Nye 1997: 67), one may thus conclude here that PPP-based GDP numbers may indeed offer significant advantages when analyzing and comparing the post-Cold War evolution and size of the PRC and the U.S. economy. However, this does not mean that the thesis ignores (China-related) arguments of MER method advocators (Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 42). While Kugler contends that “aggregate output is essentially equivalent to national power” (Kugler 2006: 37), the thesis argues that (PPP-based) economic size may not yet equally reflect economic power, for the latter may additionally depend on access to and stakes/roles in the (so far U.S.

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dominated) world (financial) markets, trans-/international politico-economic institutions and networks (Fuchs 2005: 30; 32; 36; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 42). Moreover, although the PPP-based size of the Chinese economy has already outgrown the U.S. GDP, the former has nevertheless been distributed over a more than four times larger population; a potential Chinese overtaking of the United States in (politico-)economic power may thus take significantly more time (IMF 2016a; Kissinger 2012). Similarly (as will be highlighted in Chapter 2.2), considerable time delays will also exist in regard to a potential conversion of Chinese latent/economic power into actual/military power: “China will be the first to overtake the United States in terms of GDP but it will take many more years before that momentum can be channeled into actual power” (Tammen et al. 2000: 42). Having addressed some key issues in the debate on measurement, estimation, and comparison of national economic size and power, the thesis will in the following analyze in more detail the post-Cold War evolution of the PRC and the U.S. GDP. Up to the present, there has been no doubt in the post-Cold War era that the United States is by far the most powerful state in the international system, and has still remained – ahead of the PRC – the most important economy in the world. Figure 2 illustrates the development of the U.S. gross domestic product and the PPP- and MER-based Chinese GDP in the years from 1991 till 2015, with further projections till 2021. If one compares the post-Cold War evolution of the U.S. and the Chinese GDP based on market exchange rates, the rise of China may still appear moderate: in 2015, the nominal/MER-based Chinese GDP of $11.0 trillion (tr.) implied a share of 61% of the U.S. equivalent ($17.9 tr.) – with China probably reaching (MER-based) around 78% of the U.S. GDP in 2021 (see Figure 2) (IMF 2016a). This perspective of a persisting, solid U.S. economic superiority changes, however, if one takes purchasing power into account. According to the IMF, the PPP-based Chinese GDP already

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57

overtook the U.S. GDP in 2014 (see Figure 2) (IMF 2016a; CIA 2016c). PRC real GDP growth will in the near to middle term likely continue to be significantly higher than the correspondent U.S. indicator (IMF 2016a). If one takes recent Chinese economic difficulties into account and assumes (as the IMF) that a (politically stable) China may list an average real GDP growth of “only” around 6% annually till 2021 – which implies a substantially lower PRC growth rate than the post-Cold War average so far – then the PPP-based size of the Chinese economy may in 2021 be already around 35% bigger than the U.S. economy (which may in real terms grow on average probably below 3% annually till 2021) (see Figure 2) (IMF 2016a; Scissors 2012; Keidel 2008: 6; Kaplan 2006). Analysis of the post-Cold War evolution of the PRC and the U.S. GDP thus reveals that China has in the economic realm been catching up relatively fast with the United States, already overtook the United States in PPP-based GDP, and might early in the middle term also become MER-based the largest economy in the world58; 59 (IMF 2016a; Keidel 2008: 6-8). However, it may still take some more time till the PRC can (in the middle term) wield trans- and internationally as much (politico-)economic power as the United States. At least until mid-century, the economic contest between China and the United States may thus be a central dynamic in the world economy and world politics (Tammen et al. 2000: 179).

57 58

59

By overtaking Japan in 1999 (PPP-based) and 2009/2010 (MER-based), respectively, the PRC had previously already become the world’s second largest national economy (IMF 2016a; USDOD 2011: 13). In the long term, only India may remain as a potential contender for the (then) Chinese owned label as the world’s biggest economy. India may likely grow more populous than China between about 2023 and 2040, and might (thus) once also challenge China in economic size. However, that India’s GDP might exceed the U.S. and eventually the Chinese GDP is expected to not happen before (late in) the second half of the 21st century (Tammen et al. 2000: 179, 176, 191, 43; Kugler 2006: 39; IMF 2016a). Of course, this trend remains highly relevant for neoliberal and neorealist perspectives on world politics and Sino-U.S. relations; while neoliberalism takes in particular economically based causes and effects in interdependent trans- and international relations as well as capability-based unequal chances for (state) preference realization into account, neorealists focus especially on international shifts in (also economic) power (Jäger 2008a: 10).

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Figure 2: GDP of the United States and China, 1991-2021, $ tr. 35

30.8

30 25 19.4

20

17.9

15 10

22.8 17.8

11.0

5 0

United States, nominal GDP

China, PPP‐based GDP

China, nominal GDP

Source: By author; data taken from IMF 2016a, prognosis from 2016 on. PPP-based GDP numbers refer to “current international dollars” (IMF 2016a).

If one broadens the consideration towards the international (economic) system as a whole, it becomes evident that the different post-Cold War PRC and U.S. GDP growth rates have naturally affected the superpower shares of world GDP as well. In the 20th century interwar period and after World War II, the United States provided a war-based, exceptionally high percentage of the world gross domestic product of more than 40% (Münkler 2005: 243). However, since the 1960s, this share steadily declined to about 22-23% in the 1980s: “Had this decline continued for another decade or two, America would have come troublingly close to ‘imperial overstretch’” (Kennedy 2002). Yet, the implosion of the Soviet economies, the stalling of the Japanese boom, and the solid U.S. economic growth in the 1990s stabilized the U.S. share of world GDP (at around 20% in the 1990s), so that some scholars pointed again to the fact that the economic capabilities available to the United States were still significantly higher than any other hegemon had had at its disposal in modern history (Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 31; Kennedy 2002; IMF 2016a).

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Since 1999, though, the U.S. percentage of world GDP has been declining again – from about 21% in 1999 to less than 16% in 2015 – and it may continue to do so and reach less than 15% in 2020/202160 (see Figure 3) (IMF 2016a). Conversely, the Chinese proportion of world GDP had counted only around 4% in 1991; it though increased persistently and reached – after overtaking the U.S. share in 2014 – 17% in 2015. Growth of the Chinese world GDP share from about 4% in 1991 to probably almost 20% in 2021 thus impressively portrays the post-Cold War rise of PRC economic capabilities; moreover, at least according to PPP-based data, a Sino-U.S. gap in world GDP share of probably more than five percentage points in 2021 also highlights that an economic power transition within the superpower relationship may be (relatively fast) under way (see Figure 3) (IMF 2016a). Figure 3: Percentage of World GDP of the United States and China, 1991-2021 25 22 20

20 21

17

15

16

15

10 5

4

0

United States

China

Source: By author; data (PPP-based GDP) taken from IMF 2016a; prognosis from 2016 on.

Considering the (projected) (PPP-based) economic size of also other major economic powers in the (future) international system sheds some

60

Shares of GDP are PPP-based, here.

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additional light on global economic trends under way in the early 21st century – and on the (likely) economic positions of China and the United States therein. Figure 4 thereby reveals a triadically dominated international economic system in 2015, with the PRC (listing a 17.1% share of world GDP), the European Union (EU-28)61 (16.9% of world GDP), and the United States (15.8% of world GDP) as the largest and most important players in the world economy (see Figure 4) (IMF 2016a). Figure 4: Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2015 Including the EU-28

2015

United States 15.8 17.1 China

European Union 16.9

2.8 Brazil

7.0 3.3

Russia

India

4.3

Japan

Source: By author; data taken from IMF 2016a; PPP-based GDP data.

61

For the 2015 GDP share, the EU-28 was considered, which comprised the member nations Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (IMF 2016b: 148). In a referendum on June 23rd, 2016, the United Kingdom electorate voted to leave the European Union (“Brexit”); the United Kingdom will thus no longer be part of the European Union by 2021, and other states (such as a potentially independent Scotland, Albania or North Macedonia) may not (yet) have (re-)joined the union by that date (Wheeler/Hunt 2016). Accordingly, the projected percentage of world GDP of the European Union in 2021 was calculated on the basis of the EU-27 (and thus the member states denominated above minus the United Kingdom).

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As already indicated, economic weights will though likely continue to shift towards China. By 2021, the PRC will thus probably list an almost 20% share of world GDP, the U.S. proportion may likely decline to less than 15%, followed by the about 13% share of the EU-2762, and India with about 9% (see Figure 5) (IMF 2016a). Figure 5: Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2021 Including the EU-27

2021

United States 15 20

European Union

China

13

2 Brazil

9 3

Russia

India

4

Japan

Source: By author; data taken from IMF 2016a; prognosis; PPP-based GDP data.

If one analyzes the (near-term) international distribution of economic capabilities on a strict national basis excluding the EU as a single economic bloc, a bipolar PRC and U.S. economic dominance appears in 2015 (see Figure 6) (IMF 2016a). By 2021, however, the Chinese economy may likely list a share of (PPP-based) world GDP that may be already more than 35% larger than the U.S. equivalent, and it may (still) more than double India’s proportion (see Figure 7) (IMF 2016a).

62

See Footnote 61.

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Figure 6: Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2015 (National Basis)

2015

United States 15.8 France

China 17.1

2.3

United Kingdom

India

7.0

2.4 2.8

4.3 3.3

3.4

Brazil

Japan

Russia

Germany

Source: By author; data taken from IMF 2016a; PPP-based world GDP.

Figure 7: Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2021 (National Basis)

2021

United States 20 China

15

France

2

United Kingdom

9

2 2

India

4 3

3

Brazil

Japan

Russia

Germany

Source: By author; data taken from IMF 2016a; prognosis; PPP-based world GDP.

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The share of the biggest European economy, Germany, is thereby projected to fall from about 3.4% of world GDP in 2015 to below 3% in 2021, and all other European economies, Russia, and Brazil may in 2021 probably rank as well below the 3% mark. While Japan’s proportion may further shrink to about 3.5% in 2021, rising India may then reach almost 9%. Except perhaps for the latter, the world GDP shares of all other major economic powers in 2021 will be rather minor compared to the Chinese and U.S. proportions of roughly 20% and 15%, respectively (see Figures 6 and 7) (IMF 2016a). Population (and Territory) Regarding Sino-U.S. relations again in the narrow sense, a major foundation for the significant Chinese potential to continue the bilateral (and global) economic power transition under way becomes evident: a necessary (though of course not sufficient) precondition for (economic) super-/ great power status is population size: “Given its size China is a ‘natural’ great power—unlike Britain, France, or Germany. Even the combined population of the United States and the European Union does not approach the population size of China. If China outgrows poverty, then it must become a world power” (Weede 2010: 206). Similarly, Kugler points as well to the (potential) relation between population and economic power: “In the long run, China’s demographic and hence economic power cannot be denied” (Kugler 2006: 39; emphasis added). The demographic imbalance between the PRC and the United States thereby remains immense; in 2015, the United States counted a population of about 322 million – whereas the PRC population of about 1,375 million was around 4.3 times larger (IMF 2016a). In addition, China has been rapidly urbanizing, a process scholars usually perceive as a precondition inter alia for rising (per capita) productivity and (hence) economic capability. Between 1991 and 2014, China’s urban population increased by about 428 million people – a number that has been significantly higher than the total U.S. population (The World Bank 2016a). In 2011, the PRC thereby passed a cornerstone: since then, “its city-dwellers (…) outnumber its rural residents” (The Economist 2012b) – so that in 2014, 54% of the PRC population lived in urban regions (The World Bank 2016a; 2016b: 48).

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Regarding post-Cold War PRC and U.S. demographic growth, China recorded an average annual increase in population63 of about 0.8% between 1991 and 2014 (including post-2006 annual growth rates of around 0.5%) – while the United States listed on average an annual population growth of about 1.0% between 1991 and 2014 (The World Bank 2016a; IMF 2016a). Until 2021, the Chinese population may likely increase by about 0.5% annually, and the U.S. population is projected to rise by around 0.9% per year (IMF 2016a). In relative – though not absolute – numbers, the United States will thus probably continue to have a slightly higher population increase than the significantly aging Chinese society (that has been marked by the 1979/1980-2015 PRC one-child policy). As indicated, the rather small Sino-U.S. difference in relative demographic growth64 will though in the near to middle term not significantly affect the Sino-U.S. demographic imbalance. China, which covers the fourth largest national territory worldwide (of roughly 9.6 million km2), may probably have a population of around 1,416 million in 2021, while the United States, with the third largest national territory (of about 9.8 million km2), may likely reach a population of about 339 million by that year (IMF 2016a; Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 2016a; The World Bank 2016b: 48; 52). Since productivity and education levels may likely continue to rise in the PRC (and more Chinese may receive tertiary education), the Sino-U.S. demographic imbalance may become more decisive in future. In 2005, China had for instance already about 1.7 million engineering graduates, while the United States counted roughly 700,000 (Flavin/ Gardner 2006; Overholt 2008: 259). Despite still substantial gaps in the qualification levels of Chinese and U.S. engineers and the (working) population in general, such numbers remain impressive – especially when anticipating an ongoing, relatively fast growth of (technological and economic) knowledge in the PRC.

63 64

These data do not include Hong Kong, which has a higher population growth. By contrast, the Indian population may likely continue to grow at a pace more than twice as high as the Chinese (The World Bank 2016a; 2011: 36f.; Tammen et al. 2000: 176; IMF 2016a).

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GDP Per Capita The analysis of PRC and U.S. GDP and population data leads to another indicator: GDP per capita or productivity. Pundits skeptical about Chinese economic capabilities and the PRC (mid-term) potential to become an (economic/regional) U.S. challenger have partly argued that GDP per capita may be the more adequate indicator for national economic power and the “sophistication of an economy” (Nye 2010a: 4; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 40-42). Based on these premises, skepticism towards terming China an economic superpower may be to some extent comprehensible: the PPP-based Chinese GDP per person reached $14,107 in 2015, and thus measured only about 25% of the U.S. GDP per capita of $55,805 (and the nominal/MER-based Chinese GDP per capita was only slightly more than half of the PPP-based figure) (IMF 2016a). The point is, however, that to internationally compare the economic capability of states, aggregate economic output – and hence overall GDP – may still be the more adequate measure than reference to the living standard or productivity of the single citizen (GDP per capita) (Kugler 2006: 36). For it is the overall GDP of a state that usually remains to a certain percentage at the disposal of the government, which may then decide how and to what extent it may transfer capabilities into (foreign policy) output and actual power; accordingly, Crane et al. argue as well that “[t]he key determinant of a country’s ability to expend resources [for instance; J.V.] on its military forces is the size of its economy” (Crane et al. 2005: 9; emphasis added). Beyond that, Chinese GDP per capita levels will most likely continue to rise impressively. After having already increased by about 46 times between 1980 and 2015 – and by more than 13 times since 1991 – the (PPP-based) Chinese GDP per person is projected to reach about one third of the U.S. equivalent by around 2021/2022; convergence towards U.S. levels might then probably happen (late) in the second half of the 21st century (IMF 2016a; Keidel 2008: 6; Nye 2010b: 150). So far, the analysis of post-Cold War PRC and U.S. GDP and population data has thus revealed that despite still relatively low, but growing PRC levels of GDP per capita it seems quite adequate to perceive rising China as an economic superpower that has the (mid-term) potential to overtake the United States also in MER-based economic size.

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China and the United States in World Trade The perception of rising China as an economic superpower (even in relation to the United States) is further underpinned by a closer look on world trade – and the export side in particular. It makes sense to consider in the following the three major trading powers – China, the United States, and Germany (WTO 2016). In 2007, the PRC passed the United States in merchandise exports, and finally also Germany in 2009, thus being since then the world export champion in goods (see Figure 8) (IMF 2016c; WTO 2016; UN 2016: 128; 382; UN Comtrade Database 2016; Nye 2010b: 150). Similarly, China’s economic ascent was also reflected by the PRC evolving as the leading producer of goods in 2010 (with about one fifth of global manufacturing), overtaking here as well the United States that had held this label for more than 110 years (The Economist 2012a; Marsh 2011; Ferguson, cit. in Griffiths/Luciani 2011: 8). According to most recent trade data, China exported goods in 2015 worth $2,284 billion (bn.), U.S. exports ranked second (worth $1,505 bn.), and German exports third (worth $1,326 bn.); since the value of PRC exports was hence already more than 50% larger than U.S. exports of goods, the Chinese export leadership has become indisputable (see Figure 8) (IMF 2016c). Regarding the international trading system, this implied that the PRC provided around 13.9%, the United States 9.2%, and Germany 8.1% of total world merchandise exports in 2015 (IMF 2016c). Concerning the import side, the United States brought in around 14.2% (worth $2,308 bn.), the PRC 10.3% (worth $1,681 bn.), and Germany 6.4% (worth $1,052 bn.) of total world merchandise imports in 2015 (IMF 2016c). Accordingly, the United States has still remained the largest importer of goods, followed by China and Germany; in the near term, the PRC may though have the potential to overtake the United States also in total merchandise imports (WTO 2016; IMF 2016c; UN 2016: 382; UN Comtrade Database 2016).

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Figure 8: Annual Exports of Goods of China, the United States, and Germany, 1991-2015, $ bn. 2,500

2,284

2,000 1,505 1,500 1,326

1,000 500

422 403 72

0

       China                    United States  Germany United States

  Germany  China

Source: By author; data taken from IMF 2016c.

Last but not least, the export-import data considered above provides the basis for closer analysis of the PRC and U.S. positions in world merchandise trade. Figure 9 thereby reveals that the once significant SinoU.S. gap in the volume of merchandise trade that had existed early in the post-Cold War era decreased at a considerable pace – and finally disappeared: “[I]n terms of total trade, the US was about 8 times larger than China in 1990 and the gap narrowed to 5 times in 1995. It further decreased to 3 times in 2000. By 2005, US trade was less than twice that of China’s” (Zhao 2007: 613; IMF 2016c). Eventually, after passing the German trade volume in 2009, the value of Chinese merchandise trade also overtook the U.S. equivalent in 2013 – so that the PRC has since then been the largest trading nation in goods (see Figure 9) (IMF 2016c; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 63; WTO 2016). For 2015, this implied a PRC share of world merchandise trade of about 12.1% (or $3,965 bn.), followed by the United States with about 11.6% (or $3,813 bn.), and Germany with about 7.3% (or $2,378 bn.) (see Figure 9) (IMF 2016c).

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Figure 9: Annual Total Trade in Goods of China, the United States, and Germany, 1991-2015, $ bn. 4,500

3,965

4,000

3,813

3,500 3,000 2,500

2,378

2,000 1,500 1,000 500

930 793 136

0

       China                    United States  Germany United States

  Germany  China

Source: By author; data taken from IMF 2016c.

Trade statistics thereby illustrate also significant differences in PRC and U.S. economic structures. While China has so far been stronger aligned to trade/exports in goods and transnational production networks (export processing trade) in particular, and has only recently started prudent reform initiatives to adjust its economic model more towards services and domestic consumption, the latter has definitely been the backbone of the U.S. economy (Nye 2010b: 150; Kaplan 2006; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 66f.; UN 2016: 382; 128; UN Comtrade Database 2016). Some pundits even speak of an “industrial emptying” or a de-industrialization of the United States in post-Cold War times, which has since 2000 lost more than 30% of its industrial jobs – partly also due to dislocations to threshold countries like the PRC (Gärtner 2011b; Layne 2011: 155). In 2014, exports of goods and services made up about 13.5% of the U.S. GDP, but still almost 24% of the Chinese GDP; overall, while foreign trade in goods and services contributed with less than 30% to the U.S. GDP in 2014, China’s gross domestic product depended to more than 45% on trade (IMF 2016d). These data suggest that the threshold country China

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may still be stronger dependent on trade and especially merchandise exports to the U.S. (market) than vice versa, an insight that indicates a slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. trade interdependence highly relevant for the theory part in Chapter Three. According to neoliberals, for instance, the high Chinese trade to GDP ratio may potentially render the PRC leadership especially sensitive to welfare and (thus) pacifying effects of trans-/international trade and markets (and hence to the influences of capitalism’s “invisible hand”) (Smith 2005 [1776]: 364; Weede 2010: 206f.). Due to the high relevance for IR theory (deductions), some further characteristics of (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. trade interdependence will be analyzed in the following. Sino-U.S. (Bilateral) Trade Relations As has been indicated, significant volumes of (bilateral) trade and (mutual) foreign (direct) investment65 have inter alia been considered as sources of international economic interdependence; as a major concept of the (neo-)liberal school of thought, and of interdependence analysis, capitalist, commercial, and liberal economic peace theory in particular, international (economic) interdependence has thereby been mostly linked (by these scholars) to peaceful and rather cooperative interstate ties (see Chapter 3.1) (Angell 1913; Weede 2010: 206f.; 209-212; Gartzke/Hewitt 2010: 115-117; 121; 138f.; Schneider/Gleditsch 2010: 107f.; Zimmer 2010: 58; Schieder 2010: 190). According to these approaches, SinoU.S. trade flows may offer strong reasons for optimism regarding postCold War superpower relations; bilateral trade statistics illustrate a high economic significance of the United States for China and vice versa – and a strong degree of bilateral economic interdependence. From the U.S. perspective on Sino-U.S. trade in 2015 – and thus the perspective of (MER-based) the world’s largest economy, the world’s largest importer of goods, the world’s second largest exporter of goods, the world’s second largest merchandise trading nation and the world’s largest exporter and importer of (and hence largest trading nation in)

65

PRC and U.S. (bilateral) foreign direct investment data will be analyzed further below.

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66

services – the PRC was by far the largest merchandise import supplier of the United States, bringing in goods worth about $482 billion in 2015 (see Table 1); the major import categories have thereby been (electrical) machinery, furniture and bedding, toys and sports equipment, and footwear. The second and third largest U.S. merchandise import suppliers Canada ($295.2 bn. in 2015) and Mexico ($294.7 bn. in 2015) then followed with significantly smaller volumes (U.S. Census Bureau/U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (USCB/USBEA) 2016: 16; supplement: 5; 7; USCB 2016a; Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) 2016a; IMF 2016a; 2016c; UN 2016: 382f.; UN Comtrade Database 2016; Martin 2016: 3). The share of merchandise imports from China over total U.S. merchandise imports has thereby increased from 0.2% in 1978 to 21.5% in 2015 (see Table 1) (USCB 2016a; USCB/USBEA 2016: 16; supplement: 5; OECD, cit. in Bagnai/Mongeau Ospina 2009: 9). At the same time, China held in 2015 the third place as a destination of U.S. exports in goods (worth $116 bn. or 7.7% of total U.S. merchandise exports), after the U.S. neighbors Canada and Mexico (USCB/USBEA 2016: 16; supplement: 5; 7; USCB 2016a; USTR 2016a; UN Comtrade Database 2016). Aircraft, (electrical) machinery, grain, seeds, fruit (soybeans), and vehicles made up the biggest proportions of U.S. merchandise exports to China; the PRC was thereby the second largest export market for U.S. agricultural goods (USTR 2016a). On the whole, the United States listed China in 2015 as its largest goods trading partner (followed by Canada and Mexico), with a Sino-U.S. trade volume of $598 billion or 16% of overall U.S. external trade (see Table 1) (USCB 2016a; USCB/USBEA 2016: 16; supplement: 5; 7; USTR 2016a; UN Comtrade Database 2016).

66

The latter categorization rests upon 2013 and 2014 (latest available) data (UN 2016: 382; UN Comtrade Database 2016).

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Table 1: The United States in World Trade and Selected U.S. Bilateral Trade The United States in World Trade in 2015 Largest Economy (MER-based) - Largest Importer of Goods - Second Largest Exporter of Goods - Second Largest Merchandise Trading Nation - Largest Exporter and Importer of (and Trading Nation in) Services67 Selected U.S. Bilateral Trade in 2015 China

South Korea

Taiwan

Iran

North Korea

1 68 598 16.0

6 115 3.1

9 67 1.8

129 0.293 0

225+ 0.005 0

U.S. Export Destinations Rank Volume, $ bn. % of Total Exports

3 116 7.7

7 43 2.9

14 26 1.7

114 0.282 0

204 0.005 0

U.S. Import Suppliers Rank Volume, $ bn. % of Total Imports

1 482 21.5

6 72 3.2

11 41 1.8

171 0.011 0

225+ 0.000 0

U.S. Trade Partners Rank Volume, $ bn. % of Total Trade

Figures cover trade in goods only and are (U.S.) customs/census-based. Source: By author; data taken from USCB/USBEA 2016: 16; 25; supplement: 5-8; USCB 2016a; USTR 2016; IMF 2016c; 2016a; UN 2016: 382f.; UN Comtrade Database 2016.

67 68

The latter categorization rests upon 2013 and 2014 (latest available) data (UN 2016: 382; UN Comtrade Database 2016). Table 1 relies mainly on well compiled U.S. Census Bureau/U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis figures (USCB/USBEA 2016; USCB 2016a), while Table 2 founds predominantly on numbers from the UN Comtrade Database (UN Comtrade Database 2016); since the UN Comtrade Database relies mostly on national data reports, the variance between U.S. reported UN Comtrade Database figures and U.S. Census Bureau/U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data remains usually marginal. However, due to several technical and non-technical reasons, U.S. and PRC official trade statistics often differ significantly in the same category (Martin 2016; USCB 2016a; 2016b; USCB/USBEA 2016; UN Comtrade Database 2016; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 139). Accordingly, both USCB/USBEA and U.S. reported UN Comtrade Database figures vary from PRC reported UN Comtrade Database numbers; this is why the USCB/USBEA data on SinoU.S. (bilateral) trade in Table 1 do not match with the PRC reported UN Comtrade Database numbers on Sino-U.S. (bilateral) trade in Table 2. On the difference between U.S. based and PRC based (bilateral) trade (balance) data, see also Footnote 73.

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From a Chinese perspective on Sino-U.S. bilateral trade – and thus the perspective of (PPP-based) the world’s largest economy, the world’s largest merchandise trading nation, the world’s largest exporter of goods, the world’s second largest importer of goods, and the world’s second largest importer of services69 – it has been the tremendous significance of the U.S. sales market that has rendered the United States the undisputed Chinese top trading partner in goods, with a notable distance to the following merchandise trade volumes with Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (see Table 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016; UN 2016: 128f.; 382f.; CIA 2016c; IMF 2016a; IMF 2016c). According to PRC reported UN Comtrade Database figures, the 2015 Sino-U.S. merchandise trade volume of more than $561 billion made up about 14.2% of Chinese total external trade (see Table 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016). Correspondingly, the United States was the number one destination of PRC exports in goods in 2015 (worth almost $411 bn.); this implied that almost one fifth of Chinese merchandise exports went to the United States (followed by Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea) (see Table 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016). At the same time, with an import volume of almost $151 billion (and a share of about 9% of PRC imports in goods), the United States embodied the second largest import supplier of China – after South Korea ($175 bn.), and followed by Taiwan ($145 bn.), Japan, and Germany (see Table 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016). Summing up, with the United States and China as their number one trading partners, one finds a strong degree of interdependence in Sino-U.S. trade relations (see Tables 1 and 2).

69

The latter categorization rests upon 2013 and 2014 (latest available) data (UN 2016: 382; 128; UN Comtrade Database 2016).

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Table 2: The PRC in World Trade and Selected PRC Bilateral Trade The PRC in World Trade in 2015 Largest Economy (PPP-based) - Largest Merchandise Trading Nation - Largest Exporter 70 of Goods - Second Largest Importer of Goods - Second Largest Importer of Services Selected PRC Bilateral Trade in 2015 United States

South Korea

Taiwan

Iran

North Korea

1 71 561.3 14.2

4 276 7.0

5 190 4.8

27 34 0.9

64 72 5.454 0.14

PRC Export Destinations Rank Volume, $ bn. % of Total Exports

1 410.8 18.0

4 101 4.4

11 45 2.0

27 18 0.8

69 2.947 0.13

PRC Import Suppliers Rank Volume, $ bn. % of Total Imports

2 150.5 9.0

1 175 10.4

3 145 8.6

24 16 1.0

61 2.507 0.15

PRC Trade Partners Rank Volume, $ bn. % of Total Trade

Figures cover trade in goods only and are measured based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS). Source: by author; data taken from UN Comtrade Database 2016; UN 2016: 128f.; 382; IMF 2016a; 2016c.

However, before becoming too optimistic regarding potential neoliberal interpretations of the strong Sino-U.S. trade interdependence, one has to also take the significant asymmetry in the bilateral merchandise trade balance into account – which has posed a major source of Sino-U.S. friction (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 139f.; Martin 2016: i; 1). More precisely, in the post-Cold War era, the United States has recorded an increasing,

70 71 72

The latter categorization rests upon 2013 and 2014 (latest available) data (UN 2016: 382; 128; UN Comtrade Database 2016). See Footnote 68. Beyond PRC based (UN Comtrade Database) figures, there may also have been significant volumes of tacit/unrecorded PRC-DPRK (barter) trade (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 130f.).

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recently very high merchandise trade deficit with the PRC (and the latter has accordingly listed a large surplus in Sino-U.S. trade in goods); according to USCB (2016b) data, the United States imported goods from China in 2015 worth $483 billion, and listed a volume of merchandise exports to the PRC of $116 billion; this resulted in a U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China of $367 billion73 (see Figure 10) (USCB 2016b). In post-Cold War times, Chinese merchandise imports to the United States have thereby grown faster than U.S. exports of goods to China, so that the U.S. merchandise trade deficit advanced quicker than total Sino-U.S. trade in goods: while the bilateral merchandise trade volume increased by about 24 times from about $25 billion in 1991 to about $599 billion in 2015, the U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China (or the Chinese merchandise trade surplus with the United States) grew in the same period by about 29 times from less than $13 billion to more than $367 billion74 (see Figure 10) (USCB 2016b). Growing post-Cold War merchandise trade deficits with China have thereby evoked political concern in Washington, and entailed numerous trade conflicts (also within the WTO since China’s accession in 2001). Accordingly, various scholars have warned of a bilateral (limited) trade/economic war or underlined that Sino-U.S. trade has become a considerable source of tensions (Friedberg 2010: 37; 2005: 7; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 139f.; Mastanduno 1997: 83f.; Martin 2016: i; 1).

73

74

Official PRC sources (and hence also PRC reported UN Comtrade Database figures) show a Chinese merchandise trade surplus with the United States of only about $260 bn.; PRC based figures on the Sino-U.S. trade surplus/deficit have thus in recent years been considerably lower than data from U.S. sources (Martin 2016; USCB 2016a; 2016b; UN Comtrade Database 2016; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 139). Since detailed Sino-U.S. trade data for the post-Cold War era have though been best provided by the USCB, this source has been relied upon in Figure 10 (USCB 2016b). Here, and in Chapter Two in general, numbers may partly not sum due to rounding.

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Figure 10: Overview of Sino-U.S. (Bilateral) Merchandise Trade and the U.S. Merchandise Trade Deficit with China, 1991-2015, $ bn. 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 ‐100 ‐200 ‐300 ‐400

599 483

25

116

‐13 ‐367

U.S. trade with China

U.S. imports from China

U.S. exports to China

U.S. trade deficit with China

Source: By author; data taken from USCB 2016b. Data cover trade in goods only.

In 2015, the U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China made up almost 50% of its global trade deficit in goods (USCB/USBEA 2016: 16; supplement: 5). Accordingly, the U.S.-China merchandise trade deficit was clearly the largest bilateral one in U.S. external trade; it was around 5 times larger than the second and third placed U.S. merchandise trade deficits with Germany ($74 bn.) and Japan ($69 bn.) (USCB/USBEA 2016: 16; supplement: 5f.; USCB 2016a). While the overall PRC merchandise trade balance measured a surplus of about $604 billion in 2015 (IMF 2016c), U.S. trade in goods listed a global deficit of about $803 billion75/$759 billion76 (IMF 2016c; UN 2016: 382; USCB 2016c; USCB/ USBEA 2016: 16). Considering not only trade in goods but also trade in services, the overall U.S. trade deficit reached about $532 billion in 2015

75 76

The figure rests upon IMF and UN data (IMF 2016c; UN 2016: 382). The figure rests upon USCB data (USCB 2016c; USCB/USBEA 2016: 16). Overall U.S. trade balance numbers (for both goods and services) reflect in the following a USCB Balance of Payments basis and are seasonally adjusted (USCB 2016c).

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(USCB 2016c). It hence clearly resulted from the negative balance of U.S. merchandise trade ($759 bn. in 2015), while its trade in services listed a surplus of about $227 bn. in 2015 – even with the PRC77 (which had an overall 2014 trade in services deficit of about $172 bn.) (USCB 2016c; USCB/USBEA 2016: 16; 28; USTR 2016a; UN 2016: 128). As the United States has thus remained the world’s largest exporter and importer of services (and China has so far gained the second rank only concerning imports of services)78, scholars frequently point to the edge the United States still has over China regarding the (transnational) service sector (UN 2016: 382; 128; UN Comtrade Database 2016; Zhao 2007: 622). On the whole, the U.S. surplus in trade in services has not been able to compensate for the huge U.S. deficit in merchandise trade – globally, and concerning Sino-U.S. trade in particular (USCB 2016c; USCB/USBEA 2016: 27f.; UN 2016: 382). As an interim conclusion on the PRC and U.S. position in world trade and bilateral trade ties, one may say that next to the ongoing Sino-U.S. economic power transition, a high degree of bilateral economic (trade) interdependence has become evident. Nevertheless, with respect to potential interpretations from IR grand theory perspectives (see Chapter Three), the picture seems mixed. On the one hand, the United States and China have become their number one trading partners and the world’s largest (China) and second largest (United States) trading nations in goods. On the other hand, the United States has had its by far largest bilateral trade deficit with China, and a huge deficit in world trade in recent years; at the same time, the PRC has recorded significant surpluses in trade with the United States and globally – a background that has recurrently evoked tensions in the superpower relationship. Due to the greater contribution of foreign trade to GDP in China (more than 45% in 2014) than in the United States (less than 30% in 2014) and the high PRC surpluses in (Sino-

77 78

The volume of Sino-U.S. (bilateral) trade in services measured about $61 billion in 2015; the U.S. trade surplus in services with China/the Chinese trade deficit in services with the United Sates was thereby about $30 bn. (USTR 2016a). This categorization rests upon 2013 and 2014 (latest available) data (UN 2016: 382; 128; UN Comtrade Database 2016).

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95

U.S.) trade, one may deduce a slightly higher dependence of the PRC on world and bilateral trade (IMF 2016d). Accordingly, the PRC may potentially encounter higher costs in case of (politically induced) setbacks in Sino-U.S., regional or world trade – a conclusion that may become particularly significant in Chapter Three. PRC and U.S. Trade Relations with Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, and Iran Leaving further interpretations of the PRC and U.S. positions in world and Sino-U.S. trade to the Chapters 2.3 and Three, the thesis still considers in the following the economic (trade) significance for the superpowers of the regional actors (and vice versa) dealt with in the four empirical case studies in Chapter Four: Taiwan, South Korea, and North Korea. Furthermore, a short view will be also cast on U.S. and Chinese merchandise trade ties with Iran, for it illustrates par excellence that international political relations have usually major (direct and indirect) implications also for transnational trade and the economic realm. In this respect, differing PRC and U.S. positions and adherence to UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran have recurrently elicited tensions in superpower relations. Taiwan At least since the outbreak of the Korean War, Taiwan has been a strategic issue between the PRC and the United States. However, with the rapid industrialization and modernization of the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) – a development that had started earlier than in the PRC – Taiwan’s economic weight and influence had increased steadily. As the 21st largest economy in the world79 and a leading manufacturer of information technology and other high tech products, the island was the eleventh largest U.S. import supplier of goods and the ninth largest U.S. merchandise trade partner in 2015 (with a bilateral trade volume of $67 billion); it ranked 14th as a destination of U.S. exports in goods, and has long been a major receiver of U.S. arms sales (see Table 1) (CIA 2016b; USCB/

79

GDP (ranking) figures on Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, and Iran here are purchasing power parity-(PPP-)based and 2015 estimates (CIA 2016b).

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USBEA 2016: 16; supplement: 8; USCB 2016a; UN Comtrade Database 2016; IISS 2007: 340). Being among the top ten U.S. merchandise trade partners, links to the Taiwanese economy (and especially the island’s electronic and semiconductor industry) have thus remained significant for the United States80. For the PRC, however – also from an economic point of view – Taiwan is far more important than for the United States: in 2015, Taiwan was the fifth largest merchandise trade partner of the PRC (with a PRC-ROC trade volume of about $190 bn.) and one of the main sources of foreign direct investment in and technology transfer to the mainland; ranking even as China’s number three import supplier of goods (with a 2015 import volume of about $145 bn.), only its position as the eleventh largest destination of Chinese merchandise exports remained less significant (see Table 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016)81. Economic relations across the Taiwan Strait have thus been shaped in recent years by the flow of Taiwanese capital, knowledge/technology, businessmen, export (producer) goods and significant parts of value chains (as well as tourists) to the PRC. The Taiwan-mainland trade thereby embodied one of the major trade flows in Asia, and has been important both for the economic development in the PRC and the ROC. Compared to the SinoTaiwanese merchandise trade volume of about $190 billion in 2015, the U.S.-Taiwanese merchandise trade volume of about $67 billion measured only roughly one third (see Tables 1 and 2). The economic significance of Taiwan has thus become considerably higher for the PRC than for the United States – a fact that will be taken into account when deriving the IR grand theory hypotheses in Chapter Three.

80

81

Vice versa, ROC-U.S. merchandise trade made up almost 12% of overall ROC foreign trade in goods in 2015, with the United States being Taiwan’s third largest import supplier of goods, the number three export destination for goods, and Taiwan’s second largest merchandise trade partner (UN Comtrade Database 2016). Vice versa, ROC-PRC merchandise trade made up almost 23% of overall ROC foreign trade in goods in 2015, with China clearly being Taiwan’s number one export destination for goods, number one import supplier of goods, and number one merchandise trade partner (UN Comtrade Database 2016).

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South Korea As the world’s 13th largest economy (CIA 2016b), South Korea has turned into a major economic player, with significant trade ties both to China and the United States. In 2015, the country embodied the fourth largest merchandise trade partner of the PRC; the respective trade volume of about $276 billion thereby made up almost 7% of China’s external trade in goods (UN Comtrade Database 2016). In particular, as China’s largest import supplier of goods (with a share of about 10.4% of PRC merchandise imports), the Republic of Korea (ROK) exported even more goods to China than the second placed PRC import supplier United States; moreover, South Korea has become the fourth largest destination of Chinese merchandise exports82 (see Table 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016). Trade ties between the United States and South Korea have remained significant as well – all the more since the U.S.-ROK free trade agreement (“KORUS FTA”) came into effect in March 2012 (USTR 2016b; Gordon 2012). In 2015, South Korea was the sixth largest merchandise trade partner of the United States (with a respective trade volume of about $115 billion or almost 3.1% of U.S. external trade in goods), ranked as well as the sixth largest U.S. import supplier of goods, and was the seventh largest destination of U.S. merchandise exports83 (see Table 1) (USCB/USBEA 2016: 16; 25; supplement: 6; USCB 2016a; UN Comtrade Database 2016). Nevertheless, when comparing PRC-ROK with U.S.-ROK trade relations, geographic proximity emerges (inter alia) as a major factor: the U.S.South Korea merchandise trade volume of about $115 billion in 2015 was

82

83

Vice versa, in 2014 (latest available data), South Korea-PRC merchandise trade made up more than 21% of overall ROK external trade in goods, with China being South Korea’s number one import supplier of goods, number one export destination for goods, and number one merchandise trade partner (UN Comtrade Database 2016). Vice versa, in 2014 (latest available data), ROK-U.S. merchandise trade made up almost 11% of overall ROK external trade in goods, with the United States being South Korea’s third largest import supplier of goods, the number two export destination for goods, and the ROK’s second largest merchandise trade partner (UN Comtrade Database 2016).

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less than half the size of the China-South Korea merchandise trade volume of $276 billion (see Tables 1 and 2). Accordingly, South Korea has become economically more significant for China than for the United States. Such underlying trade and economic structures may to some extent also explain U.S. worries that their ally South Korea might once rather turn towards the PRC, especially after a potential settlement of the North Korea issue. As an interim conclusion, one may say that South Korea and Taiwan have in recent years become economically more significant for the PRC than for the United States. They have been major PRC (merchandise) trade partners (ranked on the fourth and fifth place in 2015), and have in particular been China’s top import suppliers of goods (ranked on the first and third place in 2015); accordingly, they have been important partners for PRC processing trade as well as major sources of foreign (direct) investment and knowledge/technology transfer to China. At the same time, the United States has also run robust (merchandise) trade relationships with South Korea and Taiwan (ranked on the sixth and ninth place in 2015), although the respective flows of goods have been only less than half to one third the size of PRC-ROK and PRC-ROC trade (see Tables 1 and 2). Overall, this differing economic significance of South Korea and Taiwan for the superpowers may be kept in mind when theoretically deriving (in Chapter Three) hypotheses of PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue. North Korea Compared to its southern neighbor ROK, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has especially in post-Cold War times been a dwarf in terms of GDP and trade. As the 113th largest economy in the world, the economic size of North Korea today is smaller than that of Luxembourg84 (CIA 2016b). While reliable DPRK trade data are only limitedly available, it remains though undisputed that the PRC has in the post-Cold War era been North Korea’s main trading partner; probably 50% to 70% of all DPRK external trade in goods runs through trade links with China –

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This comparison is based on a 2014 estimate (CIA 2016b).

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be it via road and the three railway connections or the Chinese port of Dalian (Harnisch/Roesch 2011: 4; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 130f.). By delivering foreign aid and exports such as food, energy/oil, other basic goods, fertilizers, manufactured and consumer products, and partly even dual use and defense goods to the impoverished DPRK (worth about $2.95 bn. in 2015), and bringing in North Korean merchandise imports (worth more than $2.51 billion in 2015), the PRC has thereby quite secured both the stability of its North Korean ally and the survival of the Kim regime (see Table 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016; Shen 2009: 177f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 130f.; 138; Sandschneider 2007: 167f.; Landler 2012; IISS 2014a: 217; 2013: 269; Kan 2015: 19f.). In 2015, North Korea ranked number 64 as a PRC merchandise trade partner (with a bilateral trade volume of at least $5.45 billion)85, was the 69th largest destination of PRC merchandise exports, and was the 61st largest import supplier of goods to China (see Table 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016). Nevertheless, North Korea’s economic weight remains still insignificant from a PRC trade perspective. The bilateral merchandise trade volume in 2015 made up only about 0.14% of China’s overall external trade in goods – and was thus not comparable to the here considered PRC trade flows with South Korea, Taiwan or even Iran; China’s trade ties with the DPRK seem yet still considerable if related to U.S.-DPRK trade, which has basically been non-existent (see Tables 1 and 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016; USCB/USBEA 2016: supplement: 6). In 2015, U.S. imports from the DPRK were around zero, and U.S. merchandise exports to North Korea (worth less than $5 million) were also negligible (USCB/USBEA 2016: supplement: 6). Summing up, one may say that in post-Cold War times, the PRC has been the most important trade and economic partner of North Korea (as well as the premier transit country for goods to and from the DPRK), even though overall PRC-DPRK trade volumes have remained low compared to other PRC trade ties in the region and globally. Moreover, due to the long established (and recurrently tightened) U.S.

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Beyond PRC based (UN Comtrade Database) figures, there may also have been significant volumes of tacit/unrecorded PRC-DPRK (barter) trade (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 130f.).

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ban on trade with the DPRK, U.S.-North Korea trade has hardly existed in recent years (Arms Control Association 2016). Strategic issues and scenarios of crises may thus have stronger influenced post-Cold War PRC and especially U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the North Korea issue than short-term trade or economic considerations. Iran At this point, the analysis of PRC and U.S. trade relations with selected bilateral partners will also briefly focus on the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the example highlights par excellence that international political relations have usually major (direct and indirect) implications also for transnational trade and the economic realm. As will be elaborated in Chapter Three, especially neoliberal scholars thereby point to the correlation that strong (bilateral) trade flows and resulting (highly rated) absolute gains remain usually dependent on at least low-strain interstate ties – a connection apparently confirmed in the post-Cold War era by solid PRC-Iranian and marginal U.S.-Iranian trade volumes (see Tables 1 and 2); similarly, neorealists argue that due to security/relative gains concerns and especially in case of high levels of bilateral distrust and tensions, states may forgo possible gains from bilateral (trade/economic) cooperation – a consideration evidently valid as well in regard to weak U.S.-Iranian trade ties (Jervis 2002: 5; Grieco 1993: 129; cf. Barbieri/Levy 1999: 464f.; 475). As the 19th largest economy in the world (CIA 2016b), the Islamic Republic of Iran has in particular significant, so far only limitedly exploited resources of crude oil and natural gas (Garver 2011: 77). However, as Table 1 reveals, badly hampered U.S.-Iranian political relations and U.S. sanctions since the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, as well as U.S., EU, and UNSC sanctions so far between December 2006 and January 201686 due to the Iranian nuclear issue have left their traces in U.S., (partly) PRC,

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As the Islamic Republic of Iran had implemented, verified by the IAEA, major nuclearrelated measures outlined in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached in July 2015 between the United States, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union – UN, but also significant U.S. (and EU) nuclear-related sanctions against Iran were lifted in January 2016; (U.S.) sanctions may though be reimposed if tensions with Iran rise again and the Iran nuclear deal fails (USDOT 2016b; Morello/DeYoung 2016).

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and international trade with Iran (UNSC 2006c; U.S. Department of the Treasury (USDOT) 2016b; Morello/DeYoung 2016; Thränert 2008: 337; Klemm 2007: 3; 9). In 2015, Iran ranked only 129 as a U.S. merchandise trade partner, with a bilateral trade volume of less than $300 million; the Islamic Republic was thus largely irrelevant as a U.S. trading partner, and was in particular no U.S. import supplier of oil and gas87 (see Table 1) (USCB/USBEA 2016: 23; supplement: 6). While U.S.-Iranian trade ties have thus been largely disrupted by political conflict/tensions, the People’s Republic of China has though been a profiteer of UN/U.S./EU sanctions; in other words, China has benefited from not joining or at least benevolently interpreting the latter: “As Western and East Asian firms withdrew from commercial involvement with Iran as Security Council and extra-U.N. sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union intensified, Chinese firms moved to seize the opportunities” (Garver 2011: 76). The PRC’s economic ascent has steadily increased its dependency on commodity and especially energy/ oil imports (uschina.org 2011; Garver 2011: 77). Accordingly, Iran became China’s second to third largest oil supplier, while China evolved since 2010 as the major foreign investor in the Iranian energy sector (Thränert 2008: 337; USDOD 2011: 20; Garver 2011: 76). While Saudi Arabia remained China’s 14th largest import supplier in 2015 (with an import volume of about $30 bn.) and stayed China’s most important trading partner in the Middle East and the energy sector, Iran followed not too distant as China’s 24th largest import supplier, delivering goods and especially energy commodities to the PRC worth more than $16 billion in 2015 (see Table 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2016). Moreover, the Islamic Republic ranked 27th as a destination of Chinese merchandise exports (worth almost $18 bn. in 2015) (UN Comtrade Database 2016). Some aspects of this trade flow thereby evoked Sino-U.S. tensions: having long been Iran’s second largest weapons supplier after Russia, the PRC has

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Vice versa, based on 2011 (latest available) data, the United States played a very limited, at most a minor import supplier role in Iranian foreign trade (UN Comtrade Database 2016).

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since 2008 even emerged as the country’s major supplier of armaments (worth more than $270 million between 2008 and 2015). Inter alia missiles imported from the PRC could thereby pose some threat to U.S. air and naval forces in a potential (Israeli-)U.S.-Iranian contingency (SIPRI 2016g; Garver 2011: 76). All in all, in 2015, Iran was the 27th largest PRC trade partner (with a bilateral merchandise trade volume of almost $34 bn. or 0.9% of overall Chinese external trade)89 (see Table 2). Although the relevance of Iran in PRC foreign trade has thus remained limited, its function as China’s second to third largest oil supplier yet implies a certain significance for a Chinese superpower constantly worrying about (future) energy supplies. Moreover, as the 2015 Sino-Iranian merchandise trade volume was more than 115 times larger than the U.S.Iranian equivalent, it becomes obvious that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been considered economically much more important in Beijing than in Washington (USCB/USBEA 2016: supplement: 6; UN Comtrade Database 2016). On the whole, one may say that although Taiwan and South Korea still belong to the top ten U.S. trade partners, the PRC – which has bilateral trade volumes with these nations more than twice to almost three times as high – has evolved as the central merchandise trading nation in Asia: “From an international trade perspective, all of East Asia has recently become a Chinese sphere of influence” (Weede 2010: 209). Broadening this upshot to the economic sphere in general, Layne and Jacques similarly conclude that “US economic supremacy in East Asia is waning as China rises (…) [with the PRC] emerging as the motor of the region’s economic growth” (Layne 2008: 18) and as the “fulcrum of the regional economy” (Jacques 2009: 313). Moreover, while post-Cold War U.S.

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Chinese (often state-owned) companies have probably also been a major source of dual use, sensitive industrial or even nuclear technology to Iran in recent years (Garver 2011: 76f.). Vice versa, based on 2011 (latest available) data, Iran-PRC merchandise trade made up more than 6% of overall Iranian foreign trade in goods, with China being Iran’s second largest import supplier of goods, Iran’s largest export destination for goods, and its second largest merchandise trade partner (UN Comtrade Database 2016; Follath 2016).

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trade and economic ties with North Korea and Iran have hardly existed or remained irrelevant, China, by contrast, has become the number one/ number two trade partner for these regimes. Based on the analysis of superpower trade relations with Taiwan, South Korea, and North Korea, one may thus derive for the cases the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue the anticipation that economic considerations may potentially play a larger role in post-Cold War PRC than in post-Cold War U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior. This may be a decisive insight for Chapter Three. U.S. and Chinese (Bilateral) Foreign Direct Investment Last but not least, it may be adequate to still consider the positions of the United States and China in three further politico-economic realms, namely U.S. and Chinese (bilateral) foreign direct investment (FDI)90, as well as debt and currency issues. Analysis of the rising, though considerably oscillating post-Cold War flows (and of the stock) of foreign direct investment reveals that the United States and the PRC have been the two major receivers of inward FDI since the end of the Cold War91; overall,

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Foreign direct investment (FDI) can be defined as “an investment involving a longterm relationship and reflecting a lasting interest and control by a resident entity in one economy (foreign direct investor or parent enterprise) of an enterprise resident in another economy (FDI enterprise or affiliate enterprise or foreign affiliate). FDI implies that the investor exerts a significant degree of influence on the management of the enterprise resident in another economy. The investor's ‘lasting interest’ is evidenced when the investor owns at least 10% of the voting power of the FDI enterprise. FDI involves both the initial transaction between the two entities and all subsequent transactions between them and among foreign affiliates. It covers equity capital, reinvested earnings and intra-company loans. FDI inflows and outflows comprise capital provided (…) by a foreign direct investor to a FDI enterprise, or capital received by a foreign direct investor from a FDI enterprise. (…) FDI stock is the value of the share of their capital and reserves (including retained profits) attributable to the parent enterprise, plus the net indebtedness of affiliates to the parent enterprises” (UNCTAD 2016c). FDI data are often subclassified into cross-border mergers and acquisitions and greenfield investments (UNCTAD 2016b: x; 204-215; Dollar 2016: 2). One has yet to point out that figures on (U.S. and Chinese) FDI flows and stock vary considerably across (U.S. and PRC) sources, and that detailed data for instance on the final destinations of Chinese outward FDI (and not just on predominantly stop-over destinations such as Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands/British Virgin Islands) are only limitedly available (Branstetter/Foley 2007: 4-6; Dollar 2016: 2; 2015: 17; GarciaHerrero et al. 2015: 2f.; 5-8; Ghub.org 2014: 1f.); see thereunto also the differences in FDI data inter alia from UNCTAD (2016a; 2016b), MCPRC (2016a; 2016b), USTR (2016a), uschina.org (2016), Dollar (2016; 2015), Ghub.org (2014), Garcia-Herrero et

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the United States has though still recorded significantly higher FDI inflows than the People’s Republic of China – even if one considers the inward FDI in China and in Hong Kong combined92 (see Figure 11) (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 5; 196f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 76; Dollar 2015: 2f.; Bayraktar 2011). 2003 and 2014, when China (with a FDI inflow of $54 bn./$129 bn.) slightly passed the United States (with a FDI inflow of $53 bn./$107 bn.) as the world’s largest receiver of FDI, may still be perceived as exceptional years93 (see Figure 11) (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 5; 196f.; MCPRC 2016b). In 2004 and 2015, the post-Cold War pattern of a so far clear U.S. lead concerning inward FDI flows was restored; in 2015, the United States received again substantially more inward FDI (about $380 bn. or 21.6% of world FDI inflows) than both second placed Hong Kong (about $175 bn. or 9.9% of world FDI inflows) and the third placed PRC (about $136 bn. or 7.7% of world FDI inflows) (see Figure 11) (UNCTAD) 2016a; 2016b: 5; 43; 45; 64; 67; 196f.).

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al. (2015), and Schmidt/Heilmann (2012). Moreover, round-tripping foreign direct investment, and hence inter alia Chinese outward FDI in Hong Kong and (Caribbean) offshore havens that ultimately flows back to the PRC to benefit from preferential (tax) terms for foreign investors and other advantages has so far been only limitedly considered in PRC FDI data, and might render these partly overstated (Garcia-Herrero et al. 2015: 2f.; 5-8). On the whole, between 1991 and 2015, the United States recorded an overall flow of inward FDI of about $3.9 trillion, the PRC of about $1.7 tr., the United Kingdom of about $1.5 tr., and Hong Kong of about $1.1 tr.; the 2015 inward FDI stock measured $5.6 tr. in the United States, $1.6 tr. in Hong Kong, $1.5 tr. in the United Kingdom, and estimated $1.2 tr. in the PRC (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 196f.; 200f.). In 2014, for instance, inward FDI in the United States was lower than in the PRC in particular due to the single Vodafone-Verizon divestment deal worth about $130 bn. (UNCTAD 2016b: 67).

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Figure 11: Inward Flows of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, China, and Hong Kong, 1991-2015, $ bn. 400 380

350 300 250 200

175

150 100 50

136

129 54

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Hong Kong United States China         United States              China                 Hong Kong  Source: By author; (annual) data were taken from UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 5; 196f., are reported on a directional basis, and refer to $ at current prices and market exchange rates (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016c).

The developed (and for a long time significantly larger) economy of the United States has in the post-Cold War era thus so far received higher volumes of inward FDI than the threshold country PRC; transnational corporations (TNCs) may have in particular appreciated the size of the U.S. market and the superior U.S. governance environment, and hence inter alia good rule of law/protection of (intellectual) property rights, political stability, transparency/rather moderate bureaucratic hurdles, and thus overall lower risks of investment than in China. Apart from that, foreign direct investment has though also – and especially – in the PRC been perceived as a major source and motor of knowledge/(high) technology transfer, improvement of efficiency and competitiveness, economic development/growth and trade, and has been strongly promoted by the PRC leadership as a central element of the Chinese reform process; as the main category of foreign capital in the PRC so far, foreign direct investment by transnational corporations and via Sino-foreign joint ventures (in

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the (coastal) special economic zones) has played a major role in China’s economic ascent (MCPRC 2016b; Dollar 2016: 4f.; 13; 16; 2015: 1; 4f.; 7f; 12; Branstetter/Foley 2007: 4-6; Bayraktar 2011; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 76-80; 82; 134; Wu 2009: 2). Given that China may (early in) the middle term also emerge MER-based as the largest economy in the world, it seems thereby likely that the so far rising inward flows of FDI in China (and finally also Chinese outward FDI) may in the middle term quite converge towards – and finally overtake – U.S. levels (Dollar 2016: 4f.). If one analyzes the sources of inward foreign direct investment in the PRC, the 2015 inward FDI volume of $126.3 bn. that the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MCPRC) indicates was primarily received from (the partly transit location) Hong Kong (about $93.0 bn. or 73.4% of inward FDI in China), followed by Singapore ($7.0 bn.), Taiwan ($4.4 bn.), South Korea ($4.0 bn.), and Japan ($3.2 bn.) – while the United States embodied only the sixth largest provider of inward FDI in the PRC (with a volume of $2.6 bn.)94 (MCPRC 2016a; 2016b). Accordingly, while the vast majority of inward FDI in China had its origin in East and South-East Asia, and almost 78% were provided by Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao, the U.S. based inward FDI share in the PRC made up only about 2.1% (MCPRC 2016a; 2016b). Last but not least, one may still note that Taiwan’s share of inward FDI in China tripled from 2.1% in 2008 to 6.3% in 2010, but then declined again to about 3.5% in 2015; this might be partly seen as another indication that political relations/developments (such as improved Taiwan-mainland ties after the March 2008 election of Ma Ying-jeou from the Kuomintang Party as ROC President or increasing uncertainty and tensions in the course of the year 2015 as it became apparent that candidate Tsai Ing-wen from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would probably win the January 2016 ROC presidential election) have usually significant (direct and indirect) effects on economic ties as well – an insight again valuable for the theory part in

94

Naturally, the European Union is thereby not considered en bloc.

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Chapter Three (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 78f.; Forsythe 2015; Bodeen 2015; Ramzy 2015). With regard to the outward flows of foreign direct investment in the postCold War era, U.S. corporations have clearly stayed the number one provider of FDI worldwide, even if one considers the outward direct investment of China and Hong Kong combined95 (see Figure 12); nevertheless, the PRC has already emerged as the third largest investing country in the world, and may very soon become the number two source of outward FDI (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 6f.; 48; 196f.; Garcia-Herrero et al. 2015: 3f.). In 2015, the United States recorded an outward flow of foreign direct investment of about $300 bn. or 20.3% of FDI outflows worldwide. Slightly after Japan (with about $129 bn. or 8.7% of world FDI outflows), the PRC then followed on the third place (with an outward FDI flow of about $128 bn. or as well 8.7% of world FDI outflows)96; accordingly, China has in recent years dramatically increased its role as a – now major – provider of outward FDI in the world: between 2002 and 2015, for instance, its annual outward flow of foreign direct investment grew by more than 50 times (see Figure 12) (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 6f.; 43; 48; 64; 196f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 76f.; 80f.; Garcia-Herrero et al. 2015: 3f.; 9; Ghub.org 2014: 1; 4).

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On the whole, between 1991 and 2015, the United States recorded an overall flow of outward FDI of about $4.8 trillion, Hong Kong about $1.1 tr., and the PRC about $0.8 tr.; the 2015 outward FDI stock of the United States measured about $6.0 tr., the respective FDI stock of Hong Kong was about $1.5 tr., and the 2015 outward FDI stock of the PRC was estimated $1.0 tr. (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 196f.; 200f.). While Hong Kong had in 2014 still recorded the second largest outflow of FDI worldwide (with a volume of about $125 bn. or 9.5% of world FDI outflows), in 2015, it ranked only ninth (with a volume of about $55 bn. or 3.7% of world FDI outflows) (see Figure 12) (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 6f.; 48; 196f.).

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Figure 12: Outward Flows of Foreign Direct Investment of the United States, China, and Hong Kong, 1991-2015, $ bn. 400 350

300

300 250 200

128

150 100 50

2.5

55

0

        United States              China                 Hong Kong  Hong Kong United States China Source: By author; (annual) data were taken from UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 6; 196f., are reported on a directional basis, and refer to $ at current prices and market exchange rates (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016c).

Especially since the first years of the new millennium, Chinese stateowned and increasingly also private corporations have thus invested abroad inter alia to gain better access to markets, (energy) resources (for example also to oil fields in Iraq and Iran), knowledge/(high) technology, and established brands, and they have often been significantly supported by credit of Chinese (state-owned) financial institutions like the China Development Bank or the Export-Import Bank (Vogelmann 2011: 389f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 80-82; 85; Dollar 2016: 3-5; 7; Economy 2010: 145-147; uschina.org 2016). Accordingly, the PRC has also become the largest investor in least developed countries (inter alia in Africa), ahead of the United States (UNCTAD 2016b: 71-75; Dollar 2016: 6-8; 12). The rapidly rising volumes of Chinese outward FDI in recent years have thereby been perceived as a major element within a PRC “go out” or “go-

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global” strategy (Garcia-Herrero et al. 2015: 15; Economy 2010: 142; 145-147; Holslag 2010: 11). If one analyzes in recent years (despite incomplete data) Chinese outward flows of foreign direct investment by destination, Hong Kong emerges (with more than 50%) as the largest, though to some extent certainly as a stop-over destination of Chinese outward FDI, and the offshore havens of the Cayman Islands/British Virgin Islands have (as transit locations) received as well significant Chinese FDI volumes (Hong Kong and these Caribbean offshore financial centers have received up to 70% of annual Chinese FDI outflows); the United States, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the United Kingdom have then followed as leading destinations of Chinese outward FDI98 (Ghub.org 2014: 1f.; Dollar 2016: 2-4; 2015: 2f.; 17; Garcia-Herrero et al. 2015: 2f.; 5-8; 11-14; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 80; 84f.). If one leaves Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands/British Virgin Islands aside, the United States has hence ranked number one as a destination of Chinese outward FDI (Ghub.org 2014: 1f.; Dollar 2016: 3f.; 2015: 3f.). Nevertheless, the accumulated volume of Chinese direct investment in the United States has remained low to moderate so far, partly also due to U.S. resistance99 (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 83-85; Dollar 2015: 1-4; 10-

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Naturally, China has emerged not only as a major provider of outward foreign direct investment, but increasingly also regarding portfolio investment worldwide – for instance via foreign/U.S. equity and (government) bond holdings of the People’s Bank of China, private investment, and also via the PRC sovereign wealth fund “China Investment Corporation”; the latter has been broadly reinvesting (as direct- and portfolio investment) part of the PRC foreign exchange reserves, and had in September 2016 more than $800 bn. in assets under management (Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute 2016; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 71; USDOT et al. 2016: 19). For 2013, Garcia-Herrero et al. indicate the flows of Chinese outward FDI (unadjusted to offshoring and round-tripping) as follows: Hong Kong $62.8 bn., Cayman Islands $9.3 bn., United States $3.9 bn., Australia $3.5 bn., Virgin Islands $3.2 bn., Singapore $2.0 bn., Indonesia $1.6 bn., and the United Kingdom $1.4 bn. (Garcia-Herrero et al. 2015: 8; 11-14). Naturally, the European Union is thereby not considered en bloc. Prominent examples of averted takeovers by Chinese corporations in the United States have been the blocked purchase in 2005 of U.S. petroleum company Unocal by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the averted acquisition of assets and computing technology from the U.S. company 3Leaf Systems by Huawei in 2010/ 2011, or the blocked purchase of civil parts of U.S. aerospace firm Hawker Beechcraft by Superior Aviation Beijing – mainly due to U.S. (Committee on Foreign Investment in

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12; 15f.). According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, which may though have estimated the Chinese direct investment stock in the United States considerably too low, the indicated number of about $9.5 bn. in 2014 (latest available data) reflected only about 1.3% of the overall 2014 PRC outward FDI stock of about $730 bn.100 (USTR 2016a; UNCTAD 2016a; Dollar 2016: 4; uschina.org 2016). That said, the significance of Chinese direct investment in the United States has nevertheless rapidly increased in the last years (Dollar 2015: 1f.; 11f.; uschina.org 2016). Recent examples for growing Chinese FDI volumes in the United States have inter alia been the 2013 purchase of the U.S. meat-processing corporation Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International Holdings for $4.7 bn., and the January 2016 acquisition of General Electric’s home-appliances business (GE Appliances) by Haier (China’s leading home appliance maker) for $5.4 bn.; furthermore, the Chinese Wanda Group has strongly invested in the U.S. entertainment industry, purchasing AMC Theaters in 2012 for $2.6 bn., Legendary Entertainment in January 2016 for $3.5 bn., and finally Carmike Cinemas in March 2016 for $1.1 bn., thereby creating the world’s largest cinema chain (UNCTAD 2016b: 49; Hammond et al. 2016; Dollar 2016: 14f.; 2015: 16; GarciaHerrero et al. 2015: 6f.). Moreover, as the annual flow of Chinese direct investment in the United States has in the last years already outgrown the respective flow of U.S. FDI in China, the Chinese FDI stock in the United States might within few years also become larger than the U.S. FDI stock in the PRC (Dollar 2015: 1f.; 12; uschina.org 2016; GarciaHerrero et al. 2015: 14; MCPRC 2016a; Ghub.org 2014: 2). In 2014, the stock of U.S. direct investment in China thereby measured about $65.8 billion (latest available data), while the overall U.S. outward FDI stock that year was about $6.3 trillion (USTR 2016a; UNCTAD

the United States) concerns about national security (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 83; 141; Dollar 2016: 15f.; 18f.; 2015: 1; 15f.; Sandschneider 2007: 84; Raice/Dowell 2011; Spector 2012). 100 Based on Dollar (2016), the Chinese outward FDI stock in the United States may have reached more than 5%, and according to the U.S.-China Business Council, it may have amounted to more than 6% of the overall 2014 PRC outward FDI stock (uschina.org 2016; Dollar 2016: 4; UNCTAD 2016a).

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2016a). Regarding Sino-U.S. (bilateral) direct investment ties and potentially resulting economic interdependence, one has thus to note that only about 1% of the overall U.S. outward FDI stock had been invested in China in 2014, and China’s share in the United States of its overall outward FDI stock may still be single-digit as well (USTR 2016a; UNCTAD 2016a; uschina.org 2016; Dollar 2015: 1f.; 11f.; Branstetter/Foley 2007: 2f.). This can be partly explained by PRC deficiencies concerning the rule of law/protection of (intellectual) property rights and the still significant FDI restrictions in China in many sectors important to U.S. corporations101; U.S. direct investment in the PRC has hence not been comparable to the large capital inflows from East and South-East Asia, even though China has certainly profited from U.S. FDI and the often implied transfer of (management) knowledge and technology (Dollar 2016: 13-19; 2015: 1; 4-8; 12f.; 16-18; uschina.org 2016; U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission 2011: 61f.). Vice versa, despite recently increasing PRC direct investment volumes in the United States, U.S. national security concerns and at times a Chinese focus on natural resources investment have as well entailed a so far low to moderate Chinese FDI stock in the United States (Dollar 2016: 4; 6-8; 14-19; 2015: 1f.; 4; 8-12; 15-18; Sandschneider 2007: 83f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 8385). Summing up, “[w]hile the U.S. and China are big players both as providers of direct investment and recipients of direct investment, there is less cross-investment between the two than one would expect” (Dollar 2015: 2; 8; 16). Accordingly, one may so far (still) speak of low Sino-U.S. interdependence in the FDI realm. Analysis of the U.S. and PRC overall (inward and outward) FDI flows (and stocks) in the post-Cold War era thereby highlights that the United States has – as the major receiver and provider of foreign direct investment – still a significant edge over the People’s Republic China when it comes to FDI (Dollar 2015: 1f.; 5; 19).

101 Sino-U.S. negotiations since 2013 on improved bilateral investment conditions and a respective bilateral investment treaty have not been completed, yet (uschina.org 2016; Dollar 2015: 1f.; 16f.).

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China’s role concerning foreign direct investment has yet considerably advanced in the last few years, and the PRC has been the second largest recipient of inward FDI in post-Cold War times. Moreover, China has become the number three source of outward FDI worldwide, and may very soon emerge as number two; in the middle term, it may (as then probably also MER-based the largest economy) definitely have the potential to overtake the United States also as a destination and provider of foreign direct investment. Chinese and U.S. Debt Especially since the world economic crisis in 2007-2009, and the European and U.S. state debt crises thereafter, scholars and pundits have pointed to alarmingly high, rising debt levels worldwide – evidently so in the United States, (parts of) Europe/the eurozone, and Japan, but also in the PRC102 (Dobbs et al. 2015: ii-88; Diekmann 2015; Anderlini 2014; Schultz 2011). Concerning total debt of households, (financial) corporations and the government, the United States and China have recorded a significant post-2007 rise (and total PRC debt has soared in particular), reaching in the middle of 2014 a total debt to GDP ratio of 269% (United States) and 282% (PRC), respectively (Dobbs et al. 2015: 10; ii; vif.; 223; 26; 37-76; Diekmann 2015; Anderlini 2014). With respect to PRC and U.S. general government gross debt, China’s (potential) fiscal leeway seems yet to have remained greater than in the United States; starting from a much higher level than in the PRC, U.S. government debt has substantially increased since 2007, and this surge has only recently abated somewhat103 (see Figure 13) (IMF 2016a;

102 High Chinese debt levels regarding the real estate sector and an extensive shadow banking system, as well as substantial (off-balance sheet) borrowing by local (provincial/municipal) administrations have in particular raised concern (Dobbs et al. 2015: vif.; 9-11; 76-89; Diekmann 2015; Anderlini 2014; IISS 2012: 214; USDOD 2015: 25). 103 The U.S. Budget Control Act of 2011 implied statutory discretionary spending caps (since 2012) and entailed an automatic spending reduction process (“sequestration”) that took effect in 2013; despite some moderate upward amendments to the discretionary spending caps in the following years, the U.S. government debt to GDP ratio

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Dobbs et al. 2015: 11; 18; 26; 75f.; 86f.; Driessen/Labonte 2015; IISS 2017: 37). Figure 13: General Government Gross Debt of the United States and China, 2001-2021, Percent of GDP 120

103

106

106

100 80

64 54

60 40

32 37

44

20 0

United States

China

Source: By author; data taken from IMF 2016a; prognosis from 2016 on.

Of course, resolute PRC economic stimuli to counter the effects of the 2007-2009 world economic crisis and the only moderate global growth thereafter (most obviously the 2009/2010 stimulus package of $586 billion) have to some extent affected the level of PRC general government gross debt as well; the latter rose for instance from about 32% of GDP in 2008 to 37% in 2009 (see Figure 13) (IMF 2016a; IISS 2012: 214; Dobbs et al. 2015: 81; Subramanian 2012). Despite significant increases in recent years, PRC general government gross debt nevertheless measured still moderate 44% of GDP in 2015104, and has so far only limitedly relied

stabilized during the second Obama administration (Driessen/Labonte 2015; Holland 2017; IISS 2017: 28; 37-39; 2016: 31-33; 2015: 33f.; 2014: 34f.; 2013: 49; 59-66). 104 One has yet to note that threshold countries have usually lower debt levels than developed nations (Anderlini 2014; Dobbs et al. 2015: 22).

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on foreign borrowing (see Figure 13) (IMF 2016a; Anderlini 2014). By 2021, the PRC general government debt to GDP ratio is projected to reach about 54% (see Figure 13) (IMF 2016a). From today’s perspective on the PRC fiscal-economic latitude, it seems thus thoroughly reasonable to assume that “in the event of a crisis, (…) China’s central government has [still; J.V.] ample capacity to bail out the financial system” (Dobbs et al. 2015: 86f.; 11; 76; Anderlini 2014). Regarding the rising level (especially since 2007) of U.S. general government gross debt as share of GDP, U.S. alarm bells rang most evidently during the U.S. debt-ceiling crises in 2011, 2013, and again in 2015105 (IISS 2016: 31; 2014: 34; Abrams 2015; Wasson/House 2015). U.S. federal budget deficits of $1 trillion-plus in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, (likely) on average $500 billion-plus ones in the years 2013-2017, as well as potentially increasing deficits in future have evoked strong concern106 and threaten to limit the U.S. (mid- to long-term) fiscal-economic and also military (technological) scope of action – even though the dollar may in the near to middle term probably stay the anchor of the world currency system (IISS 2017: 37; 2016: 33; Driessen/Labonte 2015: 20f.; Ferguson 2009; Layne 2011: 155f.). Ferguson for instance warned already in 2009 that “[i]f the United States doesn't come up soon with a credible plan to restore the federal budget to balance over the next five to 10 years, the danger is very real that a debt crisis could lead to a major weakening of American power” (Ferguson 2009); similarly, Drezner argued that “[f]or

105 In July 2011, Republican-Democrat deadlock in Congress prevented to elevate the U.S. federal debt limit (of then $14.3 tr.) until shortly before the U.S. government would have had to declare insolvency; in August 2011, the U.S. government then lost for the first time ever its (Standard & Poor’s) AAA credit rating, which entailed a significant decline of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and stock market turbulences worldwide (Abrams 2015). The January-October 2013 U.S. debt-ceiling crises even lead to a 16-day federal-government shutdown in October, before the political impasse in Congress could be overcome (IISS 2016: 31; 2014: 34; Abrams 2015; Wasson/ House 2015). Finally, in the last quarter of 2015, U.S. Congress and the Obama administration had to deal once more with a debt limit increase and a potential U.S. government shutdown that could finally be averted (Abrams 2015; Wasson/House 2015; IISS 2016: 31). 106 Scholars have long argued that high debt levels may inter alia slow down economic growth and increase the probability of financial crises (Dobbs et al. 2015: 2).

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the long term, escalating U.S. budget deficits might shift the SinoAmerican financial relationship from mutual dependence to asymmetric dependence” (Drezner 2009b: 44). While U.S. general government gross debt measured 64% of GDP in 2007, it surpassed the 100% of GDP mark in 2012, reached about 106% of GDP in 2015, and may at best remain in that range for some (few) years (see Figure 13) (IMF 2016a; Abrams 2015; Schultz 2011). Overall, the PRC hence seems to have the edge over the United States when it comes to general government gross debt levels and resulting (potential) fiscal(-economic) latitude. The Sino-U.S. Creditor-Debtor Relationship and Currency Ties With estimated net foreign assets of $2.4 tr. in 2015, the PRC has for about a decade (most likely) been the second largest net creditor107 – after Japan (which has around $3.6 tr. in net foreign assets) (Dollar 2016: 1; Ujikane 2016; Westlake 2012). Given persistent PRC trade and current account surpluses, China is thereby projected to pass Japan in the near (to middle) term and evolve as the world’s largest (net) creditor nation (Dollar 2016: 1; 18; Ujikane 2016, IMF 2016c; 2016d). By contrast, the United States (with an estimated net international investment position in 2012 of nearly $4.1 trillion in the negative) has been the world’s largest (net) debtor nation (Jackson 2013: 1; 7; The World Bank 2016a; Sharma 2010: 100; 104). Considering the debtor-creditor relationship of the United States and China (as well as Japan) with regard to government debt/ foreign currency reserves, it becomes evident that China (since 2006) and Japan have been the two largest foreign holders of U.S. securities (USDOT et al. 2016: 10f.; 13; USDOT et al. 2007: 8; 10; Sharma 2010: 100; Lawrence 2013: 37f.). In June 2015, Japan held a respective volume of $1,903 billion and the PRC of $1,844 billion; if one adds the value of U.S. securities held by Hong Kong ($298 bn.) and Macau ($3 bn.), the PRC was in any case the largest foreign creditor of the United States. In

107 Ujikane reported that due to resolute People’s Bank of China measures in 2015 to support the weakening yuan and stabilize Chinese stock markets, the PRC might have temporarily lost its rank as the world’s second largest creditor nation to Germany; this may yet (have) remain(ed) not for long (Ujikane 2016). Based on data and methodology applied, respective estimations naturally vary.

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particular, China has been (since 2009) the number one foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities (with a volume of $1,271 bn.108 in June 2015), followed by Japan ($1,196 bn.) (USDOT 2016a; USDOT et al. 2016: 10f.; 13; 17f.; A-3-A7; Ujikane 2016; Sharma 2010: 105; Subramanian 2011; Lawrence 2013: 37f.). As financiers may usually wield some form of influence over their debtors, this has been partly perceived as a (potential) challenge to U.S. hegemony: “Hegemons are supposed to be the lender of last resort, not the borrower of first resort” (Layne 2011: 158; Subramanian 2012; 2011; Lawrence 2013: 38)109. Indeed, the lender-borrowerrelationship has enormously increased Sino-U.S. financial interdependence, but may have hardly enhanced the U.S. bargaining position towards the PRC: “How do you deal toughly with your banker?” had (reportedly) asked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already in 2009 the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd (Clinton, cit. in The Guardian 2010; The Guardian 2010). China’s post-Cold War accumulation of foreign currency reserves thereby peaked so far in June 2014 at almost $4 trillion (State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC 2016; Ujikane 2016; Dollar 2016: 1; Seth 2016). PRC foreign exchange reserves then decreased again – in particular in the June 2015 till February 2016 period of crashes/turbulences at Chinese (and world) financial markets that followed the popping of the Chinese (mid-2014 till mid-2015) stock market bubble; given capital flows out of China of up to $1 tr. in 2015, the People’s Bank of China had spent shares of its foreign reserve assets to support the weakening yuan and stabilize Chinese markets and the economy (State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC 2016; Bloomberg, cit. in Ujikane 2016; Ujikane 2016; Dollar 2016: 1; Egan 2015). PRC foreign reserves then stabilized (so far) at a low point of $3.20 tr. in February 2015, and measured $3.22 tr. in April 2016 (State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC

108 This figure does not include U.S. Treasury securities holdings of Hong Kong and Macau (USDOT et al. 2016: 18; USDOT 2016a). 109 At the same time, China has as a major U.S. creditor/buyer of U.S. securities though also contributed to lower U.S. interest and inflation rates (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 134).

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2016; Ujikane 2016). U.S. concerns that China might massively sell U.S. securities have though not come true: in March 2016, the PRC had still been the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities (worth $1,245 bn.), followed by Japan ($1,137 bn.) (USDOT 2016a). Due to persistent PRC trade and current account surpluses as well as strong control over the yuan, the inflation rate, and the economy, China’s foreign exchange and U.S. (Treasury) securities holdings may thus likely remain for some time the largest in the world – and China may hence continue to be the largest foreign creditor of the United States (State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC 2016; USDOT 2016a; USDOT et al. 2016: 10f.; 13; 17f.; A-3-A7; USCB 2016b; IMF 2016c; 2016d; Ujikane 2016; Seth 2016; Dollar 2016: 1; Kissinger 2011: 321; Sharma 2010: 105; Lawrence 2013: 37f.; Subramanian 2011). Regarding the global significance of the U.S. dollar and the yuan, it becomes though evident that the former has still incontestably remained the anchor currency worldwide and in the Asia-Pacific as well, while the yuan has evolved as a secondary reserve currency (Mallaby/Wethington 2012; Subramanian 2011). In recent years, China has thereby sought to prudently increase its currency’s international reach, inter alia via yuan based stock dealings, (corporate) bond issuances, and bank deposits (in Hong Kong), yuan based international (trade) transactions with BRICS, Asian/ASEAN and Latin American partners, and central bank swap agreements with more than a dozen of countries (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 71f.; Mallaby/Wethington 2012; Subramanian 2011: 71). Progress concerning the international significance of the yuan has though been constrained in so far as the Chinese capital account has not been fully liberalized (yet) and the PRC retains firm control over its currency, banking system, private capital flows, and the mainland capital markets (Mallaby/Wethington 2012; Schnabel 2010b; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 69; 72). The Chinese currency has thus not (yet) become an alternative to the dollar, and will at least in the near term remain a secondary reserve currency (Mallaby/Wethington 2012). A PRC breakthrough was though reached in November 2015, when the IMF announced that by October 2016, the Chinese renminbi/yuan would be included in the basket of

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major reserve currencies that constitute the Special Drawing Right (SDR); since then, this IMF reserve asset has comprised the U.S. dollar (with a weight of 41.73%), the euro (30.93%), the Chinese renminbi/yuan (10.92%), the Japanese yen (8.33%), and the British pound (8.09 %) (IMF 2016e; 2015b; Mallaby/Wethington 2012). In the middle to long term, the yuan might thus quite evolve as a major rival to the U.S. dollar (and the euro) as global reserve currencies. With respect to Sino-U.S. currency ties in the narrow sense, one may though note that the currency (liberalization) debate and in particular devaluation blames have become “hot-button issues” in Sino-U.S. relations (Kaplan 2006; Kissinger 2011: 494f.; Keidel 2008: 4f.; Schnabel 2010a: 1f.; Huang 2012: 76-78; Gärtner 2011a; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 72-74). The PRC’s so far close control of the value of the yuan has recurrently evoked U.S. (congressional) reproaches of Chinese “currency manipulation” and hence “artificial” depreciation (Kissinger 2011: 494f.; Schmidt/ Heilmann 2012: 72-74; Keidel 2008: 4; Huang 2012: 76-78; Schnabel 2010a: 1f.). U.S. critics thereby perceive the dollar-pegged yuan to be kept up to 50% below its potential value under international free float conditions, although Beijing has in the last decade quite appreciated its currency (see Figure 14) (Oanda 2017; Gärtner 2011a; Kaplan 2006; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 68f.; 72-74; Schnabel 2010a: 1-3). Since a weak yuan privileges Chinese and disadvantages U.S. exporters – and has thus likely contributed to the elaborated post-Cold War U.S.-China trade deficits and economic distortions – U.S. scholars, pundits, policy makers, trade unions and other interest groups have partly criticized the PRC for free riding “on open global markets without liberalizing its own exchange rates, interest rates, and markets” (Nye 2010b: 150; Kissinger 2011: 494f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 73f.). Some scholars argue respectively that it may not be without reason that the United States has today a weak industrial but strong financial sector, while the opposite holds true for China (Schnabel 2010b; Zhao 2007: 622). The PRC in turn has criticized inter alia U.S. fiscal and monetary policies and the U.S. debt situation in particular, and has pointed out that the U.S. Federal Reserve System’s quantitative easing rounds and the low federal funds rates since 2008

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may have devaluated the U.S. dollar as well (Braml et al. 2011: 47-49; Barboza 2011; Gärtner 2011a; Mallaby/Wethington 2012; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 73f.). Moreover, regarding significant U.S. advantages as the issuer of the global lead currency, China has repeatedly called for a new world financial order (based for instance on the IMF SDR basket) that would weaken the dollar’s so far dominant reserve currency role (Mallaby/Wethington 2012; Layne 2011: 156f.; Gärtner 2011a; Schultz 2011; Barboza 2011). Regarding the post-Cold War development of the value of the Chinese currency in more detail (or more precisely the yuan to U.S. dollar exchange rate), the People’s Bank of China’s strong depreciation of the yuan at the turn of the year 1993/1994 and the ensuing dollar peg become evident (see Figure 14) (Oanda 2017; Schnabel 2010a: 2f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 67f.). After the following period of limited, only trade-related convertibility (and slight appreciation), the PRC finally fixed the yuan exchange rate tightly to the dollar (also against the background of the 19971998 Asia crisis), and kept this rate until June 2005; a controlled upward crawling peg (and overall appreciation by more than 20%) followed until July 2008. During the world economic crisis, China then returned to a fixed exchange rate until June 2010, when a controlled upward crawling peg (to a basket of the currencies of major PRC trading partners) was reintroduced (see Figure 14) (Oanda 2017; Schnabel 2010a: 3; Keidel 2008: 4; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 68f.; Kaplan 2006; Mallaby/Wethington 2012). In the June 2015 till February 2016 period of crashes/turbulences at Chinese (and world) financial markets (with capital flows out of China of up to $1 tr. in 2015), the People’s Bank of China then spent shares of its foreign reserve assets to stabilize Chinese markets and support the weakening yuan; nevertheless, and to the surprise of many investors and pundits, the People’s Bank of China significantly devalued the yuan trading price in August 2015 – implying the strongest drop in the value of the yuan since the turn of the year 1993/1994 (see Figure 14) (Oanda 2017; State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC 2016; Bloomberg,

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cit. in Ujikane 2016; Ujikane 2016; Dollar 2016: 1; Egan 2015; Robertson 2015; Bradsher/Tsang 2016). The Chinese currency was allowed to further depreciate between August 2015 and January 2016, when the official daily midpoint yuan trading price was set the lowest since March 2011 (see Figure 14) (Oanda 2017; Robertson 2015; Bradsher/Tsang 2016). Figure 14: The Exchange Rate of the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi (CNY) to the U.S. Dollar (USD) and PRC Currency Policy, October 1993 - December 2016 0.1800 Controlled   Upward   Fixed  Crawling   Rate Re‐  Peg 

0.1700 0.1600

launched  Controlled  Upward  Crawling  Peg 

0.1500 0.1400

Bouned   Currency   Converti‐  bility 

0.1300 0.1200

Con‐ trolled  Depre‐ ciation  

 

Fixed Exchange Rate 

Oct‐16

Oct‐15

Oct‐13 Oct‐14

Oct‐12

Oct‐11

Oct‐09 Oct‐10

Oct‐08

Oct‐07

Oct‐06

Oct‐05

Oct‐03 Oct‐04

Oct‐02

Oct‐01

Oct‐99 Oct‐00

Oct‐97 Oct‐98

Oct‐95 Oct‐96

Oct‐94

Oct‐93

0.1100

Source: By author; data reflect average monthly midpoint rates and were taken from Oanda 2017 and Schnabel 2010a: 3.

During the June 2016 global financial market and currency turbulences (and given the appreciating U.S. dollar) that followed the United Kingdom referendum where the electorate voted to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) (Wheeler/Hunt 2016), the yuan to U.S. dollar exchange rate then fell below the January 2016/March 2011 level; in July 2016, it plummeted below the $0.1500 mark, reached $0.1487 in October, $0.1461 in November, and finally $0.1442 in December 2016 – also due to the (interest rate hike) policy of the Fed and since the PRC leadership might have decided to fight that way against recently weaker Chinese exports

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(in goods) and economic growth rates (see Figure 14) (Oanda 2017; Bradsher/Tsang 2016; Robertson 2015). Overall, the PRC was able to stabilize its financial markets and more or less successfully managed the significant capital (out-)flows and its (partly decreasing) foreign exchange reserves in 2016; a potential recovery of the value of the yuan yet remains to be seen (State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC 2016; Ujikane 2016; Oanda 2017). Summing up, concerning the Sino-U.S. creditor-debtor relationship and bilateral currency ties, one may say that despite – and because of – China’s firm control over the (dollar-pegged) yuan, its influence and at the same time dependency on the value of the U.S. dollar have increased significantly in recent years. PRC utterances for instance to stronger diversify the Chinese foreign exchange holdings (and thus to decrease its financing of the U.S. current account deficit) may have immediate impacts on the floating U.S. currency, so that the People’s Bank of China may at the same time worry about devaluation of its tremendous dollarbased reserves: “[I]f China pulled back from buying Treasuries, the dollar would weaken and America’s borrowing costs would rise sharply, but that would also hurt China’s existing holdings” (Barboza 2011; Egan 2015; Subramanian 2011; Summers 2004: 7f.; Spiegel 2011a). Moreover, a depreciation of the dollar and appreciation of the yuan as well as economic turbulences would negatively affect China’s still predominantly exportdriven economy, and would jeopardize a smooth transition towards a more consumption/service-based economy (Subramanian 2011; Seth 2016; Spiegel 2011a). Spinning such thought experiments to the extreme, one may note that a massive PRC selling of U.S. securities could trigger a major U.S. and world financial crisis (and might even query U.S. solvency) – which would though destabilize the Chinese economy as well; the creditor has thus become “enmeshed in the fortunes of the debtor” (Drezner 2009b: 10; 44; Jackson 2013: 14; 16f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 140; 134; Egan 2015).

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While the complex causal relations within Sino-U.S. economic, financial and currency ties can of course be only partially elaborated here, a strong degree of Sino-U.S. economic interdependence has become evident. At the same time, this background has unleashed a heated (Sino-U.S.) debate on (potentially) resulting costs. As has been highlighted, Sino-U.S. disputes have inter alia been evoked by differing standpoints on state intervention into the economy as well as fiscal, monetary, trade, and currency policies. Accordingly, reciprocal accusations of protectionist tendencies and unfair (trade) practices, (economic) espionage, nontariff barriers, (impeded) market access for foreign competitors and with respect to public tenders, Chinese state banks’ financial support for state enterprises and the latter’s role per se, struggles about persistent Chinese disregard of intellectual property rights, product piracy, forced technology transfer, and a rising economic rivalry between Chinese and U.S. (transnational) corporations (TNCs) for commodity access110 and markets (of increasingly high-priced/high-technology products) as well as issues of WTO compliance have fueled bilateral tensions in the economic realm (Friedberg 2010: 37-40; USTR 2010: 2-5; Gärtner 2011a; Kaplan 2006; Sandschneider 2007: 93; Schnabel 2010b; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 7274; 139-142; 149; 160f.). Now and then, issue linkage strategies have been able to ease some strains111. Overall, however, Sino-U.S. economic frictions and concerns about a bilateral (limited) currency/financial and trade/economic war112 have increased especially since the 2007-2009

110 Chinese state companies winning (with the credit support of PRC state banks) against (U.S.) competitors the majority of post-war biddings on Iraqi oil fields in 2008-2010 have been prominent examples in this context (Vogelmann 2011). 111 In early 2010, for instance, the U.S. administration postponed and finally attenuated a critical Treasury report on China’s currency policy in an attempt to gain PRC support in the UNSC for a condemnation of Iran’s nuclear behavior (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 73). 112 In October 2011, for instance, the U.S. Senate voted for the introduction of high punitive tariffs on imported goods from countries with a deliberately weak currency – most obviously from the PRC (Gärtner 2011a). The initiative led PRC Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai to threaten a trade war, while U.S. senators accused China of having been the trigger of such a development (Gärtner 2011a; Kaplan 2006; Spiegel 2011b). Similarly, in May 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed high punitive (“anti-dumping”) tariffs of 31% (and potentially up to 250%) on imports of Chinese solar panel manufacturers due to alleged unfair state subsidies and credit to the

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world financial crisis and the U.S. debt-ceiling crises in 2011, 2013, and 2015, and were also prominently addressed in the 2012 and 2016 U.S. presidential primaries/caucuses and campaigns, and (since January 2017) by the Trump administration (Jäger 2012b; McCaskill 2016; Friedberg 2010: 37-40; Gärtner 2011a; Schnabel 2010b; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 72-74; 139-142; 149; Spiegel 2012c; 2011b; IISS 2016: 31; 2014: 34; Abrams 2015; Wasson/House 2015). Interim Conclusion: PRC and U.S. Economic Capabilities and Interdependence On the whole, the analysis of the post-Cold War evolution of PRC and U.S. economic capabilities has revealed a shift towards China regarding economic significance in (East) Asia (and partly beyond), and highlighted that China has been catching up relatively fast with the United States in the economic realm. While the United States has still remained the number one economic player in the world, China has in recent years significantly made up ground; it has already overtaken the United States in major economic categories (inter alia as the global export champion in goods, the leading producer of goods, and the largest merchandise trading nation) – and already evolved PPP-based as the world’s largest economy. Moreover, currently (most likely) on the second place after Japan, China might in the near (to middle) term also become the world’s largest (net) creditor nation, whereas the United States has been the world’s largest (net) debtor nation (Dollar 2016: 1; Ujikane 2016; Jackson 2013: 1; 7; The World Bank 2016a; Sharma 2010: 100; 104). From a regional perspective (especially concerning the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue), China has become the largest merchandise trading partner of Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, Russia, Japan, and the United States, but also inter alia of India and Australia, and the second largest one for Iran; while the ROK and the ROC still belong to the top ten U.S. trade partners, the PRC now records bilateral merchandise trade

industry. PRC announcements to retaliate quickly re-evoked worries about an intensifying Sino-U.S. trade war (Spiegel 2012c).

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volumes with these nations more than twice to almost three times as high – and has thus clearly evolved as the major trading nation in (East) Asia (UN Comtrade Database 2016; Weede 2010: 209). Accordingly, economic considerations may play a potentially larger role in Chinese than in U.S. (East) Asia policies. Overall, despite some recent PRC financial market turbulences and economic difficulties, China has still an enormous (long-term) potential. Its (post-Cold War) economic growth rates have significantly lain above those of the United States, a gap in growth that may continue, though perhaps on a smaller scale. Despite its still relatively low GDP per capita compared to the U.S. equivalent, the more than four times more populous PRC might (early) in the middle term evolve also MER-based as the world’s largest economy. Nevertheless, it may still take some more time till the PRC can (in the middle term) wield transand internationally as much (politico-)economic power as the United States. Furthermore, the analysis in Chapter 2.1 showed a tremendous degree of (and recent growth in) Sino-U.S. (trade-, financial- and currency) interdependence. The United States and China have thereby in particular become their number one trading partners. Skeptics may though point to the asymmetric character of this trade relationship: the United States lists the by far largest bilateral trade deficit with the PRC, and overall trade contributes less to the U.S. than to the Chinese GDP. The PRC may thus, also as a threshold country, potentially encounter higher costs than the United States in case of (politically induced) setbacks in Sino-U.S., regional or world trade. However, the slightly greater Chinese dependency on (Sino-U.S.) trade and the so far stronger U.S. position in the FDI realm might be to some extent compensated by the PRC’s financial trumps. Concerning general government gross debt, China’s fiscal leeway seems to have remained greater than that of the United States, where government gross debt has surpassed 100% of GDP. Moreover, China’s foreign exchange- and U.S. (Treasury) securities holdings may likely remain for some time the largest in the world; in other words, as the largest foreign creditor of the United States, China may have some (at least potential) influence on U.S. (state bond) interest rates and the value

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of the dollar. Nevertheless, the latter has remained the anchor currency globally and in the Asia-Pacific. Although the October 2016 inclusion of the Chinese renminbi/yuan into the IMF SDR basket can be seen as a major advance, the yuan has so far only moderately increased in international significance, and remains a secondary reserve currency; its firmly controlled, dollar-pegged value has thereby evoked U.S. reproaches of Chinese “currency manipulation” and “artificial” depreciation. Summing up, while China has already overtaken the United States as the leading trading/manufacturing nation and PPP-based as the world’s largest economy – and may (early in) the middle term also outgrow the U.S. GDP based on MER rates – a high degree of Sino-U.S. economic interdependence has evolved. Both the economic power transition under way and strong interdependence have thereby partly evoked significant tensions in Sino-U.S. (politico-economic) relations.

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China and the United States in the Military Realm

2.2 China and the United States in the Military Realm

2.2.1 Quantitative Military Perspective Measurement Issues While Kaplan’s attention-getting expectation that “the American military contest with China in the Pacific will define the twenty-first century” has partly issued criticism (Kaplan 2005; Sandschneider 2007: 38), few scholars yet doubt that a “military factor will remain an important variable in the US-China relationship in years to come” (Bergsten et al. 2009: 205). Adequate analysis of (post-Cold War) U.S. and PRC military capabilities and developments yet remains no easy endeavor. Comparing U.S. with Chinese forces brings along even more difficulties than dealing with economic data, since militaries from advanced industrialized nations and especially the one of the hegemonic Unites States differ fundamentally from those of threshold countries like the PRC: “[Armies] of developing powers have a strong but short punch, great on their borders but not beyond; perhaps best measured by the number of combat soldiers they could deploy on their frontier. North Korea or China could throw millions of soldiers to their frontiers (…). [Conversely; J.V.] [r]ich states have armies with longer range but less weight. Their strength is best measured by the combat troops ready for expeditionary service: (…) the United States (…) [for instance might deploy; J.V.] 140,000. (…) To compare these different forms of force is like gauging apples and oranges; the point is exactly where the struggle occurs. In Fukien, the Chinese army would reign supreme; fifty miles off shore, it would drown” (Ferris 2010: 258). These obstacles to the comparison of U.S. and PRC military capabilities and developments may be lessened to some extent by quantitatively focusing on military expenditure113 (and related measures), since the latter

113 The SIPRI definition of military expenditure comprises spending on: “(a) the armed forces (…); (b) defence ministries and other government agencies engaged in defence projects; (c) paramilitary forces (…); and (d) military space activities. Such expenditures should include: (a) military and civil personnel (…); (b) operations and maintenance; (c) procurement; (d) military research and development; and (e) military aid”

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can be used as “a trend indicator of the volume of resources used for military activities, which allow comparisons to be made over time for individual countries and between countries” (SIPRI 2016b). Such a quantitative military perspective should though also be supplemented by qualitative analysis; accordingly, Chapter 2.2.2 briefly considers (trends in) the technological level of military equipment, (operational and organizational) military capabilities, military research and development/the defense sector, as well as the broader military alignment, strategy, and the post-Cold War strategic landscape of China and the United States (in the Asia-Pacific) (see Chapter 2.2.2) (Perlo-Freeman et al. 2015: 400). Regarding quantitative military data analysis, one may say that just as GDP has become the most widely used measure for the economic size and capability of states, military expenditure has become the major quantitative variable to capture and compare military power in 19th, 20th, and 21st century international relations; accordingly, it has replaced military personnel as main indicator, whereupon the focus had been placed in pre-19th century times (Ikenberry et al. 2009: 6; 11; Baumann et al. 1999: 256). Naturally, this change in the significance of military personnel reflects inter alia the impact of the industrial revolution on modern warfare; state-of-the-art/sophisticated (and much more destructive) weaponry as well as well-educated soldiers have overall become more decisive for the outcome of battles and war than the sole number of servicemen a state can deploy to the front line. While not neglecting that a certain size of population (and hence also of manpower potentially available for military purposes) remains still the precondition for great- and superpower status today, the quantity of financial resources allocated to the armed forces

(SIPRI 2016b). The IISS relies on the NATO definition of military expenditure: “[T]he cash outlays of central or federal governments to meet the costs of national armed forces. The term ‘armed forces’ includes strategic, land, naval, air, command, administration and support forces. It also includes other forces if these forces are trained, structured, and equipped to support defence forces and are realistically deployable. Defence expenditures are reported in four categories: Operating Costs, Procurement and Construction, (…) R&D (…) and Other Expenditure” (IISS 2011: 484).

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constitutes a major basis for (super-/great power) military capability, strategy and war114. When focusing on U.S. and Chinese military expenditure, measurement issues concerning the comparability of U.S. and Chinese financial data reappear that have partly been already addressed in Chapter 2.1. Considering the MER-PPP discourse, IISS scholars for instance argue also with respect to the military realm that “[t]he arguments for using PPP are strongest for Russia and China” (IISS 2011: 485). Chinese lower costs for labor and thus for domestically produced or limitedly tradable goods and services may still render PLA expenses per unit of personnel, food, clothing, housing, or other basic operational and material costs lower than those of the U.S. military (IISS 2012: 215f.; 2011: 485; 2007: 341). This may be even valid, though to a lesser extent, for military research and development (R&D) and the domestic production of modern armaments, affecting calculations of PRC and U.S. (relative) military capabilities: “[W]hile the ratio of US to Chinese military expenditure in 2015 was 2.8:1 based on MER, using PPP rates the ratio was only around 1.6:1” (SIPRI 2016b). However, it is obvious that a straightforward PPP approach to military budgets would be misleading as well (IISS 2006: 250). One has to take into account that the PRC has to still buy high shares of components and resources for its indigenous weapons production or (for in-

114 However, one still has to note that military expenditure remains “an input measure which is not directly related to the 'output' of military activities, such as military capability or military security” (SIPRI 2016b; The World Bank 2016b: 120; 2011: 293). Some countries may be able to convert military spending more efficiently/effectively into defense, power projection or deterrence capability than others. In this respect, quantitative analysis of the “input measure” military expenditure has often been supplemented by the examination of “intervening factors” like state competence, administrative capacity, politico-military structures, geostrategic aspects or by direct analysis of “output variables” such as the technological level and quantity of military equipment, operational and organizational capacity, numbers of military personnel or (combat) experience (Waltz 1979: 131; Bergsten 2009: 195; Ferris 2011: 249-251; Holslag 2010: 12; Layne 2011: 152; Perlo-Freeman et al. 2015: 400). While such variables will be briefly considered in Chapter 2.2.2, dealing with the research question of how effectively U.S. and Chinese military spending has been converted into military output would be a research project of its own and cannot be examined, here. Thus, one may simplistically assume in the following that U.S./Chinese military expenditure correlates sufficiently (and of course time-lagged) with military capabilities.

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stance Russian) armaments at international market prices/exchange rates, even though the U.S. and EU arms embargos (since the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989) have left the PRC less integrated into defense globalization (Caverley 2007; IISS 2005: 259; 2010: 392). Overall, there exists yet “no specific PPP rate (…) for the military sector (…) [and] no definitive guide as to which elements of military spending should be calculated using (…) PPP rates” (IISS 2012: 216). These uncertainties have resulted in different approaches on military expenditure measurement. The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) for instance uses “a combination of PPP and MER rates which are applied to different parts of military expenditure” (ISS 2009: 376), while the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) relies primarily on MER rates to convert total national defense spending numbers into U.S. dollars (SIPRI 2016b). Besides such distinctions in measurement (that also concern inflation and thus the conversion to current or constant U.S. dollars (or other currencies) of different base years), the usually limited interest of states and especially of many threshold countries in providing transparency on their military capabilities has been another reason that military expenditure data vary seriously across different sources (see for instance Bergsten et al. 2009: 199-201; Blasko et al. 2006: 1-4; 46; Chamberlin 2004; Holslag 2010: 12; SIPRI 2016b; IISS 2010: 392). While (GWOT-related) (supplemental) budgetary appropriations and “bridge funding” beyond the regular U.S. department of defense budget as well as additional defense-related spending by other U.S. departments/agencies have rendered it no easy endeavor to calculate overall U.S. armament spending115, judging PRC military (financial) resources and trends remains even the greater challenge (IISS 2010: 26; 2006: 20; 25; 2013: 62f.; Bergsten et al. 2009: 192;

115 The IISS calculates the “US National Defense Budget Function” on the basis of “funding for the (…) [Department of Defense], the Department of Energy Atomic Energy Defense Activities and some smaller support agencies (…). It does not include funding for International Security Assistance (under International Affairs), the Veterans Administration, the US Coast Guard (Department of Homeland Security), nor for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Funding for civil projects administered by the (…) [Department of Defense] is [also] excluded” (IISS 2016: 33).

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Lampton 2011: 116; Sandschneider 2007: 159). Although the discrepancy has somewhat decreased lately, total military-related revenue of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is still supposed to be 1.4 to 3 times higher than indicated in the official PRC defense budget (IISS 2010: 392f.; 2009: 365; 2006: 249f.; 1999: 175). Accordingly, one has to estimate and add substantial extra-budgetary resources to value overall Chinese military spending116 (USDOD 2011: 41; SIPRI 2016b; IISS 2007: 341; Blasko et al. 2006: 1-4, 46; Blasko 2006: 9). While the White Papers on “China’s National Defense” (issued by the PRC since 1998) have in recent years at least partly improved Chinese military transparency (IOSCPRC 2013; 2011; 2009; 2006; 2004; 2002; 2000; 1998; Bergsten et al. 2009: 199f.; Blasko 2012: xv; Fravel 2008: 125f.; IISS 2008: 259), Blasko et al. for instance still conclude that “we do not yet have enough information to make a reasonable estimate of the total amount of Chinese ‘defense-related spending’” (Blasko et al. 2006: 2; 46). Similarly, IISS scholars point out that “the real size of China's defence spending remains a mystery” (IISS 2001: 177). Having highlighted the inherent uncertainties in (PRC) military expenditure estimates, the thesis nevertheless relies in the following on two of the most established (non-governmental) sources for military data: the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). U.S. and PRC Positions in World Military Spending Considering (between 1991 and 2015) the military expenditure of the (current) top ten military spenders (on a national basis), one clearly notes that the United States has in post-Cold War times persistently towered

116 Chinese military expenditure that has not been covered by the official defense budget has for instance originated from other central government ministries and organizations, provincial and local governments, or internal PLA sources. Extra-budgetary resources have comprised spending on military R&D, international weapons procurement, revenues generated by arms exports and military-owned enterprises, pensions for demobilized personnel, funds assigned to the paramilitary People's Armed Police and local militia, subsidies to domestic defense companies as well as military-related infrastructure construction (Blasko et al. 2006: 1-4; 46; IISS 2013: 255; 2012: 215; 2010: 392; 2009: 252f.; 2007: 341; 2001: 177; SIPRI 2016b).

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above all other nations, no matter if PPP conversion rates are applied (see Figure 15). Figure 15: Military Expenditure of the Top Ten Military Spenders in the World, 1991-2015, $ bn., Sorted by Size in 2015 (National Basis) 800

758

700

  United States United States  Saudi Arabia

595

600

China  United Kingdom

500

Russia  India Saudi Arabia  Germany

400

France  Japan 300

United Kingdom  South Korea

214

India  France

200 100 0

91 65

46 39

Germany  Russia Japan  China South Korea 

Source: By author; data taken from SIPRI 2016a. Numbers refer to $ at constant (2014) prices and market exchange rates. Measures of central tendency were partly inserted if annual numbers were not available. PRC and other country data are based on calendar, U.S. ones on fiscal years (1st October of the previous year till 30th September of the year mentioned) (SIPRI 2016b; IISS 2011: 49).

At the same time, Figure 15 also reflects to some extent the scholarly and public “U.S. unipolarity – potential contender” debate. While Soviet/Russian defense spending plunged in the early 1990s dramatically out of bipolarity to levels of other major powers (and thus left the U.S. alone in its class), China overtook then number two placed France in overall military expenditure in 2003, and has in the last years significantly exceeded this

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post-Cold War group level of “other major powers”; in 2015, the PRC finally spent more than twice as much for military purposes as next placed Russia, or more than Russia, Japan and South Korea combined (see Figure 15) (SIPRI 2016a). Consequently, China has clearly emerged as the second largest defense spender in the world, ranking only third if one considers the military expenditures of the EU-28 combined. The latter perspective remains yet questionable since the European Union has so far rarely been a single military or security policy actor (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 25; Jäger/Dylla 2008: 317)117. By analogy to Chapter 2.1, considering the shares of the top military spenders in 2015 as percentages of total world military expenditure (with and without the EU-28 en bloc) demonstrates as well the still unipolar U.S. position with respect to global defense spending, followed by China and then other major powers, or – when integrating the EU-28 – by the European Union and then China (see Figures 16 and 17). After decades of massive investment into military power, the United States still accounted for 33.8% of world military spending in 2015 (and the U.S. lead in military R&D expenditure remains distinct as well) (Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 28f.). Compared to the United States, the Chinese proportion of global defense spending of 12.2% (as well as the 16% share of the EU-28) seem (still) moderate (see Figures 16 and 17). One may not forget, however, that China’s share of world military spending has already become more than double the size of the third and fourth placed Russian and Saudi Arabian defense expenditure, with their proportions of around 5% (see Figure 16).

117 The militaries of EU member states remain mainly independent entities, not all EU states belong to NATO, and EU Common Security and Defense Policy initiatives still depend primarily on the consent of each member state (Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 31f.).

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Figure 16: Percentage of World Military Expenditure of the Top Ten Military Spenders in 2015 (National Basis) United States 34 South Korea

China

12

Japan

2

5

3 3

5 3

Germany

Russia

3 3

Saudi Arabia

India

France United Kingdom

Source: By author; data taken from SIPRI 2016a. For further details on data see annotation underneath Figure 15.

Figure 17: Percentage of World Military Expenditure of the Top Military Spenders in 2015 Including the European Union (EU-28) United States 34 European Union

China 16 12

South Korea

2

5 3

3

Japan

Russia

5

Saudi Arabia India

Source: By author; data taken from SIPRI 2016a. For further details on data see annotation underneath Figure 15.

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More than current defense spending levels, it have thus most of all been the overall post-Cold War and recent trends in U.S. and Chinese defense spending (shares of world military expenditure) that have provided the “rise of China – potential U.S. contender” debate with increasing momentum. From 2010 on, the U.S. proportion of world military spending fell by more than 20%, or almost 9 percentage points, to the aforementioned post-Cold War low of 33.8% in 2015 – and hence even below the 1991 U.S. share of 35.8%; the PRC, however, has strongly augmented its percentage of world military expenditure between 1991 and 2015 – actually increasing it more than sevenfold in this period (see Figure 18). Moreover, the Figures 15, 16, 17, and 18 rest upon MER (SIPRI) data, which systematically diminish actual Chinese military (spending) weight118. Figure 18: Percentage of World Military Expenditure of the United States and China, 1991-2015 42.7

45 40 35

33.8

35.8

30 25 20 12.2

15 10 5

1.7

0

United States

China

Source: By author; data taken from SIPRI 2016a. For further details on data see annotation underneath Figure 15.

118 This is one reason to consider in the following also the Figures 19, 20, and 21, which draw (partly) upon IISS numbers that rely on a combination of MER and PPP data.

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Regarding the near-term future, the U.S. share of world military spending is likely to more or less stagnate (due to fiscal-economic constraints and budget caps), while the PRC proportion is very likely to further increase significantly. The U.S. Budget Control Act of 2011 planned U.S. defense spending reductions of $487 bn. between 2012 and 2021; it implied statutory discretionary spending caps (since 2012), and entailed an automatic spending reduction process (“sequestration”) that took effect in 2013; after moderate upward amendments to the statutory budget caps on defense spending, previously rapidly decreasing U.S. military expenditure seemed to more or less stabilize between 2014 and 2017 (IISS 2017: 28; 37-39; 2016: 31-33; 38; 2015: 33-35; 2013: 49; 61-66; 255-257; Perlez 2012; Driessen/Labonte 2015; Friedberg 2010: 36; Perlo-Freeman et al. 2016: 2; Layne 2011: 157; Spiegel 2012b; Holland 2017). Overall, U.S. defense spending (and force level) reductions since 2010 seemed to remain within a (“peace dividend”) range that the United States had also realized during the first post-Cold War decade, when the country had decreased both military spending and personnel by about one-third (SIPRI 2016a; Perlo-Freeman et al. 2016: 2; IISS 2017: 38; 2000: 18f.; 1997: 12; Becker 2012). U.S. President Obama had though repeatedly underlined that cuts in military expenditure were not to affect the U.S. military position in – and rebalance to – the Asia-Pacific: “[R]eductions in U.S. defense spending will not – I repeat, will not – come at the expense of the Asia Pacific. (…) As we plan and budget for the future, we will allocate the resources necessary to maintain our strong military presence in this region” (The White House/Obama 2011). In early 2017, the 2018 budget plan of the administration of U.S. President Trump then envisaged a (de facto moderate) reincrease in U.S. military expenditure (Holland 2017). A Relative Perspective on U.S. and Chinese Military Expenditure From a relative Sino-U.S. perspective, ongoing Chinese gains in military (spending) power towards the United States become (even more) apparent: PRC defense spending as a share of U.S. military expenditure has risen from about 6% in 1991 up until about 57% in 2015 (see IISS data in Figure 19). Even based on MER (SIPRI) data, Chinese defense spending

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reached about 36% of the U.S. equivalent in 2015 Figure 19).

119

(see SIPRI data in

Figure 19: PRC Military Expenditure as a Share (%) of U.S. Military Expenditure, 1991-2015 60

57

50 40

36

30 20 10 0

6 5

IISS

SIPRI

Source: By author; (estimated) measures of central tendency were partly inserted if annual numbers were not available. Chinese figures are to a certain extent estimates including extra-budgetary military expenditure, and are based on calendar, U.S. ones on fiscal years (1st October of the previous year till 30th September of the year mentioned) (SIPRI 2016b; IISS 2011: 49). SIPRI data are calculated on the basis of market exchange rates and $ at constant (2014) prices (SIPRI 2016a; 2016b), and were taken from SIPRI 2016a. IISS data refer to $ at year of publication (“current”) prices; United States data thereby reflect outlay numbers defined as “money spent by a federal agency from funds provided by Congress (...) [following] the provision of Budget Authority” (IISS 2005: 42; 2016: 494). Chinese figures were calculated by the IISS by using “a combination of PPP and MER rates which are applied to different parts of military expenditure” (IISS 2009: 376; 2016: 494f; 2013: 256). IISS data were taken from IISS 2016: 33; 38; 214; 240; 484; 2015: 34; 237; 2014a: 230; 2013: 64; 71; 256; 286; 2012: 46; 215; 233; 2011: 49; 2010: 27; 2009: 25; 376; 2008: 22; 369; 2007: 20; 28; 341, 346; 2006: 25; 29; 253; 2005: 42; 2004: 264; 267; 322; 2003: 235; 298; 2002: 243; 298; 2001: 188; 2000: 194; 1999: 17; 186; 1998: 15; 20; 178; 1997: 16; 176; 1996: 21; 179; 1995: 176; 1994: 22; 170; 1993: 152.

119 Most recently, the SIPRI estimates for 2016 revealed that Chinese defense spending has probably arrived at more than 37% of the U.S. military expenditure (on the basis of market exchange rates and $ at constant 2015 prices) (SIPRI 2017e).

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Still, relative PRC gains have progressed much slower in the military than in the economic realm, where the Chinese PPP-based GDP has overtaken the U.S. GDP already in 2014 (see Figure 2 in Chapter 2.1) (IMF 2016a). Sino-U.S. military (spending) parity has thus been projected to be reached significantly later than economic parity (IISS 2013: 255-257; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 42-44; Holslag 2010: 134; Jacques 2009: 315; Kugler 2006: 36, 39; Tammen et al. 2000: 154f.; IMF 2016a). Nevertheless, especially if one integrates purchasing power into the calculation of military expenditure, post-Cold War Chinese defense spending has at a moderate pace been making up significant ground towards the United States. In other words, according to IISS and SIPRI data, it is totally reasonable to assume that the Chinese defense expenditure may in 2015/ 2016 have reached (PPP-based) up to about half the size of U.S. defense spending (IISS 2017: 37; 45; 278; 2016: 33; 38; 214; 240; SIPRI 2017e; 2016a). Post-Cold War relative Chinese gains towards the United States regarding the level of military spending also evolve clearly if one analyzes the development of U.S. and Chinese absolute military expenditure between 1991 and 2015 (see Figure 20). It thereby becomes apparent that persistent economic growth “has dramatically increased the resources the Chinese government has available to devote to military spending” (Crane et al. 2005: xv)120. Measuring about $19 bn. in 1991, Chinese defense spending has since increased by more than 18 times to estimated $343 bn. in 2015, revealing an astonishing average growth rate121 of 12.9% per year (see IISS numbers in Figure 20). Even the more modest SIPRI data still reveal an average annual increase of 9.7% in PRC defense spending between 1991 and 2015 (from about $23 bn. to about $214 bn.) (see SIPRI numbers in Figure 20).

120 Post-Cold War PRC defense expenditure has thereby been more or less equally divided into the three categories personnel, operations and maintenance, and equipment (Blasko et al. 2006: 1f.; IISS 2007: 341). 121 Average growth rates will in the following be calculated based on original (unrounded) figures.

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Figure 20: Development of U.S. and Chinese Military Expenditure, 1991-2015, $ bn. 758

800 700

694 706

600 500

595 598

487

400 300

343 297

100

214

178

200 19/23

0

United States ‐ IISS

United States ‐ SIPRI

China ‐ IISS

China ‐ SIPRI

Source: By author; for further details on data see annotation underneath Figure 19.

Taking the United States into account, one of course finds it still towering as the military unipole at a far higher expenditure level than the Chinese. The ongoing post-Cold War trend of significant Sino-U.S. shifts in military spending can though not be ignored: U.S. military expenditure advanced from about $297 bn. in 1991 to about $706 bn. in 2011, and has since then decreased again to about $598 bn. in 2015122 (see IISS numbers in Figure 20); this implies a considerably smaller U.S. annual average growth rate (than the Chinese) of approximately 3% between 1991 and 2015 – or about 1% based on SIPRI data (from about $487 bn. in 1991 to about $595 bn. in 2015) (see Figure 20). Consequently, China’s defense expenditure has in the post-Cold War era expanded on average four to

122 Most recently, the IISS estimated that U.S. defense spending was/will likely be $604.5 bn. in 2016, and $617 bn. in 2017 (IISS 2017: 19; 37; 45); the SIPRI military expenditure estimates for 2016 were about $606 bn. for the United States, and about $226 bn. for China (on the basis of market exchange rates and $ at constant 2015 prices) (SIPRI 2017e).

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ten times faster than the U.S. equivalent, making relative gains obvious. The absolute gap in U.S. and Chinese defense spending, which has decreased from about $516 bn. in 2010 to about $255 bn. in 2015, will (hence) likely continue to shrink in future (see IISS numbers in Figure 20). Nevertheless, it will take considerable time until Sino-U.S. defense spending parity may evolve. If one extrapolated U.S. and PRC military spending trends based on the 1991-2015 IISS/SIPRI annual average growth rates, China would overtake the U.S. in military expenditure already before/around 2030. As this projection seems though inadequate since Chinese annual increases in armament spending may slow down with the PRC’s further socio-economic development (not to say given probably lower Chinese economic growth rates in future), Sino-U.S. parity in military expenditure may not happen before around 2040 (see also IISS 2013: 255-257). Of course, “[s]uch projections are fraught with difficulty because they rely on assumptions about future economic growth rates and the trajectories of (…) [Chinese and U.S.] defence spending (…). While neither definitive nor clearly predictive, they can [yet; J.V.] offer an indication” (IISS 2013: 255). Accordingly, also from a Sino-U.S. defense spending perspective, it is still too early to term today’s second largest military spender, China, a global military competitor to the United States. This has been also reflected by Beijing’s rather regional military focus so far. As an interim conclusion, one may say that while China has already overtaken the United States in overall (PPP-based) GDP, SinoU.S. parity is (in the near-term) not yet in sight in the (global) military realm, despite significant Chinese relative gains regarding military spending levels. As will be further elaborated, the PRC may be rather perceived as evolving towards a regional military competitor of the United States, with increasing (anti-access/area denial (A2/AD)) capabilities that may constrain U.S. regional strategic maneuverability. Defense Spending of Regional Actors in East Asia By analogy to Chapter 2.1, and since China’s military rise will not leave the regional strategic landscape and dynamics unaffected (Bergsten et al.

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2009: 199), Figure 21 finally casts a defense spending perspective on selected regional actors in East Asia. Of course, the U.S. military expenditure of more than $595 bn. in 2015 exceeded by far those of the other actors in the region and has been left out in the chart for reasons of scale (SIPRI 2016a; IISS 2016: 33; 38). Figure 21 though clearly displays that Chinese defense spending took off in the late 1990s, so that the PRC finally became – by passing Japan in 2001 – the largest defense spender in East Asia; by 2010, the Chinese military expenditure had already outgrown those of Russia123, Japan, and South Korea combined (see Figure 21). In the end, the following regional defense spending structure has emerged: the United States and China rank incontestably as superpowers (with the United States still as a military class of its own). With about $214 bn. in 2015 (SIPRI/MER data), China though exceeded substantially the spending levels of all other East Asian players (except for the United States), such as those of Russia ($91 bn.), Japan ($46 bn.), South Korea ($39 bn.), Taiwan ($10 bn.), and North Korea (about $4 bn. in 2009) (see Figure 21). Furthermore, while the PRC military expenditure was in 1991 about two times larger than that of Taiwan, it already outnumbered the ROC defense spending by more than five times in 2001, by more than 15 times in 2011, and by almost 21 times in 2015 (see Figure 21) (SIPRI 2016a). This gives a clear indication how the military balance in the Taiwan Strait has evolved if one leaves the United States aside124.

123 One has yet to bear in mind that the advanced nuclear and conventional military (technological) basis of Russia is still significant, even though the PLA has since 1998 received far greater resources than the Russian military (see Figure 21). 124 In other words, since Taiwan has become less and less able to independently block a PRC offensive for longer periods, and China has been catching up technologically, Taiwan is increasingly seeking to develop forces that “enable the island to withstand an assault for as long as possible, with the goal of buying time for US intervention” (IISS 2013: 335; USDOD 2011: 47; 2015: 78-80).

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141

Figure 21: Military Expenditure of China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and North Korea, 1991-2015, $ bn. 214 200   150

China 

144

Russia Japan 100

91

Taiwan

61 47

50

33 34 4

South Korea

46 39

North Korea China

10

0

Source: By author; (estimated) measures of central tendency were partly inserted if annual numbers were not available; data have predominantly been taken from SIPRI 2016a. Since estimates on North Korea have to remain highly uncertain, SIPRI has (in the post-Cold War era) not provided respective defense expenditure calculations; the IISS provided DPRK defense budget/expenditure estimates until the (calendar) year 2009 (IISS 2011: 249; 2007: 357; 2006: 276; 2005: 282; 2004: 323; 2003: 299; 2001: 196; 2000: 202; 1999: 193; 1998: 185; 1997: 183; 1996: 186; 1995: 183; 1994: 178; 1992: 152). For further details on data see annotations underneath the Figures 15 and 19.

Similarly, the ROK, with more than $33 bn. in 2009, spent almost eight times more on defense than the DPRK (which might partially (limitedly) explain the latter’s turn towards asymmetric and nuclear strategies) (see Figure 21). On the whole (and already in regard to the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue), one may conclude that the United States and China represent the dominant military spenders in East Asia, followed

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with significant gaps by then Russia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and North Korea125. U.S. and PRC Defense Spending as Shares of GDP Beyond the analysis of U.S. and Chinese relative and absolute defense spending, it seems also promising to evaluate the burden that this use of resources constitutes for the national economies; since GDP and military expenditure have been perceived as central indicators for the analysis of (economic and military) state capabilities, it seems logical that their ratio, namely defense spending as a share of GDP, embodies one of the most common quantitative variables to judge the load a national economy has to bear for defense and power projection capacity (Ikenberry et al. 2009: 6; SIPRI 2016b; The World Bank 2016b: 120; 2011: 293). In this regard, the strong (and growing) links between economic and military power become apparent, indicating at the same time that the interrelated Chapters 2.1 and 2.2 here are essential for a diligent assessment of post-Cold War U.S. and Chinese capability trends and ultimately the reconstruction of the structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations: “The whole progress of civilization has been so closely bound up with economic development that we are not surprised to trace, throughout modern history, an increasingly intimate association between military and economic power” (Carr 1981: 113). That the size and character of an economy constitutes a major foundation for also military might has for instance been already highlighted by Friedrich Engels at the end of the 19th century: “[T]he triumph of force is based on the production of arms, and this in turn on production in general—therefore, on ‘economic power’ (...). Nothing is more dependent on economic pre-conditions than precisely the army and navy”126 (Engels

125 Beyond the two superpowers and the nations considered above, further regional actors may naturally play important strategic/military roles as well in East Asia and the Asia Pacific, be it as (potential) alliance partners or as independently hedging actors (Bergsten et al. 2009: 199; Holslag 2010: 109; 127). 126 Of course, air forces did not yet exist these days, which is why Engels does not note them, here.

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2001 [1878]: 211f.; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 32; Jäger 2010: 292; Sandschneider 2007: 155; Subramanian 2011: 68). Similarly, Layne points out that “the economy (…) is (…) the very foundation of US military power” (Layne 2011: 158), and Overholt underlines that “China’s rise to geopolitical eminence occurred as a result of economic prowess that long predated any military prowess” (Overholt 2008: 51). It is thus not surprising that U.S. President Barack Obama had declared at his 2011 state visit to Australia that “economic strength at home is the foundation of our leadership in the world, including (…) in the Asia Pacific” (The White House/Obama 2011). In his seminal monograph “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers”, historian Paul Kennedy demonstrated that changes in the economic/ productive capabilities of great powers entailed usually decisive alterations also in the military balance of power (Kennedy 1987: 439). Fundamentally, and despite the significant military-technological edge that the United States still has over the PRC (Hansel 2010: 281), there seem thus no strong reasons to assume that ongoing post-Cold War Chinese economic gains relative to the United States will not continue to be more or less converted – with PRC (and U.S.) governmental decisions determining the velocity and extent – into relative Chinese gains of military power as well. In other words, military power, and even more so air and sea power, are the result of a “marriage of will and wealth”, and thus of a (partly) steerable translation of latent/potential power such as GDP, demography, and other factors into (actual/manifest) defense and power projection capabilities (Ferris 2010: 251; 249-251; Mearsheimer 2001: 55; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 46). As Prussian defense economics in the 17th/ 18th century underpinned, this conversion rate “from resources to forces (…), [the] ability to command a people and tap their resources” (Ferris 2010: 249), varies among states and plays a crucial role for the development of military capabilities: “[A] state able to jump from tapping 1 per cent of its potential power to 2 per cent might so double its military capacity” (Ferris 2010: 249). Nevertheless, policy makers in the security realm have to bear a potential “armament trap” in mind. While refining resources to military power may enlarge a nation’s short-term security, the same process overdone may

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in the long term erode its power position and military security by burdening the national economy too much (and/or by unleashing foreign policy/ armament reactions of other states): “[By] devoting a large share of the nation’s ‘manufacturing power’ to expenditures upon ‘unproductive’ armaments, one runs the risk of eroding the national economic base, especially vis-á-vis states which are concentrating a greater share of their income upon productive investment for long-term growth” (Kennedy 1987: 539). Naturally, it is clear that any channeling of national resources to the defense sector comes not without opportunity costs (Brzoska 2011: 98; Brooks 1997: 451f.). Military spending implies (investment) capital, raw materials, machinery, R&D capacity, and workforce to be devoted to defense-related production and performance in lieu of civil-economic production and services (Kennedy 1987: 444-446; 499). The latter, however, may stronger unleash positive long-term effects on the economy: “[H]igh levels of military expenditures (…) burden the economy and may impede growth” (The World Bank 2011: 293; Brooks 1997: 451f.; Waltz 1979: 107; SIPRI 2016b; cf. Glaser 1994/1995: 77). A state may thus foster economic growth and development more effectively by investing into infrastructure, R&D/science and the education sector, among others. Accordingly, Ferris pointedly argues that “large armies erode the wealth of nations and the power of states” (Ferris 2010: 248). More specifically, under current conditions of high-technology warfare, it is not only the size of armies that drives military expenditure and thus “the burden on the economy”, but also today’s tremendous charges of sophisticated armaments. The costs of modern weaponry have been rising steadily and at an accelerated pace since the 20th century, where “each new generation of aircraft, warships and tanks is vastly more expensive than preceding ones, even when allowance is made for inflation” (Kennedy 1987: 442; Ferris 2010: 261). Air forces and navies have especially become “a rich man’s weapon”, which strongly depend on the fiscal-economic and industrial basis of a state: “Expensive to build and maintain, fleets vanish without a regular program of shipbuilding. (…) Few states have maintained a large navy for long” (Ferris 2010: 248). Similar conclusions may be drawn with respect to the enormous costs of modern air

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forces, as the prominent example of the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program highlights: if executed as (originally) planned, the lifetime (inflation-adjusted) costs to develop, procure, operate, and maintain this U.S. fifth generation fighter fleet may exceed $1.5 trillion, implying that the F-35 aircraft embodies potentially the most expensive single weapons system in human history (Shalal-Esa 2012; Becker 2012). Naturally, regarding the complex correlation of (high) armament spending and (potentially diminished long-term) economic growth, and the ratio of military expenditure to GDP in particular, a general “military power erodes wealth” presumption seems somewhat simple (Brzoska 2011: 99f.; Glaser 1994/1995: 77; Brooks 1997: 451); critics may point out that armament spending may to some part be also perceived as research investments into cutting-edge and dual use technologies (and the national defense economy) that may unleash spin-off-effects for civil-economic development as well (Owen 2001: 150). From an economic perspective, defense spending has though often quite been mostly “consumptive” – as the IISS argued in 2011 even with respect to the leading military R&D nation United States: “US defence spending nearly doubled over the last decade (…), but much like the American economy as a whole, most of the growth was allocated to consumption (in support of ongoing wars) rather than investment” (IISS 2011: 48f.). Political economists, historians, and rise-and-fall realists have thereby developed concepts such as fiscal/ strategic/imperial overstretch, unipolar overreach, strategic overextension, overtaxation, or simply overexpenditure; these terms circle around the notion that hegemons and other (great) powers often contribute to their own decline by consuming more than they invest, especially if their (strategic) commitments (abroad) evoke (military) costs that exceed their resources in the long run (Lampton 2011: 116; Layne 2011: 153; Gilpin 1981: 146-197; Kennedy 1987; Nye 2010a: 5; Snyder 2004a: 55; Glaser 2011b: 145f.; Sandschneider 2007: 25; 229). Similar concepts/hypotheses had been used to examine threats to the stability and durability of U.S. and Soviet power positions during the Cold War – and respective concerns have partly resurfaced since 9/11 and the ensuing U.S. defense spending increases (due to the GWOT and the Afghanistan/Iraq cam-

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paigns), with regard to the tax-cuts of the Bush administration, or concerning the 2007-2015 U.S. economic and fiscal (debt-ceiling) crises: “[T]he United States is becoming the poster child for strategic overextension, or (…) imperial overstretch. (…) [B]y choosing to invest in [military] hegemony rather than in economic revival, the United States actually would be shooting itself in the foot” (Layne 2011: 149f.; 158; Kennedy 1987: 444-446; 498-514; IISS 2013: 60f.; Goh 2011: 887; IISS 2016: 31; Abrams 2015; Wasson/House 2015). Nevertheless, the percentage when military spending as share of GDP threatens to become particularly power eroding and destabilizing has remained an issue of scholarly debate and seems to be contingent on several (background) variables. Over long periods of the Cold War, the Soviet Union may have counted military spending to GDP ratios that considerably exceeded U.S. levels and surpassed the 10% mark, which many scholars perceive as a reason for her final decay: “[T]he historical record suggests that if a particular nation is allocating over the long term more than 10 percent (and in some cases—when it is structurally weak— more than 5 percent) of GDP to armaments, that is likely to limit its growth rate” (Kennedy 1987: 609; 498-514). However, during the Cold War, the United States assigned as well at times nearly 10 percent of its GDP to military expenditure – but did not show respective signs of ruin (Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 31; 23; Ikenberry et al. 2009: 6; Glaser 1994/ 1995: 77). Although no general relative threshold can thus be derived from which on defense spending becomes especially harmful to the national economy, long-term rates above 5% of GDP have yet often raised scholarly concern. In this respect, differing armament spending to GDP ratios and socio-economic alignments can quite be perceived as competing national models with significant effects on short- and long-term performance: “A great power today spending less on defense relative to its GDP may [thus; J.V.] well increase its economic and military potential in the long-term” (Kennedy 1987: 539). After these broader considerations on the links between economic and military capabilities and the proportion of military spending to GDP in par-

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ticular, respective U.S. and PRC data will be analyzed in the following. Overall, one thereby finds that despite significant post-Cold War variance in U.S. military expenditure to GDP levels, the United States has on average listed a defense spending to GDP ratio about twice as high as the PRC (see Figure 22). The respective burden may thus have lasted stronger on the U.S. than on the Chinese economy. That low(er) Chinese defense spending levels might help to foster economic growth had already been envisaged by Deng Xiaoping, who had cut PRC military expenditure from about 16% of GDP in the mid-1970s to less than 3% in the 1980s (Overholt 2008: xxviii; Kennedy 1987: 454; SIPRI 2016a). After the end of the Cold War, both U.S. and Chinese armament spending then reflected the worldwide trend of decreasing defense budgets. The PRC military expenditure to GDP ratio reached its post-Cold War low in the period from 1994 to 1998, when it measured only about 1.7% (see Figure 22). Since then, Chinese defense spending to GDP levels have only moderately increased to 2.2% in 2002 – and measured 1.9% in 2015 (see Figure 22). Regarding U.S. military expenditure as percentage of GDP, defense spending cuts especially during the Clinton administration finally led to a post-Cold War low of about 2.9% between 1999 and 2001 (see Figure 22). Afterwards, one easily recognizes the 9/11-effect on U.S. defense spending – and thus almost “a decade of extraordinary growth in our military budgets”, as U.S. President Barack Obama had termed it (The White House/Obama 2011; IISS 2013: 61). From 2.9% in 2001, the U.S. military expenditure to GDP ratio grew to 4.7% in 2010 (and measured about 4.6% in 2009 and 2011), and was thus (in times of U.S. economic and fiscal crisis) no longer far away from the potentially critical 5% mark discussed above (Kennedy 1987: 609). In the following years, cuts in U.S. defense budgets then enabled a significant decrease in the U.S. military spending to GDP share – which finally reached 3.3% in 2015127 (see Figure 22) (IISS 2016: 32).

127 Most recently, the SIPRI estimates for the U.S. and the Chinese ratio of military spending to GDP in 2016 were still 3.3% and 1.9%, respectively (SIPRI 2017e).

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Figure 22: U.S. and Chinese Military Expenditure as Percentage of GDP, 1991-2015 5

4.7

4 3.3 2.9

3

2.2 2

1.9

1.7

1

United States

China

Source: By author; data were taken from SIPRI 2016a, and are based on nominal, local currency figures for each calendar year (China) and fiscal year (United States), respectively (SIPRI 2016b).

Overall, however, this U.S. ratio of 3.3% in 2015 still exceeded signifcantly the global average of total military expenditure to global GDP (which measured 2.3% in 2015) – and implied the 22nd highest national share; by contrast, the Chinese defense spending to GDP ratio of 1.9% in 2015 ranked below the global average, and implied the 49th position worldwide (SIPRI 2016a; Perlo-Freeman et al. 2016: 1f.). To offer another standard of comparison, among the top ten military spenders in 2015 (on a national basis), the U.S. military expenditure to GDP share still reflected the third highest level (after the oil-exporting nations Saudi Arabia (13.7%) and Russia (5.4%)) – while China ranked third lowest (see Figure 23) (SIPRI 2016a; Perlo-Freeman et al. 2016: 1). Consequently, one may conclude that post-Cold War Chinese relative gains in military (spending) power towards the United States have not yet significantly increased the burden for the growing PRC economy. While China’s gains seem thus to have been made “on the cheap”, U.S. costs of global military dominance

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and power projection capability have yet been significant since 9/11 (Münkler 2005: 243-245). Figure 23: Military Expenditure as Percentage of GDP of the Top Ten Military Spenders in 2015 (National Basis) Saudi Arabia 13.7 Japan

Russia

5.4 Germany

United States 1.0

3.3

1.2 1.9 China

2.6 2.0

2.1

United Kingdom

2.3

South Korea

India France

Source: By author; data were taken from SIPRI 2016a, and are based on nominal, local currency figures for each fiscal year (United States) and calendar year (all other states), respectively (SIPRI 2016b).

U.S. and PRC Force Levels To complete the quantitative analysis of U.S. and Chinese military capabilities, a concluding view is to be cast here on the development of force levels/the number of total armed forces active128. In the post-Cold War era, military personnel have thereby been sizably reduced by the PRC and the United States, highlighting an overall trend towards smaller, more

128 “The ‘Active’ total comprises all servicemen and women on full-time duty (including conscripts and long-term assignments from the Reserves)”, but not paramilitary forces (IISS 2017: 567).

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flexible, better equipped and trained armies. Still embodying the world’s largest armed forces, the PLA has carried out huge reform efforts to become leaner, technologically more advanced, and to increase commandand-control capabilities (Holslag 2010: 50). Within a few years, it has turned into a vastly changed organization (Blasko 2006: 1). Having already been subject to cuts in the 1980s (Blasko 2012: 25), PLA military personnel further decreased from slightly over 3 million in 1991 to 2.183 million in 2016, while U.S. forces were reduced at the same time from about 1.9 million to 1.347 million (see Figure 24). Consequently, Chinese military manpower has exceeded the U.S. by a factor between 1.4 and 2 in the post-Cold War era, with this ratio measuring roughly 1.6 in 2016 (see Figure 24) (IISS 2017: 45; 279). Figure 24: U.S. and Chinese Total Armed Forces Active, 1991-2016, million

3.0

3.030

2.5

2.333 2.183

2.105 2.0 1.5

1.914 1.580 1.366

1.347

1.0

China

United States

Source: By author; data taken from IISS 2017: 22; 45; 279; 553; 555; 2016: 38; 240; 484; 486; 2015: 40; 237; 2014a: 42; 231; 2013: 71; 287; 2012: 54; 233; 2011: 56; 230; 2010: 31; 399; 2009: 31; 382; 2008: 29; 376; 2007: 28; 346; 2006: 29; 264; 2005: 20; 270; 2004: 23; 170; 2003: 18; 152; 2002: 16; 145; 2001: 19; 188; 2000: 25; 194; 1999: 20; 186; 1998: 20; 178; 1997: 18; 176; 1996: 22; 179; 1995: 23; 176; 1994: 22; 170; 1993: 20; 152; 1992: 18; 145.

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Nevertheless, the U.S. armed forces remain far more capable, technologically advanced, better equipped/trained, more experienced in combat129, and globally deployable – a combination that more than levels the PLA’s numeric superiority (at least beyond mainland China) (IISS 2013: 51). If the overall post-Cold War trend of reductions in military manpower will continue in both states remains to be seen. Military personnel had again increased post-2007 in the PLA, as well as post-1999 and in particular post-9/11 in the U.S. forces; the U.S. maximum since 9/11 was then reached in 2009, with about 1.58 million personnel in the armed forces (see Figure 24). U.S. defense spending cuts under the Obama administration did though naturally also affect force levels, in particular after the retreat of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 and the significant reduction of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2011-2014 (IISS 2013: 49; Vogt 2011). In 2012/2013, the Pentagon had announced that the active Army would decrease from about 570,000 to about 490,000, and the Marine Corps from 202,000 to 182,000 regulars – and that target had been (more than) reached in early 2017; overall, only special operations forces and specific capabilities had more or less been exempt from reductions, and Barack Obama’s 2016 presidential budget had implied further cuts and reform initiatives (Garamone 2012; Becker 2012; IISS 2017: 45; 2016: 28f.; 32f.; 38; 2015: 29; 2014: 32; 2013: 50; 52; 71; 2012: 48; 2011: 50; 2004: 15; Spiegel 2012a; 2012b; Holland 2017). In 2017, the 2018 budget plan of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump though indicated a (de facto moderate) reincrease in U.S. military expenditure and active duty (Army and Marine Corps) personnel (Holland 2017). Regarding China, PRC President Xi Jinping announced in September 2015 to downsize the country’s military manpower (to further push PLA modernization) – name-

129 With respect to combat experience, U.S. troops have been deployed worldwide in the post-Cold War era, including major warfare for instance in the GWOT/the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. By contrast, while the PLA acquired post-1949 warfare experience in the Korean War (1950-1953), during the First and Second Taiwan Crises (1954/1958), in the Sino-Indian War (1962), the Sino-Soviet Border Conflict (1969), and in the Sino-Vietnamese War (1979), the PLA has though not participated in significant post-Cold War combat operations. This renders the U.S. armed forces undoubtedly superior with respect to modern warfare experience (Bergsten et al. 2009: 201; Kissinger 2012; 2011: 122-192; 215-235; 367-376; Wagener 2011b: 244).

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ly by about 300,000 to then 2 million military personnel; in early 2017, the PRC had already realized about half of this reduction goal (see Figure 24) (Wong 2015; Wong et al. 2015; IISS 2017: 252; 258; 278f.; 2016: 226; 240). 2.2.2 Qualitative Military Perspective After the quantitative structural analysis of China and the United States in the military realm, a brief qualitative overview of major PRC and U.S. military trends and capabilities predominantly in the Asia-Pacific will be given in the following to complement the military perspective. Beyond defense spending data, (qualitative) judgments on national military capabilities usually consider volumes, technological level, operational capability and capacity of equipment, training, experience, and morale of military personnel, organizational strengths and weaknesses, R&D competencies, military strategies, regional strategic landscapes, as well as to some extent the broader socio-(politico-)economic background, among others130 (Perlo-Freeman et al. 2015: 400). In almost any qualitative perspective on post-Cold War U.S. and Chinese military positions/capabilities (in the Asia-Pacific), the PLA modernization program and U.S. reactions to it thereby move center stage. More specifically, next to Chinese regional territorial/maritime disputes, the globally superior U.S. armed forces, their performance in the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns, and most evidently a Taiwan contingency with potential U.S. involvement have been main points of reference for Chinese military modernization and operational planning – while the U.S. “strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” has in turn been a response (inter alia) to growing PLA capabilities; the chapter hence seeks in the following to relate increasing PRC (regional) military capabilities to the U.S. strategic position and military capacity in the AsiaPacific (USDOS/Russel 2014b; Bergsten et al. 2009: 205; Kaplan 2005; IISS 2011: 196; 2005: 259; Holslag 2010: 61; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012:

130 In this respect, it becomes clear that due to time and space constraints, the analytical chapter here can naturally only focus on some main developments and aspects.

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57-61; USDOD 2011: 14; 23; Kugler/Tammen 2006: 52f.; Goldstein 1997/ 1998: 43-45). The PLA Modernization Program Departing from its traditional (Maoist) focus on ground-forces-oriented, continental (“people’s”) warfare of mass armies, China undertook since the 1980s and in the 1990s a fundamental shift in military strategy towards modern high-technology, if necessary asymmetric warfare131, joint operations, as well as regional (and in the long-term increasingly global) power projection capabilities (Blasko 2012: 115-119; 225; Hille 2011; IISS 2010: 377; Lampton 2011: 116f.; Layne 1993: 5; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 57-62; Sandschneider 2007: 157). Starting from a low (technological) base, PLA transformation has thereby gained momentum especially since the turn of the century: “Unlike the 1970s and 1980s, when military modernization was relegated to fourth place among Deng Xiaoping’s ‘Four Modernizations’ [being thus subordinate to agriculture, industry, and science/technology; J.V.], today’s Chinese leaders talk of giving equal attention to economics, social issues, and national defense” (Bergsten et al. 2009: 192; 197; 205; IISS 2016: 222; Blasko 2012: 6). In other words, the PRC has been pursuing one of the most ambitious and broad-based military modernization programs in the post-Cold War era (Fravel 2008: 125; Li 2009: 4; USDOD 2011: 27; IISS 2016: 221f.). The on average double digit annual growth in PRC military expenditure since 1991 (see Chapter 2.2.1) provided the financial basis for major reform and investment initiatives. Resources have thereby been predomi-

131 The term asymmetric warfare is narrowly used in the following to denominate military strategies/policies in a bi- or multilateral war with a significantly uneven distribution of capabilities between the actors, no matter if these actors are state or nonstate agents (Hansel 2010: 265 and Jäger 2010: 299-301). The PRC may respectively focus on asymmetric means and tactics in a Sino-U.S. contingency that promise to (locally/ regionally) level to some extent the PLA’s gap in resources, technological standard, equipment, organizational skills or Chinese socio-economic disadvantages towards the United States. For a critical contemplation on the double-meaning of the commonly too broadly applied concept of asymmetric war(fare) in the sense of state versus nonstate/private actors as well as warfare between parties with uneven capabilities – and the proposal of a more distinct definition, see Jäger (2010).

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nantly channeled into improvements of quality, usually at the expense of mere quantity. While U.S. defense spending since 2001 had for more than a decade to be significantly focused on operations within the GWOT (Vogelmann 2011), rising Chinese military expenditure has to some extent been allocated to modernize the organizational/personnel structure of the armed forces (including cuts in manpower as well as reorganization of command-and-control, unit structure, and logistics); socio-economic development and rising national living standards have also necessitated to improve pay, training/education possibilities, and the social security system of servicemen to ensure a continued inflow of skilled (and tertiary educated) young Chinese to the PLA (Blasko 2012: 7; 56; IISS 2017: 5; 2016: 226; 2010: 377). Besides (and next to expenses for operations and maintenance), the PLA has however also used the greater financial leeway to improve its still largely outdated equipment basis and to especially raise the technological level of some core weapons systems and branches of service: “Despite continued gaps in some key areas, large quantities of antiquated hardware, and a lack of operational experience, the PLA is steadily closing the technological gap with modern armed forces (…) and [has] achieved some capabilities that are on par with or exceed global standards” (USDOD 2011: 13; 27; Bergsten et al. 2009: 197; Blasko 2006: 1f.; 121; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 43; IISS 2007: 341; 2004: 319). While ground force modernization has lagged behind, renewal has mainly centered on air, missile, and naval capabilities, and thus on “rich man’s weapons” – consuming, as highlighted, huge sums (Ferris 2010: 248; IISS 2016: 221; 223f.; 240; 2015: 7; 2013: 254; 2010: 377; 2008: 361; 2007: 254). Consequently, one may note that although the United States has remained overwhelmingly dominant in these investment intensive areas, the PRC has pushed procurement both by relying on its modernizing indigenous defense industry and importing leading foreign (Russian) armaments (Blasko 2006: 67, 121; Lampton 2011: 116f.; IISS 2016: 226; 2010: 377; USDOD 2011: 4; 44).

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Between 1991 and 2015, China was the world’s second largest buyer of weapons132 (SIPRI 2016c). Due to the U.S. and EU arms embargos since 1989, almost 80% of these imports (with a volume of almost $33 bn.) were delivered by the USSR/Russia133 (SIPRI 2016d; Jakobson et al. 2011: 13f.; IISS 2011: 202f.). Next to indigenous advances (in military R&D), as well as knowledge and technology aggressively gathered by Chinese intelligence agencies (via communications technology, cyberattacks, open source and agent-based data collection)134, Russian sales inter alia of (fighter) aircraft, helicopters, missile systems, submarines, vessels, components, and production rights for weapon designs have significantly contributed to post-Cold War progress in the modernization of the PLA and the Chinese defense industry (USDOD 2011: 4; 6; 44; Segal 2012; 2016: 6; 11; 223f.; 226; 300). At the same time, and despite orders for instance of J-10/J-11 fighter engines (in 2011) and advanced Suchoi 35(S) fighter aircraft (in 2015), PRC imports of Russian armaments have decreased since the peak year in 2005; this decline may have also been a consequence of Chinese illicit copying and reverse engineering of weaponry and technology from Russia: “The most prominent of these infringements include the Su-27 fighter aircraft and advanced electronic systems such as radar and data-link systems for the Sovremenny (…) destroyer and Fregat (…) systems. One of China’s (…) [current; J.V.] fighter aircraft is the Shenyang J-11B, apparently a reverse-engineered Su-27, extensively modernized with indigenously developed and foreignacquired technologies” (IISS 2009: 364; 2013: 254; 2012: 213; 2016: 6; 223f.; 226; 240; 300; SIPRI 2016d). Nevertheless, the PRC’s growing defense industry and maturing military R&D basis (also reflected by rising defense-related patent applications and R&D investment) have been

132 The biggest recipient of weapons in this period was India (SIPRI 2016c). 133 “Figures are SIPRI Trend Indicator Values (…) at constant (1990) prices” (SIPRI 2016d). 134 Chinese cyber-attacks (that have probably been partly initiated or tolerated by PRC/ PLA institutions) have recurrently targeted U.S. private and governmental organizations, among them Google, Lockheed Martin or the U.S. Department of Defense (IISS 2012: 214). Vice versa, it has become clear not only in the 2013 National Security Agency (NSA) debate that U.S. intelligence services have also massively collected data from Chinese targets.

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increasingly able to satisfy PLA demands domestically: “The aviation, space and missile, defence-electronics and naval sectors have benefited most from rising defence procurement, while the ordnance industry has benefited from selling civilian products such as motor vehicles. These corporations are now engaged in an ambitious expansion strategy, with (…) [t]he Chinese defence industry (…) making robust progress towards becoming a leading global player within the next two decades” (IISS 2011: 201; 204; 2016: 226; 2013: 257f.; Jakobson et al. 2011: 13f.; 42; USDOD 2011: 44; 72; Blasko 2006: 91). Not for nothing has the PRC been the world’s sixth largest weapons supplier in post-Cold War times, delivering mainly to developing and threshold countries – and within the next decade, it might even rise to the third place (after the United States and Russia) (SIPRI 2016e). While some observers remain still skeptical in regard to the qualitative standard of Chinese (corporate, scholarly or PLA) military research (and technology), SIPRI pointed out that at least the PRC proportion of military R&D expenditure to overall defense spending may have already reached U.S. levels (SIPRI 2011). Overall, China has significantly stepped up efforts in recent years to raise the technological level and innovative capacity also in the military realm; the PLA for instance runs about 300 research institutions and 10 universities, with roughly 400.000 scientists and technicians working directly in military research (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 60). Of course, compared to the PRC, the decades-long and still several times larger absolute annual U.S. military R&D expenditure secures the United States a widely unchallenged technological leadership in the defense innovation realm. Economies of scale and scope (also due to weapons purchases of U.S. allies and other nations) thus enable U.S. defense companies to further dominate the world market of sophisticated armaments (Caverley 2007: 602f.; 608-613; Ikenberry et al. 2009: 8). Moreover, considering recent Chinese defense innovation concepts, a certain orientation on the U.S. armed forces becomes visible. Guided for

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instance by the U.S. “revolution in military affairs” (RMA)-model of superior high-technology (real-time) data processing, networked branches/ units, and smart weapons systems that promises to at least partly lift the Clausewitzian “fog of war” (Clausewitz 1980 [1832]: 233f.; 289; Hansel 2011: 298-230; Zimmer 2010: 66), the People’s Liberation Army proclaimed as well a RMA “with Chinese Characteristics”, and the goal of “informationized armed forces” (IOSCPRC 2004; Blasko 2012: 16; Hieber 2006: 128; Newmyer 2010: 490; Gill 1996: 29f.). Last but not least, notwithstanding recent PLA advances in the modernization of its nuclear forces, the about 1,900-2,000 deployed U.S. nuclear warheads, a total U.S. inventory of almost 7,000 atomic weapons, and the advanced U.S. nuclear triad of strategic (B-2/B-52/B-1) bombers, (Minuteman III) intercontinental ballistic missiles, and (Ohio-class) ballistic missile submarines (with Trident II ballistic missiles) makes it clear that U.S. nuclear (deterrence) capabilities remain overwhelmingly superior to the Chinese – and that one may not yet speak of a MAD (mutually assured destruction) relationship (Kristensen/Norris 2016; IISS 2016: 15; 30; 38, 2015: 40; SIPRI 2016f; Wagener 2011b: 244; Lieber/Press 2006). Although there have been speculations that the PRC nuclear arsenal may be growing, and actually much larger than assumed, most studies still calculate with a Chinese nuclear stockpile of about 250-260 warheads that may not be fully deployed (Kristensen/Norris 2016; IISS 2016: 15; SIPRI 2016f; Bieri/Thränert 2015: 269f.; Wan 2011). This implies that the PRC (as a nuclear power since 1964) may have the fourth largest (though not fully operational) nuclear weapons inventory that probably ranks larger than those of the United Kingdom and other nuclear powers, though may still be smaller than the French – and naturally the U.S. and Russian – stockpile (Kristensen/Norris 2016; IISS 2016: 15; SIPRI 2016f.; Voigt 2005: 118; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 17). Together with the PLA’s still rather limited sea- (submarine-) and air- (strategic bomber-)based nuclear capacities, the PRC nuclear deterrent has thus led some scholars/

135 For a critical overview of the RMA concept (and scholarly assessments), see Hansel (2011).

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military experts to question a full Chinese second-strike capability (IISS 2016: 15; Müller 2008: 67; Lieber/Press 2006; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 60f.; Hieber 2006: 124). Nevertheless, one may bear in mind that the PLA Rocket Force (previously the Second Artillery Corps), which has been in charge of the country’s nuclear and conventional short-, medium-, intermediate-, and longrange/intercontinental ballistic missiles, has been upgraded recently and has “undergone the greatest transformation of all the services in the PLA over the past 15 years” (Blasko 2012: 104; IISS 2017: 253f.; 256; 258; 278f.). The PLA Rocket Force/Second Artillery Corps has thereby steadily enhanced ranges, precision, reaction velocity, and potential damage infliction of its weapons, and has significantly increased the number of delivery systems that may survive a nuclear first strike (IOSCPRC 2011; Lampton 2011: 117; Bieri/Thränert 2015: 270; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 60; Hieber 2006: 124f.). China’s various (“Dongfeng”) intercontinental ballistic missiles like the DF-4, the DF-5(A/B), the DF-31(A/B), or the projected DF-41 may partly have ranges of up to 14,000 km, and could thus potentially transport (multiple) nuclear warheads to the continental United States (USDOD 2013: 82; 2011: 3; 78; Blasko 2012: 104-106; 170; Wagener 2011b: 244f.; IISS 2016: 11-15; 222; 2013: 253; 287; Kristensen/ Norris 2016). In addition, its Jin-class nuclear submarines may now carry operational JL-2 intercontinental ballistic missiles (with more than 7,000 km reach) that will finally enable a (more or less) permanent Chinese sea-based nuclear second-strike capability (IISS 2017: 237; 259; 279; 2016: 11-15; 224; 299; 2013: 253; 345; Goldstein 1997/1998: 49; Bieri/ Thränert 2015: 270; Kristensen/Norris 2016; USDOD 2015: 32). Moreover, the underground facilities of the PLA Rocket Force might have been enlarged to over 5,000 km of tunnels to protect the nuclear and missile arsenal from foreign attacks, and improve China’s land-based secondstrike options (USDOD 2011: 3; 36; Wan 2011). Accordingly, Kissinger, Kirshner, and many other scholars today no longer doubt a Chinese “invulnerable second-strike nuclear capability”, and hence a “secure nuclear deterrent” (Kissinger 2012; Kirshner 2012: 63; Wagener 2011b: 245).

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As an interim conclusion, one may say that despite enormous (post-Cold War) Chinese modernization efforts in the realm of military equipment, PLA (organizational/personnel) structure, R&D/defense innovation, and key military capabilities, China’s military power is not yet comparable to the superior U.S. armed forces. Strategic (landmass and coastal defense) requirements as well as organizational and equipment legacies (with up to two thirds of PLA weapons being antiquated) render the PLA still primarily land based, and will continue to limit Chinese military power (projection capacity) in the near to middle term (Blasko 2012: 172f.). PRC military weaknesses also evolve from the social and politico-economic limits of a threshold country (with an aging population), a still partial dependency on weapons and high-technology imports under U.S./EU embargo conditions, and PLA educational, training, and recruitment deficits (also as young/graduated Chinese head to the more lucrative private sector). Beyond that, PLA organizational issues remain; most career military officers for instance “are CCP members and units at the company level and above have political officers responsible for personnel decisions, propaganda, and counterintelligence” – a structure fostering staff selection and promotion rather according to political reasons instead of individual performance (USDOD 2011: 10). Furthermore, PLA operational and combat experience, interoperability of branches, naval, air, space-based, and nuclear capabilities still remain rather limited if compared to the United States (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 61). China thus lacks the capacity to win a symmetric military confrontation with the hegemonic United States, at least beyond its land borders. Consequently, post-Cold War Chinese military modernization has to a significant extent focused on asymmetric warfare and anti-access/area denial capabilities that have become increasingly relevant even for the U.S. armed forces. Chinese Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) Capabilities In the post-Cold War era, the PRC has significantly stepped up its antiaccess/area, air, sea and space denial (and deterrence) capabilities as well as the capacities for short-term, high-intensity military operations in its near periphery; this implies to some extent a challenge to U.S. regional (maritime) supremacy – as well as some relative gains in military

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power: “While the United States remains committed to its traditional objective of maintaining access to the region, the PLA is building a force that is apparently geared toward impeding or denying that access” (Bergsten et al. 2009: 199; Holslag 2010: 7; USDOD 2011: 2; IISS 2015: 207). U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates already warned in 2009 that powers like China had increasingly the “ability to disrupt our freedom of movement and narrow our strategic options” (USDOD/Gates 2009; Hille 2011). From a PRC perspective, anti-access/area denial capabilities, at best combined with some regional force-projection capacity, offer the potential to deter, deny, and if necessary counter or at least delay the operation of adversary forces in certain areas in the Chinese periphery – in particular also with respect to a potential fulfillment of U.S. military commitments in a regional (Taiwan) contingency (USDOD 2011: I; 2; 28; Fravel 2008: 126-131; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 57f.; 137). PLA denial strategies are thus designed to raise the risks and costs of U.S./foreign military intervention, preferably asymmetric (and cost-effective) via means on a lower technological level or via high-technology but specific/niche capabilities (Holslag 2010: 43f.). Accordingly, the Chinese military has developed abilities to inflict significant damage on major U.S. naval or airborne platforms within “a maritime zone that extends about 500 km off China’s coast and includes Taiwan, as well as most disputed islands in the East and South China Seas. (…) [It may] also obstruct operations from forward locations like Okinawa [or potentially Guam and other Mariana islands; J.V.]” (Holslag 2010: 43). Increasing PLA options for area denial, damage infliction and high-technology warfare may thereby result (in future) inter alia from its (one operational and one projected) aircraft carriers, advanced combat aircraft (for instance Russian Suchoi30 and (soon) Su-35(S), (projected) indigenous J-10B, J-11B/D, J-15, J-16, and the projected J-20 and J-21/J-31 fifth-generation (stealth) fighters136, unmanned aerial vehicles, advanced surface combatants (for in-

136 Some military experts argue that the J-20 heavy combat aircraft reflects Russian, and the J-21/J-31 U.S. (F-35 or F-22) designs, entailing recurrent allegations of Chinese industrial espionage (IISS 2013: 254; Gady 2015).

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stance Russian Sovremenny or indigenous Luyang (III)-class destroyers), and from classical denial platforms such as (Yuan II/III-class) submarines and ground-, air- and ship-launched (ballistic/cruise) missiles (Blasko 2012: 1; USDOD 2015: 11f.; 2014: 67; 2013: i; IISS 2017: 258f.; 278; 342f.; 2016: 6; 11; 216; 222-226; 240; 300; 2015: 215; 2014: 7; 209; 292; 2013: 252-254; 345f.; Wagener 2011b: 245; Fravel 2008: 133; FlightGlobal 2011: 7; Gady 2015). Various PRC missile systems for instance entail cutting-edge technologies that can quite compete with the military state-of-the-art (USDOD 2011: 22). That newly developed satellite network and radar systems may increasingly enable Chinese missiles to precisely navigate, track, target, and hit U.S. aircraft carrier groups or other naval task forces in the region has in particular raised growing concern at the Pentagon, since the defense of large vessels against high numbers of simultaneously approaching missiles may prove difficult (USDOD/Gates 2009; Hille 2011). A prominent example is the now operational PRC antiship ballistic missile Dongfeng-21D that might be able to threaten U.S. carrier groups and naval formations in regional waters/close to Chinese littoral areas (Blasko 2012: 171; Kaplan 2005; IISS 2016: 14f.; 222; 2012: 212; 2011: 51; USDOD 2011: 3). By increasingly investing into anti-air/ anti-ship weaponry and (ballistic) missile capabilities, the PRC may thus become quite able to regionally “threaten America’s primary way to project power and help allies in the Pacific”, as U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pointed out (USDOD/Gates 2009; Hille 2011). Beyond growing PLA missile, (brown water) naval, and air capabilities, one may also consider Chinese denial assets with respect to another military realm: space. Having closely analyzed U.S. operations inter alia in the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns, the People’s Liberation Army realized that satellite/space-based capacities have become a cornerstone of (U.S.) C4ISR capabilities and RMA-based, informationized, and networked warfare137 (USDOD 2015: if.; 10; 13-15; 37f.; 47; 54; Maini 2018:

4

137 C ISR stands for the military concept/capabilities of “Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance”; as highlighted, RMA denominates the concept of a “revolution in military affairs” (Maini 2018: 89; USDOD 2015: 2; 10; 37f.; 47; 54; Hansel 2011). All these terms focus more or less on

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89). Knowing that it will be a long way to go for the PLA to reach comparable high-technology (data processing) capabilities that are so important for (symmetric) 21st century warfare and military super-/great power status (Zimmer 2010: 66), recent Chinese initiatives have focused on antisatellite/space denial capabilities – and in the longer term on indigenous space assets138; the PRC has for instance projected its own globalcovering satellite navigation system, with a (military) potential similar to the American Global Positioning System (GPS) that has proven so vital for the U.S. armed forces (Lampton 2011: 116f.; IISS 2012: 213f.; 2016: 221). Satellite-controlled missile guidance has thereby increased PLA anti-access/area denial capabilities – and has contributed as well to a (limited) Chinese space denial capacity that might once be able to partly counter U.S. space and space-backed assets; in other words, increasing PRC space denial capabilities might once seriously obstruct U.S. (satellite-backed) warfare in a bilateral (Taiwan) contingency (Hansel 2010: 262-279; USDOD 2011: 5; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 18; Lampton 2011: 116f.; Becker 2012; 2011). To some extent, the so far significant Chinese capability lag in space towards the United States even entails greater PRC space denial options: being still less dependent on space-based assets and a shatterproof orbit, and having made considerably smaller cumulated investments into respective capabilities, China would probably suffer less from an application of its newly developed (and relatively costefficient) space denial (missile/laser) systems than the U.S. hegemon (Hansel 2010: 267f.; 279). In this context, the PRC’s 2007 anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) test received widespread attention: the PLA had used a medium-range ballistic missile from a mobile launcher to destroy an 850

superior (U.S.) high-technology (real time) data processing capabilities and their application to transform the functioning of military equipment and organization – and warfare in general (Maini 2018: 89; Hansel 2011). 138 Growing Chinese space capabilities have also been reflected by the sending of Chinese “taikonauts” into orbit (since 2003), and by putting a first laboratory module out there (in 2011); manned missions to this space laboratory followed – and a larger Chinese space station has been projected (Amos 2012). In December 2013, the PRC also sent its first moon rover to the planet (Ningzhu 2013). Overall, the PRC solo in aeronautics has also been triggered by U.S. blockade of a Chinese contribution/participation in the International Space Station (ISS).

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km distant Chinese weather satellite. The complex military operation illustrated its increasing capacity to destroy adversarial satellites, and to potentially intercept a limited amount of approaching foreign intercontinental ballistic missiles. It thereby unleashed significant U.S. strategic reactions139 and strong diplomatic protests by Western governments, as it produced the till then biggest amount of ASAT caused splinters that have threatened other military and civil space-based devices and space flights (Hansel 2010: 262; 277; IISS 2008: 359; IISS 2009: 365; 2015: 13f.; Blasko 2012: 1). As an interim conclusion regarding increasing PRC anti-access/area, air, sea and space denial capabilities, one may say that despite the still superior U.S. military capacity in the Asia-Pacific, U.S. air and naval (carrier) forces operating in China’s (immediate) periphery have become more vulnerable (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 61; USDOD 2011: 27). While Chinese symmetric and asymmetric military capabilities cannot (yet) close the (technology) gap to U.S. forces, the PLA anti-access/area denial capacity that is/will be based on increasingly advanced (satellite guided) missile, (brown water) naval, air and ASAT capabilities can no longer be taken lightly by the Pentagon (IISS 2011: 197f.; Kissinger 2012; Fravel 2008: 133; USDOD 2011: 2; 31). In a Sino-U.S. contingency, the risks for U.S. forces in the region have thus risen significantly (Holslag 2010: 55; Bergsten et al. 2009: 199). Sino-U.S. military incidents within potential PRC “denial zones” (such as the 2001 Hainan crisis140) have thereby recurrently occurred in post-Cold War times (inter alia in 1994, 1995, 1996,

139 In 2008, the U.S. Navy probably responded to the 2007 PRC ASAT test by destroying a defect reconnaissance satellite with a ballistic missile. Officially denominated as an operation to prevent the satellite’s poisonous fuel tank from falling from heights uncontrolled, the real motive might quite have been to covertly test an ASAT as well (Hansel 2010: 265; 275). 140 On April 1st, 2001, a U.S. Navy surveillance plane collided with a pursuing PLA fighter jet above the South China Sea. The incident killed the Chinese military aviator and necessitated an emergency landing of the U.S. aircraft on nearby Hainan Island. Heightened Sino-U.S. tensions and an eleven day detainment of the U.S. crew followed. China finally returned the closely inspected, disassembled U.S. surveillance plane three months later (Vogelmann 2011: 398f.; USDOS/Powell 2003; Dittmer 2002: 48; Green 2008: 188; Glaser/Liang 2008: 166; Jing 2006: 92; Wortzel 2006: 273).

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2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016); the “series of events in March 2009 [for instance; J.V.] in which Chinese government and civilian vessels and aircraft harassed the USNS Impeccable and Victorious ocean surveillance ships operating (…) in the Yellow and South China Sea can [thereby also; J.V.] be interpreted as a real world application of PLA doctrine in order to achieve a goal of [area/maritime denial and; J.V.] deterrence” (Blasko 2012: 231; USDOD 2011: 56; IISS 2017: 251; 2010: 378f.; Kan 2014c: 28-32; 35; 40; 54; 65f.; 72-75; 81; Mastro 2011; Christensen 2011: 54f.; Globalresearch.ca 2008; Fravel 2008: 137f.; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Mann/Pine 1994; Gertz 2006; Starr 2013; Whitlock 2014; Sciutto/Ellis 2015; Perlez 2016; Zand 2016). Given growing U.S. military risks in a Taiwan contingency, one may still add a few considerations regarding a scenario where the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) may have to fight against PRC forces without military backing from the United States. Notwithstanding the “stopping power of water” (in the Taiwan Strait) and recurrent U.S. arms sales packages to the ROC (most recently in December 2015 by the Obama administration), the possibility of sustained autonomous ROC defense against the PLA has become increasingly questionable (Mearsheimer 2001: 40f.; 44; USDOS/Kirby 2015a; Forsythe 2015; China Daily 2015; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC 2015; IISS 2017: 245). While the PRC-ROC modern fighter jet ratio in the Taiwan Strait area seemed still more balanced, and the ROC Air Force has been putting its hopes mostly on aging, though recently modernized F-16 aircraft purchased from the United States in 1992, PLA ground forces were in 2015 almost ten times the Taiwanese size, and those deployed to the Taiwan Strait area outnumbered ROC forces by more than three times (USDOD 2015: 78; 80; SIPRI 2015; Kan 2014b: 9; 20-25). The 2015 ratio of PLA to ROC military equipment in the Taiwan Strait area was about 2.5 to 1 with respect to tanks; for destroyers, it was 3.5 to 1, for frigates about 2 to 1, for diesel attack submarines 8.5 to 1, and for attack bombers more than 9 to 1, to name just a few (USDOD 2015: 78-80). The PRC-ROC military balance has thus continued to shift towards the mainland, even though the latter may still lack enough amphibious landing, transport, and (fourth/fifth generation) fighter

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capabilities to easily conquer the island (IISS 2017: 245; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 61; Hieber 2006: 123). Summing up, besides border security and domestic stability, Chinese military capabilities and operational planning have still been mainly focused on a Taiwan contingency (with and without U.S. involvement), and on anti-access/area denial capabilities in the wider sense. Recently, PRC White Papers, military procurement, and deployment of (naval) forces have though also revealed a rather new orientation in PLA alignment: regional and long-range force projection capabilities have become more important (Holslag: 77f.; 101; USDOD 2015: if.; 8; 33-36; 43; 2011: I; 14; 27f.; 37f.). Chinese Regional and Long-Range Power Projection Capabilities Although a global reach of the PLA is at best in its infancy, issues beyond Taiwan have gained more attention in Chinese military planning (IISS 2008: 360; Holslag: 101; USDOD 2011: 2; 32f.; 37f.). Besides “pursuing a variety of air, sea, undersea, space, counterspace, information warfare systems, and operational concepts” that may extend PRC anti-access/ area denial capabilities “from China’s coast into the western Pacific”, the PLA has recently also been “venturing into the global maritime domain, a sphere long dominated by the U.S. Navy” (USDOD 2011: 28; 1; 2015: if.; 8; 33-36). A certain degree of change in PRC military perspective towards regional and long-range force projection capabilities has thus become apparent – and partly elicited U.S. concerns about an “undeniable [Chinese] naval expansion” (Kaplan 2011; IISS 2017: 5; 2016: 240; 2013: 287). PLA modernization thereby enables operations today that were still impossible a few years ago (Fravel 2008: 136; USDOD 2011: 18; 61). Beijing’s participation (since 2009) in the international antipiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden for instance embodied the first Chinese out-ofarea, long-endurance deployment of naval forces since almost 600 years, when fleet admiral Zheng He had in the early 15th century sailed the Asian, Middle Eastern, and African seas (Kissinger 2011: 9; Holslag 2010: 62f.; IISS 2016: 249; 2011: 195; USDOD 2011: 32; 65, 2015: if.). The Gulf of Aden deployment can thereby be seen as another step within a broader Chinese “go out” strategy, followed by an even further away

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mission of PLA Navy (frigate) and Air Force units to Libya in 2011 to secure the evacuation of 36.000 Chinese citizens from the local civil war (Economy 2010: 142; 145; 149f.; IOSCPRC 2013; IISS 2012: 212; Blasko 2012: 234). Furthermore, while Chinese firms have already built (so far civilian) deep-water port facilities in Pakistan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, the beginning construction of “support facilities” for the PLA Navy in Djibouti in February 2016 (inter alia due to the Gulf of Aden mission) has been perceived as the establishment of the first PRC overseas military base; this seems to more or less imply a weakening or even abandonment of the long-standing Chinese policy against overseas basing141 – and a further step towards greater PRC long-range force projection capabilities (IISS 2017: 259; 279; 2016: 222; 224; Panda 2016b; Economy 2010: 149; USDOD 2011: 32f.; Sandschneider 2007: 219f.). The Chinese “go out” policy inter alia in the military realm has also been reflected by the significant post-Cold War PRC engagement in UN (peacekeeping) missions; between 1990 and 2013, 22,000 Chinese (noncombat) military personnel served worldwide in 23 UN peacekeeping missions – rendering the PRC the leading post-Cold War troop and police contributor of the five permanent UNSC members (IOSCPRC 2013; Economy 2010: 145; 149; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 36; USDOD 2011: 8; 66; Smith 2014). In early 2015, the PRC then sent for the first time also a combat (infantry) battalion with 700 soldiers (and overall more than 1,000 military personnel) to take part in the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (IISS 2016: 222; 249; Smith 2014). Naturally, growing PLA deployment around the globe, and since 2002 a multitude of combined exer-

141 Previous rumors about a permanent Chinese military presence and PLA (radar/signal intelligence gathering, naval or aircraft) facilities on Myanmar’s Coco Islands in the Indian Ocean, allegedly established since 1994 when the PRC had supposedly leased the location from Myanmar, have not been confirmed and seem exaggerated. Rather, PLA personnel may have provided technical assistance, infrastructure measures or may have been temporarily present at the small naval base of Burma’s armed forces on Great Coco Island. So far, there is hence little evidence for major, permanent Chinese military facilities in the Coco Islands, which has also been admitted by highranking Indian military circles and politicians (Selth 2008; Gomà 2010; cf. Sandschneider 2007: 219).

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cises with other armed forces will continue to raise the operational, organizational, and long-range force projection capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (Blasko 2012: 1; 206; USDOD 2011: 62; IISS 2016: 222; 249). While naval modernization has so far substantially improved PLA brown water capacity and yielded first elements of a blue water navy, the Chinese Air Force has as well increased its (long-range power projection) capabilities in recent years – for instance by upgrading its strategic (Xian H-6) bombers: “The PLA Air Force is rapidly closing the gap with western air forces across a broad spectrum of capabilities (…) Modernizing the H-6 into a cruise missile carrier will give the PLA a long-range stand-off offensive air capability with precision-guided munitions” (USDOD 2015: 11f.; 2011: 24; Calmes 2011; Holslag 2010: 62f.). Another sign of PRC progress in developing long-range force projection capabilities can be seen in the commissioning of the first Chinese aircraft carrier “Liaoning” (the renovated ex-Soviet carrier “Varyag”) in September 2012; recurrent (J-15 fighter) aircraft and helicopter on-deck-landings as well as (longdistance) training voyages and operations of the “Liaoning” followed in recent years also in the contested South China Sea and even in the Taiwan Strait (area)142 (Zhao 2014; IISS 2017: 259; 2016: 224; 2015: 207; 2014: 7; USDOD 2014: 68; 2011: 38; Starr 2013; BBC 2017; Buckley 2017a; Martina 2017). Beyond a limited operational role, the vessel has mostly served for training, evaluation and reverse engineering purposes in support of an indigenous carrier program (IISS 2013: 245; 252; 2011: 195; USDOD 2011: 3; 45). Accordingly, the PRC had in December 2015 disclosed the domestic construction of a second (70,000-ton/conventionally powered) aircraft carrier (probably called “Shandong”), which was launched/slipped into the sea for the first time in late April 2017 at the

142 In November and December 2013, for instance, after passing the Taiwan Strait, the Liaoning aircraft carrier battle group performed drills and (combat) trainings in the South China Sea (Zhao 2014; Forsythe/Buckley 2017). During the mission, a Chinese military vessel of that battle group approached and almost collided with the surveilling U.S. Aegis guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens, sparking Sino-U.S. (diplomatic) tensions (Starr 2013).

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port of Dalian; Chinese planning and construction of further, more advanced aircraft carriers (and of respective strike group warships and supply ships) is likely under way (Wong 2015; IISS 2017: 259; 2016: 224; 2015: 207; Choe/Mullany 2017; Buckley 2017a; Martina 2017). Overall, China’s capacity for the offense, and for mid- to long-range (or “far-seas”) power projection has thus been rising in recent years (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 57-61; IISS 2011: 195; USDOD 2015: 8; 10; 34; 40f.; 43). Ultimately, growing PLA naval, air, missile, space-based, and informational capabilities may thus in the middle term increasingly enable the PRC to project power and reach advanced A2/AD capabilities also beyond the “First Island Chain”143 and (hence) within major areas of the “Second Island Chain”144 (USDOD 2011: 23; 32f.; 38; 58; 2015: 46; Economy 2010: 149). Nevertheless, U.S. concerns about a shift in PRC military alignment from border/littoral defense to advanced anti-access/area denial, and finally long-range power projection capabilities have so far been predominantly based on extrapolations to the future, rather than on contemporary PLA (blue water) strength: “[I]n the near term, China would [still; J.V.] face great difficulty projecting military power beyond regional waters during a sustained conflict. China lacks major overseas bases and supply infrastructure, and despite some recent progress, remains reliant on shorebased defenses” (USDOD 2011: 62). The United States will thus in the near to middle term undoubtedly remain the superior master of massive and global military force projection. No other (great) power can send up to 200,000 soldiers on a single operation abroad, and U.S. carrier strike groups embody the strongest concentration of conventional military power on the globe (Kennedy 2002; Ferris 2010: 248). With “as many aircraft carriers as the rest of the world com-

143 The “First Island Chain” comprises the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and most of the disputed South China Sea. From Japan’s southern tip, it runs along the Ryukyu island chain, the eastern side of Taiwan, and along the western Philippines; it then follows the coasts of Malaysian Sabah, of Brunei, and most of Malaysian Sarawak before heading back along the Vietnamese coastline to the PRC province of Hainan (USDOD 2011: 23; 58). 144 The “Second Island Chain” runs from Japan to the U.S. ruled Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Territory of Guam, Indonesia, and Australia (USDOD 2011: 23; 58).

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bined (…) [and an] air force (…) [matching] every other on earth together (…) [U.S. air and naval; J.V.] capacity underwrites Pax Americana just as sea power did Pax Britannica” (Ferris 2007: 259). The technologically (and in most categories also numerically) superior U.S. naval, air, missile, nuclear, Army and space-based capabilities, its networked military branches/organization, and the continued U.S. “RMA frame” thereby also reflect a “marriage between precision weapons and information technology” (Ferris 2007: 260; 259; Bergsten 2009: 193f.; Caverley 2007: 598f.; IISS 2016: 22f.; 2007: 15). This makes catching up efforts of other (great) powers with the U.S. military state-of-the-art an extremely costly, longterm, and difficult route, especially for non-U.S. allies and threshold countries (Ferris 2007: 259f.). Nevertheless, these factors have not withheld the PRC from investing not only into its border/littoral defense and antiaccess/area denial capabilities, but also increasingly into long(er)-range force projection capacity – leaving the post-Cold War Sino-U.S. strategic landscape in the Asia-Pacific not unaffected. The Sino-U.S. Strategic Landscape in the Asia-Pacific In 1987, historian Paul Kennedy judged the PRC to be strategically “the least well placed” of all major powers (Kennedy 1987: 447). Despite China’s economic ascent and significant progress in PLA modernization since the end of the Cold War, this estimation may to a certain extent still remain valid today145. The (autocratic) Chinese leadership has to maintain control over a large and diverse territory (with extensive continental and maritime borders) as well as almost 1.4 bn. people, including at least 55 ethnic minorities and five autonomous regions (whereof Tibet and Xinjiang have partly separatist tendencies) (IMF 2016a). Islamist threats, the unresolved Korea (and the DPRK nuclear) issue, and the casus belli of formal Taiwanese independence have persistently loomed in its backyard (Nathan 2011: 156). The PRC has a common border with fourteen neighboring countries on the Asian continent and further states in the (partly internationally disputed) maritime periphery. On the one hand, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, and some Central and Southeast Asian

145 India may though be in no better strategic position.

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nations are thereby partly hard to calculate, unstable, weak or even “failed” states. On the other hand, China shares the region with middle powers such as South Korea, Vietnam or Indonesia, as well as with (potential) great powers like Russia, Japan, India – and in the far south-east in the Pacific the United States (Mariana Islands) (Nathan 2011: 156; Kissinger 2012). Besides, the PRC has still unresolved border conflicts with India146 and Bhutan in the Himalaya region, and concerning Japan in the East China Sea (inter alia on the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands)147 (Fravel 2010: 508; Kazim 2013; USDOD 2011: 16). Even more relevant, extensive and assertive Chinese claims in the resource-rich, but hotly disputed

146 The Sino-Indian border dispute led to the 1962 Sino-Indian war in the Himalaya, and to smaller clashes in 1967 and 1986 (Fravel 2010: 508; Kazim 2013). In April 2013, it raised again bilateral tensions; according to the Indian side, 30-40 PRC soldiers had manned their post 19 km away from the bilateral line of actual control in Eastern Ladakh. Between 2010 and 2013, PLA units were reported to have entered Indian claimed territory several hundred times. Another contested area stays the PRC claimed Indian federal state Arunachal Pradesh (Kazim 2013). 147 In late 2010, Sino-Japanese tensions increased after the Japan Coast Guard had detained a Chinese trawler captain close to the contentious Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands (IISS 2012: 220). Massive, and partly violent protests against Japanese embassies and corporations occurred again in the PRC after the announcement of the Japanese government in September 2012 to buy three of these islands from the private Japanese proprietor to prevent Tokyo’s governor from doing so in the name of the municipality (IISS 2013: 266-268). Finally, even U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta had to call for restraint and de-escalation in the issue (Spiegel 2012d). On November 23rd, 2013, the PRC imposed the “East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone”, including also the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands (and the South Korean Socotra Rock/Ieodo Reef), where aircraft are to identify themselves in the PRC before entering the air space (The Economist 2013; Kan 2014c: 81; Zand 2016). U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called this unilateral PRC measure “a destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region (…) [and reaffirmed] that Article V of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands” (USDOD/Hagel 2013a; Kan 2014c: 81). Ignoring the Chinese announcement, on November 26th, two U.S. B-52 bombers flew over the contested air space without previously informing Beijing, and so did later Japanese and South Korean fighter jets, reconnaissance, and coast guard aircraft. As some observers noted, this Sino-U.S. face-off embodied “the most worrying strategic escalation between the two countries since [the; J.V.] 1996 [Taiwan Strait crisis; J.V.]” (The Economist 2013; Kan 2014c: 81; Zand 2016). As a reaction, the PRC sent itself fighter and reconnaissance aircraft into the zone that tracked and identified the U.S., Japanese, and South Korean aircraft; diplomatic quarrels ensued, also during the December 2013 visit of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in the region (Spiegel 2013; The Economist 2013; Zand 2016).

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148

South China Sea have triggered recurrent tensions or partly even armed conflicts with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Tai-

148 The South China Sea is rich in fishing grounds, (oil and gas) resources, and strategically important shipping lanes. Several nations consider parts of the South China Sea as belonging to their continental shelf, so that inter alia (parts of) the Paracel Islands or the Spratlys (including Mischief Reef) remain internationally disputed (Khalilzad et al. 1999: 29). The PRC claims most of the South China Sea, and occupied (parts of) the Paracel Islands in 1974, Johnson (South) Reef and neighboring islets in the Spratlys in 1988, and Mischief Reef in 1995 (Khalilzad et al. 1999: 18; 29; Kan 2014c: 55; Heydarian 2014; Torode 2014). International tensions and incidents involving military, paramilitary, and civilian ships and aircraft have recurrently occurred in and over South China Sea waters (IISS 2012: 207). In February 2008, for instance, Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian inaugurated a newly build airstrip on Taiping/Itu Aba Island in the Spratlys, raising new tensions in the region (Radio Taiwan International 2008; Hunt/Jiang 2016). In April 2012, Chinese unarmed paramilitary vessels “confronted the US-donated Philippine Navy flagship Gregorio del Pilar (…) near the disputed feature of Scarborough Shoal, beginning a stand-off that lasted months” (IISS 2013: 253). To give another example, in 2014, temporary Chinese placement of an (exploring) offshore oil rig in South China Sea waters also claimed by Vietnam led to monthslong Sino-Vietnamese tensions and incidents between (paramilitary and coast guard) vessels, giving rise to anti-Chinese riots and increased Vietnamese efforts to improve its (maritime) area denial capabilities (Heydarian 2014; Torode 2014). In March 2015, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris criticized the extensive PRC claim on most of the South China Sea, as well as the Chinese building of several artificial islands with also military facilities and airstrips, there: “China is creating a great wall of sand (…) the scope and pace of building man-made islands raise serious questions about Chinese intentions” (Harris 2015). Sino-U.S. tensions increased when the United States stepped up is naval and air-based surveillance activities in the region; in May 2015, the PLA Navy for instance issued several warnings against a U.S. reconnaissance (P8-A Poseidon) plane that approached three newly built, Chinese artificial islands (with emerging military facilities) in the Spratlys (Sciutto 2015). In October 2015, in a so-called U.S. “freedom of navigation” operation, the Aegis guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (and a U.S. surveillance plane) moved without advance warning within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese-controlled artificial island at Subi Reef in the South China Sea, and was thereby followed by a Chinese destroyer; few days later in November 2015, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited (together with his Malaysian counterpart) the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier (strike group) in the midst of the South China Sea, where he pointed out that “there is a lot of concern about Chinese behavior out here (…). And many countries in the region are coming to the United States and asking us to do more with them so that we can keep the peace out here. So this is a symbol and a sign of the critical role the United States' military power play in (…) what is a very consequential region for the American future” (USDOD/Carter 2015; Sevastopulo/ Dyer 2015; IISS 2017: 239; 2016: 211; Sciutto/ Ellis 2015). In July 2016, the PRC then threatened to establish an air defense identification zone (also) in the South China Sea after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague had rendered a verdict in the case Philippines versus China that largely

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wan, and evoked frictions and military incidents also with the hegemonic United States (USDOD 2011: 15; 39; Fravel 2010: 508; 514; Johnston/ Calmes 2011; Kaplan 2011; IISS 2016: 211; Sciutto/Ellis 2015; Perlez 2016; Zand 2016). Relating the strategic position of China (as a very strong land power in East Asia) to the dominant global maritime power, the United States, reveals thus tremendous U.S. strategic advantages. Compared to the PRC, the United States benefits – with basically two oceans in the East and West149, and two weaker neighbors in the North and South – from a clearly privileged geopolitical location (Mearsheimer 2001: 34; 40; Nye 2010a: 3). Additionally, the United States has at its disposal the “largest array of bases the world has seen since the British empire was at its height” (Kennedy 2002; Jacques 2009: 315). Yet, China’s demographic, economic, and military capabilities and its enormous geographical size would naturally render a Sino-U.S. contingency extremely costly and a U.S. occupation of the PRC almost impossible (Blasko 2012: 230). Moreover, any U.S. military strategy in the Asia-Pacific has to take the “stopping power of water” and the “tyranny of distance” into account, since the vast Pacific Ocean and the remoteness of the continental United States from Asian shores pose basal challenges to U.S. military power projection (Mearsheimer 2001: 40f.; 44; Bergsten et al. 2009: 204; Kaplan 2011; 2005). With respect to the overall Sino-U.S. strategic landscape in the Asia-Pacific, however, the United States clearly prevails as the primary security manager – grounded on a strong military presence at sea, a “hub-andspoke” bases system integrated into a firm political (alliance) structure, and superior military force projection capabilities (Wagener 2011b: 253; Kaplan 2005; Khalilzad et al. 1999: xii). More than one fifth of the U.S. armed forces, usually its newest equipment, and six (currently five) of the

rejected Beijing's claims in the South China Sea; the verdict was though welcomed by the United States and its allies (Hunt/Jiang 2016; Zand 2016). 149 The (strategically rather weak) Far East of Russia that is located west of Alaska and the Bering Strait has of course been neglected in this raw scheme.

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congressionally mandated eleven (and indeed currently ten) U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers have been assigned to the privileged United States Pacific Command (USPACOM)150; more specifically, without counting the significant number of U.S. servicemen based at Hawaii, about 75,00085,000 U.S. forces have been permanently deployed to the western Pacific theater151 (IISS 2017: 22; 2016: 22; 30; 50-52; 211; 2015: 53; 261; 2013: 267; Capaccio/Gaouette 2014; Holslag 2010: 31f.; 61; Wagener 2011b: 245; O'Rourke 2014: 1f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 137; Kaplan 2005; Perlez 2012). In addition, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta had highlighted in 2012 that the U.S. Navy would reconfigure its assets (probably until 2020) from a 50-50 allocation between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean to a 60% Pacific share: “[T]he United States military is rebalancing and bringing an enhanced capability development to this vital region” (USDOD/Panetta 2012; IISS 2015: 27; 2013: 54; Perlez 2012; Korge 2012; Zand 2016). This will likely also imply increased military maneuvers and port visits in the Asia-Pacific (Perlez 2012). The Obama administration’s “strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” may thereby quite have been a reaction also to growing PRC military (antiaccess/area denial) capabilities; accordingly, U.S. strategic planning and arms procurement has begun to focus inter alia on weapons systems that may be particularly able to (re-)increase U.S. freedom to maneuver in the Asia-Pacific and cope with the vast distances of the Pacific Ocean (USDOS/Russel 2014b; USDOS/Moy 2014; The White House/Obama 2011; USDOD/Carter 2015; USDOD 2012: 2; USDOD/Panetta 2012; Jäger 2012c: 156; 158; Perlez 2012; Korge 2012). Enhanced U.S. Virginiaclass (attack) submarines or the (one commissioned and two projected) Zumwalt-class (stealth/guided-missile) destroyers can for instance both operate in shallow (Asia-Pacific) and in deep (Pacific Ocean) waters –

150 According to this logic, USPACOM would also soon receive the first U.S. aircraft carrier of the new Gerald R. Ford-class (IISS 2017: 33-36; 2016: 53; 2013: 86; O'Rourke 2014: I; 1f.). 151 In 2016, U.S. Pacific Command forces in the Asia-Pacific were inter alia distributed as follows: Japan: 47,050; South Korea: 28,500; Guam: 5,150; Australia: 1,250; Thailand: 300; Singapore: 180; Philippines: 75-275 (IISS 2017: 58-60; 238; 273; 303; 310; 329; 337; Mutikani/Wong 2017).

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and U.S. (Freedom/Independence-class) littoral combat ships or new (anti-submarine warfare) aircraft may be especially able to deal with Chinese brown water (diesel electric submarine) capabilities (Perlez 2012; Korge 2012; IISS 2017: 33; 2016: 29; 53; 211; 2015: 31f.; 2013: 55f.). Moreover, a projected fleet of B-21 stealth (long-range strike) bombers (to be commissioned from 2030 on) may once also improve U.S. capabilities for operations in contested areas at significant distances from U.S. bases (IISS 2017: 7; 30; 2016: 30f.; 53; 2013: 49; 57). Recent U.S. defense budgets have thus already sunk “more money into technologies to prevail in an anti-access, aerial-denial scenario” (Garamone 2012; IISS 2017: 29; Holland 2017), and the Pentagon has increasingly adjusted strategic and operational planning to such contingencies (see for instance the Third Offset Strategy, the Air-Sea Battle or the Joint Operational Access Concept) (IISS 2017: 6; 29; 2013: 51; 58; USDOD 2010: viiif.). Last but not least, as has already been elaborated, cuts in recent years in U.S. defense spending and force levels and U.S. plans to shut down older vessels/aircraft and delay or scale down new ship or aircraft procurement programs152 may (have) affect(ed) the U.S. (near-term) strategic position in the Asia-Pacific more mutedly; as U.S. President Barack Obama had pointed out, “reductions in U.S. defense spending will not (…) come at the expense of the Asia Pacific. (…) As we plan and budget for the future, we will allocate the resources necessary to maintain our strong military presence in this region” (The White House/Obama 2011; Garamone 2012; IISS 2016: 31-33; 2015: 33-35; 2013: 61-66; 255-257; Perlez 2012; Spiegel 2012a; 2012b). Since naval and air capabilities provide in particular the basis for U.S. offshore deterrence, potential onshore punitive strikes, or sea denial operations in the (Asia) Pacific, the Pentagon has in the last years even invested more than $15 bn. to transfer the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and support facilities on the U.S. Territory

152 Commissioning of the first and second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers or of the Ohio-class submarine replacement (the Columbia-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines) will for instance be delayed, and procurement of the F-35 joint strike fighter will be significantly scaled down and decelerated as well (IISS 2017: 33-36; 30; 2014: 33; 2013: 50; 58; 71; O'Rourke 2014).

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of Guam into a key military (force projection) hub (Holslag 2010: 7; 32-34; 68; Kaplan 2005; IISS 2013: 49; 267; 2012: 47; 2011: 47; 51). In addition to the already more than 5,000 U.S. active service members stationed on Guam, further U.S. (Marine Corps) forces will be deployed there in the near term (for instance from Okinawa) (IISS 2017: 58; 238; 2016: 51; 2013: 267). Besides, the “10,000-foot runways [of Andersen Air Force Base on Guam] can handle any plane in the Air Force's arsenal (…) [and] no other Air Force base in the Pacific stores as much weaponry” (Kaplan 2005). Beyond inter alia the Los Angeles-class (nuclear-powered) attack submarines, Aegis guided-missile destroyers, B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers, and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system deployed in Guam, the island might in future become a main “hub in (...) a new, worldwide constellation of bases that will move the locus of U.S. power from Europe to Asia” (Kaplan 2005; IISS 2013: 54f.; 267; USDOS/Kerry 2014; Kan 2015: 47; Yoon 2015; Panda 2016a). Over and above, the United States has in the last years also strengthened bilateral relations with several nations in the Asia-Pacific, as well as its regional alliance system, centering on five major (non-NATO) allies. Japan remains the cornerstone of U.S. power projection in the Asia Pacific, and the Japanese city of Yokosuka continues to be the home port of the U.S. 7th Fleet, and of the only U.S. aircraft carrier strike group based abroad (The White House/Obama 2011). The United States thereby maintains more than 30 permanent military bases in Japan and South Korea153 – with the latter embodying its second most important regional ally (Holslag 2010: 32). Three further major U.S. security partners in the Asia-Pacific, with whom U.S. forces have recurrently held joint military exercises or where they have access to (support) facilities have been Thailand, Australia154, and (periodically) the Philippines. Moreover, the

153 These numbers also include the strategically important (though in Japan domestically contested) U.S. bases in Okinawa prefecture on the Ryukyu island chain, such as the regional air hub Kadena Air Base. 154 In November 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama had announced to deploy up to 2,500 U.S. Marines to the coastal city of Darwin for (rotational) training with the Aus-

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United States can to a certain extent count on backing, the use of air and naval (aircraft carrier) support facilities, and stationing of some military capabilities such as rotational docking (since 2013) and finally forward deployment (by 2016/2017) of up to four littoral combat ships in Singapore; last but not least, the United States has also more or less drawn upon use of repair facilities, regular military contacts, and joint maneuvers inter alia with India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Mongolia155 (The White House/Obama 2011; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 2011; IISS 2017: 238f.; 2016: 211; 2013: 50; 54; 246; 267; Kaplan 2005; Wagener 2009: xii; 2011: 245; Globalsecurity.org 2012). On the whole, one may say that since the ongoing progress in PLA modernization and (anti-access/area denial) capabilities has significantly increased the risks for U.S. forces in a Sino-U.S. contingency in China’s periphery, the United States has (so far moderately) begun to adjust its military apparatus, and to reactivate or initiate strategical ties with regional partners and allies: “In concert with our friends and allies, the United States will also continue adapting our forces, posture, and operational concepts to maintain a stable and secure East Asian environment” (USDOD 2011: I). Interim Conclusion: PRC and U.S. Military Capabilities Since Deng Xiaoping’s initial cuts in defense spending, China’s economic ascent in the last decades has provided the (financial and technological) basis for a strong increase in PLA capabilities. Regarding the post-Cold War era, China has (since 1991) exhibited double-digit annual rises in defense spending. Beyond its character as a trading state and economic

tralian Defence Force (The White House/Obama 2011; Calmes 2011; IISS 2013: 267; 2012: 47). 155 Additionally, the United States has negotiated with potential partners in Central Asia about (re-)installing or continuing to use military bases after the retreat of the bulk of combat forces from Afghanistan. One option implied to prolong the Status of Forces Agreement with Kyrgyzstan, and the use of the current U.S. “Manas” air base there; Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and other states in the region have though been considered as well. Chinese (diplomatic) initiatives have apparently sought to counter such requests for a continued U.S. military presence in Central Asia, but may probably not succeed in ultimately preventing the United States from finding a (longer-term) security partner in the region (IISS 2013: 49; 2003: 13; Gertz 2010).

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powerhouse, the PRC has thus substantially boosted its military weight as well, a process that has become particularly obvious since the turn of the century. With China as the second largest defense spender on the globe (since 2003), and significant progress in PLA modernization, the country is – despite a still predominant military focus on border/littoral defense, the Taiwan issue, and anti-access/area denial capabilities – on the verge of turning into “a first-rate military power”; in the mid-term, it may even have the second strongest conventional military forces (after the United States) (Layne 2008: 13; USDOD 2011: 1; Ferris 2007: 267). The PLA has thereby changed overall orientation from a land-based, quantity focused (Maoist) approach to ambitiously increasing military quality. Beyond cuts in manpower and decommissioning of outdated equipment, it has sought to modernize the organizational/personnel structure, and has already acquired some advanced (brown water) naval, air, missile, electronic/cyber, space, ASAT, and (hence) significant anti-access/area denial capabilities; in addition, the industrial and technological base, reverse engineering, and R&D capabilities of the Chinese military sector have substantially improved since the end of the Cold War (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 61; Blasko 2012: 224). Chinese gains in military capacity could thereby be realized rather “on the cheap”: the annual PRC defense spending to GDP ratio between 1991 and 2015 (and hence in the wider sense the military burden on the PRC economy) has on average been below 2% – and still counted 1.9% in 2015 (while the annual U.S. average was 3.8% in post-Cold War times, and measured 3.3% in 2015) (see Figure 22). Although the Chinese defense spending may in 2015/2016 have reached (PPP-based) up to about half the size of U.S. military expenditure (IISS 2017: 37; 45; 278; 2016: 33; 38; 214; 240; SIPRI 2017e; 2016a), it will yet take considerable time until Sino-U.S. defense spending parity may evolve – and parity in (global) military capabilities may be reached even later. As the PRC thus remains for some time a second-tier military power compared to the hegemonic United Sates, and will in the near- to midterm lack the capacity to win a symmetric confrontation against the latter (at least beyond its borders), post-Cold War PLA modernization has

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so far mainly focused on border/littoral defense, the Taiwan issue, and (partly asymmetric) anti-access/area denial capabilities (Sandschneider 2007: 159). Nevertheless, this has quite increased the risks for U.S. military operations within China’s (maritime) periphery (in a Sino-U.S. contingency). PRC area denial and respective Sino-U.S. “contested” zones156 may thereby very likely continue to expand in East Asia and the AsiaPacific (Posen 2003: 7; 22-24; 37f.; 41-45; Ikenberry et al. 2009: 8-10; Holslag 2010: 109; 135). Accordingly, China has in the post-Cold War era been able to increase its strategic leverage in regional (Taiwan/Korea/ South China Sea/East China Sea) issues (even with respect to potential U.S. intervention); the PRC-ROC military balance has thereby continued to shift dramatically towards the mainland. What is more, beyond regional (Taiwan) contingencies, the PLA has recently also begun to enhance its blue water naval, long-range air, missile – and hence overall its long(er)range force projection capabilities: “It is now moving from coastal defense to offshore deterrence, and from purely asymmetric deterrence towards the development of conventional means for naval power projection” (Holslag 2010: 134f.). Despite significant progress in PLA modernization in the post-Cold War era, China’s (geo-)strategic position and its overall still limited military (force projection) capacity render it though unlikely that the PRC will in the near to middle term emerge as a global military competitor to the United States. Decades-long, massive U.S. investment into technological leadership, defense R&D and RMA concepts, as well as the human/ organizational foundations of military power, superior U.S. military equipment, (long-range) force projection capabilities, combat experience, and interoperability of military branches will in the near to middle term still render the United States preeminent, and the sole military power with a truly global scope. U.S. military hegemony thereby remains also underwritten by a privileged (geo-)strategic position, superior defense indus-

156 Posen defines “contested zones” as “arenas of military action where adversaries continue to be able to fight U.S. forces with some hope of success” (Posen 2003: 7; 2224).

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tries, a global network of bases, partners, and allies, and especially U.S. “military dominance over the sea, air, and space” – or in Posen’s words the “Command of the Commons” (Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 28; 32; 43f.; Posen 2003; IISS 2013: 51; 58; 245; 2012: 42; Caverley 2007: 598f.; 602; 612; Ikenberry et al. 2009: 8; 10). Accordingly, it has become clear that it may take far longer for the PRC to equal the United States in global military than in economic power. Nonetheless, probably ongoing PRC gains in military capabilities may in the near to middle term quite establish China to a certain extent as a regional U.S. military competitor; beyond a more solid Chinese nuclear second-strike capacity, growing anti-access/area denial, and some advanced force projection capabilities may hence increasingly enable the PRC to partly constrain U.S. regional strategic maneuverability, potentially threaten U.S. operating locations, allies/partners, and supply (shipping) routes, coerce third parties, and level to some extent U.S. military superiority close to its borders and in its near maritime periphery: “[I]n their aggregate, the types of new combat capabilities and supporting technologies that the PLA has been fielding over the past few years have the potential to pose direct challenges to the US military’s previously uncontested technological and operational advantages. While the PLA is not likely to become a ‘peer competitor’ or overtake the US armed forces in operational capability – let alone in battle-tested war-fighting experience – any time soon, the PLA will become a regional force to be taken very seriously” (Bergsten et al. 2009: 198f.; Khalilzad et al. 1999: xivf.; Kupchan 2011: 167; Holslag 2010: 134). Insights provided by the chapter’s quantitative analysis of post-Cold War PRC and U.S. military expenditure and force levels could thus be meaningfully complemented by a qualitative military perspective: while U.S. military hegemony (and especially superior U.S. force projection capabilities) will last for a considerable time, the PRC has quite made (relative) increases concerning regional military power (Nye 2010a: 3; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 28). Although these postCold War Chinese gains in military capabilities have advanced considerably slower than in the economic realm, where Sino-U.S. parity seems within reach early in the middle term, strategic considerations (inter alia in

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the Taiwan, the (North) Korea, the South and the East China Sea issue) have already gained more weight in Washington and Beijing. In how far the U.S. armed forces will in the course of the 21st century be able to keep their technological and organizational (knowledge) edge over the People’s Liberation Army remains to be seen (Holslag 2010: 38; Caverley 2007: 613f.). In any case, the assumption that military unipolarity is self-reinforcing, and that the United States will quasi automatically stay on top of the international system due to a permanent exploitation and re-invention of technological advantages seems too simple given a rising China that has strongly sought to gain access to – and eagerly absorbed foreign knowledge157. Innovation remains the result of complex, hard, and cost-intensive work, while copying is naturally quicker, cheaper, and easier; accordingly, not only since the (technological capabilities of the) globalized 21st century, the trans- and international diffusion of knowledge has always proven inevitable (yet the velocity of this diffusion has varied): “[W]hen the pace of technological innovation in leading countries, such as the United States, quickens, the new technologies become quickly available to poorer countries, providing a stimulus to their growth, too” (Subramanian 2011: 74). As Chinese (defense) companies increasingly innovate indigenously and continue to acquire foreign knowledge (quasi-)legally or via clandestine means, Chinese (armament) goods may continue to become technologically more advanced. Besides, given a so far rather moderate military (expenditure) burden on the PRC economy and a probably still greater PRC than U.S. fiscal latitude, (economic) stimuli programs and R&D funding (also in the defense sector) may remain viable options up China’s sleeve – even though the threshold country will have to deal with an array of social and politicoeconomic issues in future. Moreover, although cuts in recent years in U.S. defense spending and force levels and U.S. plans to shut down

157 The PRC has so far only limitedly respected the protection of (foreign) intellectual property rights. The issue may become more important for China in the course of further PRC economic and technological maturation – and hence with rising numbers of indigenous innovations and filed patents.

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older vessels/aircraft and delay or scale down new ship or aircraft procurement programs may (have) affect(ed) the U.S. (near-term) strategic position in the Asia-Pacific more mutedly, a probably in the middle term significantly smaller (MER-based) U.S. national economy than the Chinese, and U.S. fiscal constraints may partly diminish the U.S. ability to militarily align to ongoing PRC gains in military power (The White House/ Obama 2011; Garamone 2012; IISS 2016: 31-33; 2015: 33-35; 2013: 6166; 255-257; Spiegel 2012a; 2012b; Perlez 2012; Holslag 2010: 135). On the whole, even the U.S. Department of Defense thus acknowledges that in the long run, continued U.S. hegemony in the realm of military technology is by no means assured: “The PRC’s continuing efforts to acquire U.S. military and dual-use technologies are enabling the PRC science and technology base to diminish the U.S. technological edge in areas critical to the development of military weapons and communications systems. Additionally, the technologies China has acquired could be used to develop more advanced technologies by shortening PRC R&D cycles” (USDOD 2011: 44f.). 2.3

Synopsis

2.3 Synopsis

Ultimately, the results of the detailed analysis of (trends in) PRC and U.S. economic and military capabilities and bilateral interdependence since the end of the Cold War enable to reconstruct the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, which has implied significant structural constraints/influences on PRC and U.S. (relational) (foreign policy) behavior. Accordingly, Chapter Three’s (structural) neoliberal and neorealist grand theory perspectives will inter alia build on this major structural foundation. Overall, post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations have been structurally shaped by three core elements: strong bilateral (economic) interdependence, an economic power transition under way, and some shifts in military power. Sino-U.S. (Economic) Interdependence In Keohane and Nye’s classical words, Chapter 2.1 revealed an accretion post-1991 towards a high number of Sino-U.S. (economic) transactions that have the potential of causing “reciprocal [although not necessarily

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symmetrical; J.V.] costly effects among [both; J.V.] countries” (Keohane/ Nye 1989: 8f.). Accordingly, Table 3 reconstructs the structural frame of Sino-U.S. interdependence in the four categories trade relations, statebased financial and currency relations, FDI relations, and military-security relations (see Table 3). IR (grand) theory (re-)design in Chapter Three concerning Sino-U.S. ties may then greatly benefit from this heuristic aggregation/illustration, even though it remains naturally a simplification. In each category, Table 3 provides a judgement on the degree and character of Sino-U.S. interdependence, as well as who may have remained the potentially stronger (and thus less dependent) (political) actor. Firstly, bilateral trade has become a key pillar of Sino-U.S. interdependence (see Table 3). For the United States as MER-based the world’s largest economy, the world’s largest importer of goods, the world’s second largest exporter of goods, the world’s second largest merchandise trading nation, and the world’s largest exporter and importer of (and hence largest trading nation in) services, China has become the by far largest import supplier of goods, the number three destination of U.S. merchandise exports, and the largest merchandise trading partner. Vice versa, for the PRC as PPP-based the world’s largest economy, the world’s largest merchandise trading nation, the world’s largest exporter of goods, the world’s second largest importer of goods, and the world’s second largest importer of services, the United States has become the number one destination of exports in goods, the second largest merchandise import supplier, and as well the by far largest merchandise trading partner. Summing up, with the United States and China as their number one trading partners, one finds a strong degree of interdependence in Sino-U.S. trade relations158 (see Table 3). At the same time, one has yet to take the asymmetry in the bilateral merchandise trade balance into

158 Reciprocal costly effects among the United States and China that may potentially arise from this interconnectedness in trade become easily apparent: domestic economic crisis for instance in the United States (such as during the U.S. subprime and the ensuing world economic crisis in 2007-2009) will inter alia entail decreased U.S. demand for goods from its number one import supplier PRC – and thus diminish exports and economic growth of the Chinese economy as well.

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account. In the post-Cold War era, the United States has recorded an increasing, recently very high, and the by far largest bilateral merchandise trade deficit with China (and a huge overall foreign trade deficit); vice versa, the PRC has respectively listed large trade surpluses with the United States (and in total) – a trade structure that has posed a major source of Sino-U.S. tensions159 (Friedberg 2010: 37f.; 2005: 7; Martin 2016: i; 1; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 139f.). The contribution of foreign trade to GDP has thereby been higher in in the PRC (more than 45% in 2014) than in the United States (less than 30% in 2014) (IMF 2016d). On the whole, China may thus have (also as a threshold country) remained the slightly more dependent partner on world and bilateral trade, since it may potentially encounter higher costs than the United States in case of (politically induced) setbacks in Sino-U.S., regional or world trade. Accordingly, the United States may have been more credibly/successfully able to use threats of a worsening of bilateral (trade/economic) relations to realize favorable political (negotiation) outcomes. Strong, but slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. interdependence in trade may thus have been a slightly greater source of power for the United States (see Table 3). Secondly, Sino-U.S. (state-based) financial and currency ties have strongly contributed to bilateral interdependence (see Table 3). Judgements though that China may have gained – as the largest foreign creditor of the United States160 – superior influence in bilateral financial and currency ties have yet been premature. On the one hand, China’s foreign exchange and U.S. (Treasury) securities holdings may likely remain for some time the largest in the world; the Sino-U.S. creditor-debtor relation-

159 Furthermore, (defense/dual use technology/energy) trade flows with third parties like Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, and Iran have contributed to Sino-U.S. frictions. Simultaneously, these trade flows have partly been a consequence of underlying superpower tensions, differing alliance systems and (foreign) policies. 160 The PRC has undoubtedly become the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities; if one adds the value of U.S. securities held by Hong Kong and Macau, China has in any case also emerged as the largest foreign holder of U.S. securities overall – and hence as the largest foreign creditor of the United States (USDOT 2016a; USDOT et al. 2016: 10f.; 13; 17f.; A-3-A7; Ujikane 2016; Sharma 2010: 105; Subramanian 2011; Lawrence 2013: 37f.).

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ship may thus quite provide China with some (at least potential) influence on U.S. (state bond) interest rates and the value of the dollar. On the other hand, the United States yet takes tremendous advantages as the issuer of the global lead currency; it has practically been able to count on so far nearly unlimited demand for the dollar worldwide, while the firmly controlled, dollar-pegged yuan161 has – despite recent advances in international significance (such as the October 2016 inclusion into the IMF SDR basket) – still remained a secondary reserve currency (Mallaby/ Wethington 2012; Schnabel 2010b; IMF 2016e; 2015b; Layne 2011: 156). Estimation of the character of Sino-U.S. (state-based) financial and currency interdependence has thus to weigh U.S. vantages in the global financial and currency system against PRC financial trumps as the largest sovereign U.S. creditor (and with a potentially still greater fiscal latitude). In this regard, a Sino-U.S. “balance of financial terror”162 may have evolved (Summers 2004: 7f.). PRC utterances for instance to stronger diversify the Chinese foreign exchange holdings and reduce the acquisition of U.S. (Treasury) securities (and hence to decrease its financing of the U.S. current account deficit) may lead to a depreciation of the floating U.S. currency (and raise U.S. borrowing costs); at the same time, the People’s Bank of China would have to worry about devaluation of its tremendous dollar-based reserves (Barboza 2011; Summers 2004: 7f.; Egan 2015; Subramanian 2011). Moreover, a depreciation of the dollar and appreciation of the yuan as well as economic turbulences would negatively affect China’s still predominantly export-driven economy, and would jeopardize a smooth transition towards a more consumption/service-based economy (Subramanian 2011; Seth 2016). Spinning such thought experiments to the extreme, one may note that a massive PRC

161 China’s so far close control of the value of the yuan has recurrently evoked U.S. (congressional) reproaches of PRC “currency manipulation” and “artificial” depreciation; since a weak yuan privileges Chinese and disadvantages U.S. exporters, it may have also contributed to the elaborated post-Cold War U.S.-China trade deficits and economic distortions (Kissinger 2011: 494f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 72-74; Keidel 2008: 4; Huang 2012: 76-78; Schnabel 2010a: 1f.). 162 “‘[B]alance of financial terror’ (…) [refers] to a situation where (…) [the United States relies] on the costs to others of not financing (…) [the U.S.] current account deficit as assurance that financing will continue” (Summers 2004: 8).

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selling of U.S. securities could trigger a major U.S. and world financial/ economic crisis (and might even query U.S. solvency) – which would though also heavily affect China’s economy/economic growth, foreign currency reserves, potentially socio-economic/political stability and the legitimacy of the Communist Party; accordingly, the creditor has become “enmeshed in the fortunes of the debtor” (Drezner 2009b: 10; 44; Jackson 2013: 14; 16f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 140; 134; Egan 2015). On the whole, one may thus assume strong, so far roughly symmetric SinoU.S. (state-based) financial and currency interdependence (see Table 3). Considering, thirdly, U.S. and Chinese (bilateral) foreign direct investment (FDI), one may though note that only about 1% of the overall U.S. outward FDI stock had in 2014 been invested in China, and China’s share in the United States of its overall outward FDI stock may still be single-digit as well (USTR 2016a; UNCTAD 2016a; uschina.org 2016; Dollar 2015: 1f.; 11f.; Branstetter/Foley 2007: 2f.). While the vast majority of inward FDI in China has had its origin in East and South-East Asia, and more than 73% were in 2015 still provided by (the partly transit location) Hong Kong, the United States was with about 2.1% only the sixth largest (and thus at best a moderate) source of inward FDI in the PRC (MCPRC 2016a; 2016b). Vice versa, (the partly stop-over destinations) Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands/British Virgin Islands have received up to 70% of annual Chinese outward FDI; nevertheless, the significance of Chinese direct investment in the United States has increased in the last years, with now moderate flows (though still a low stock) of Chinese FDI in the United States (Ghub.org 2014: 2; Dollar 2016: 2-4; 2015: 1-4; 10-12; 17; Garcia-Herrero et al. 2015: 2f.; 5-8; 11-14; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 84f.; uschina.org 2016). Summing up, “[w]hile the U.S. and China are big players both as providers of direct investment and recipients of direct investment, there is less cross-investment between the two than one would expect” (Dollar 2015: 2; 8; 16). Consequently, one may so far still speak of low Sino-U.S. interdependence in the FDI realm. Post-Cold War flows of U.S. direct investment in the PRC and Chinese outward FDI in the United States may yet have implied a significant transfer of (management) knowledge and technology to the PRC (U.S.-China Economic and

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Security Review Commission 2011: 61f.). Overall, the United States has (thus) remained the less dependent, politically stronger partner when it comes to (so far low) bilateral interdependence in the FDI realm (although the Chinese market has naturally become important also for U.S. corporations) (see Table 3). Last but not least, having analyzed the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. economic interdependence, one may still add some findings from the military and security realm. As Chapter 2.2 has highlighted, due to ongoing progress in PLA modernization and growing Chinese military capabilities (and defense spending) in post-Cold War times, increasing U.S. (strategic) reactions to these advances, as well as recurrent SinoU.S. military incidents in China’s maritime periphery, one may speak of a slightly heightened (bilateral) security dilemma163. Apart from the prospect that modernization of also the PLA nuclear forces might eventually entail a more solid Chinese nuclear second-strike capacity, increasingly advanced (asymmetric) PRC anti-access/area denial, and some force projection capabilities have already incremented the risks for U.S. contingency operations in China’s vicinity (not to speak of U.S. (military) risks/costs in case of a severe superpower clash for instance in the Taiwan, the (North) Korea, the East or the South China Sea issue). At the same time, the United States has already (though so far moderately) begun to adapt its military apparatus/forces, weapons development/procurement, strategy/operational concepts, and its military posture in the Asia-Pacific, and has strengthened or initiated strategical ties with regional partners and allies; this U.S. “strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” (USDOS/Russel 2014b; The White House/Obama 2011; USDOS/Moy 2014; USDOD 2012: 2; 2011: I; USDOD/Carter 2015; Jäger 2012c: 156; 158) may yet (have) in turn diminish(ed) China’s (perceived) security – and so on. Accordingly, one finds in recent years a low to moderate degree of SinoU.S. action-reaction processes in armament and security policies164. The

163 For an elaboration of the security dilemma concept, see Chapter 3.2. 164 To speak of a beginning Sino-U.S. arms race may be inadequate insofar as this concept would originally presume a more balanced bilateral proportion or even parity of military(-technological) capabilities that has not been reached, yet.

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PRC has closely observed and partly (asymmetrically) reacted to developments in U.S. military capabilities, strategy, and security policies – with the superior U.S. armed forces and a Sino-U.S. contingency in the Taiwan issue still embodying two main points of reference for PRC military modernization, strategic and operational planning. Having post-9/11 long been focused on the GWOT, the U.S. hegemon has yet so far only lowly to moderately reacted to the post-Cold War PRC gains in military (antiaccess/area denial (A2/AD)) capabilities and China’s emerging near- to mid-term potential to become a regional U.S. military competitor. Summing up, a low to moderate, increasing, but still clearly asymmetric SinoU.S. interdependence in military-security relations has evolved, where the militarily weaker PRC has remained potentially still far more affected by U.S. armament and security policies than vice versa (see Table 3). On the whole, Table 3 makes clear that the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations has been marked by strong, slightly asymmetric, and in recent years increasing bilateral interdependence that has so far been primarily based in trade and (state-based) financial and currency ties (and has partly evoked significant tensions). Accordingly, one may speak of strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence (see Table 3).

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Table 3: Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Interdependence (Part 1)

Degree of Interdependence

Trade Relations

Financial and Currency Relations (State-Based)

Strong

Strong

 The United States and China Have Become Their Number One Trading Partners

 China Has Become the Largest Foreign Holder of U.S. (Treasury) Securities – and Hence the Largest Foreign 165 Creditor of the United States  The United States Has Been the Issuer of the Global Lead Currency  Firmly Controlled, Dollar-Pegged Yuan (as a Secondary Reserve Currency) That May Have Been “Artificially Depreciated”

Character

Slightly Asymmetric

(Roughly) Symmetric

 Very High U.S. Merchandise Trade Deficit With China

 “Balance of Financial Terror” – China Would Also Be Heavily Affected by (Induced) Dollar Depreciation and U.S. FiscalEconomic/Currency Crisis

 Foreign Trade Has Contributed Less to the U.S. Than to the Chinese GDP Stronger (Political) Actor

United States (Slightly)

166



Strong, Slightly Asymmetric Source: By author.

165 See Footnote 160. 166 See Footnote 162.

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Table 3: Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Interdependence (Part 2) FDI Relations

Military-Security Relations

Low

Low to Moderate

 Limited U.S. Outward FDI Stock in (and Flows to) China

 Increasing Chinese Military (A2/AD) Capabilities and Recurrent Sino-U.S. Military Incidents Have Entailed a Slightly Heightened (Bilateral) Security Dilemma

 Recently Increasing/Moderate Flows (Though Still a Low Stock) of Chinese FDI in the United States

Degree of Interdependence

 Low to Moderate Degree of Sino-U.S. Action-Reaction Processes in Armament and Security Policies

Asymmetric

Clearly Asymmetric

 China May Have Benefitted Stronger From FDI Outflows to and FDI Inflows From the United States (Knowledge/Technology Transfer)

 The Militarily Weaker PRC Has Remained Potentially Still Far More Affected by U.S. Armament and Security Policies Than Vice Versa

United States (Clearly)

United States (Clearly)

Sino-U.S. (Economic) Interdependence

Character

Stronger (Political) Actor

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Sino-U.S. Economic Power Transition Next to strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence, the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations has been marked by a bilateral shift in (relative) economic capabilities (regional and overall), with an economic power transition emerging in the middle term167. While the United States has still remained the world’s number one economic power, China has in recent years significantly made up ground, and has already overtaken the United States in major economic categories. Accordingly, Table 4 reconstructs the structural frame of the Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way (see Table 4). Considering demographics, China has always been markedly more populous than the historically young U.S. nation. It has thus been a combination of the PRC’s (currently still about 4.3 times) larger population with rising Chinese productivity/GDP per capita levels that has (particularly since the Deng-era) built the foundation for China’s catching-up process with the United States regarding GDP size and economic significance (IMF 2016a). In the first decade of the 21st century, the PRC thereby passed the United States as the more important economy/trading nation for East Asia; more precisely, it already emerged in that decade as the largest merchandise trade partner inter alia of Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Russia (and naturally remained it for North Korea) (see Table 4). Today, the ROK and the ROC still belong to the top ten U.S. trade partners; in the meanwhile, the PRC yet records bilateral merchandise trade volumes with these nations more than twice to almost three times

167 With respect to the anticipation of future capability developments, it was deliberately decided to apply in the thesis the three categories of a near-, middle-, and long-term future rather than stating distinct year dates that would naturally be implausible given the inherent uncertainties in (socio-economic and political) estimations. In regard to these broader anticipated time frames, near-term future may denote the time till 2030 (a period within less than fifteen years after the completion of the thesis), middle-term future may denote the following time frame till about mid-century, and long-term future may imply (in) the second half of the 21st century.

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168

as high (UN Comtrade Database 2016). In 2007, China then overtook the United States in overall merchandise exports, and finally also Germany in 2009, thus being since then the world export champion in goods (see Table 4) (IMF 2016c). That the global economy’s dependence on the United States has been declining (not only due the U.S. based world financial and economic crisis in 2007-2009) and the PRC has increased in economic significance has become clear not only to the automotive industry, where China evolved in 2009 as the largest car producer and the largest car market in the world; the latter property had been claimed by the United States for about 100 years (see Table 4) (Schmidt 2010; Becker 2016). Similarly, an ongoing Sino-U.S. economic power transition was again underlined in 2010, when China re-emerged for the first time since 1850 as the world’s leading producer of goods. With about one fifth of global manufacturing, this implied a passing of the United States here as well, which had held the label of the largest manufacturing nation for more than 110 years (see Table 4) (The Economist 2012a; Ferguson, cit. in Griffiths/Luciani 2011: 8; Marsh 2011). Additionally, one may consider the development of U.S. and PRC debt. Especially since the world economic crisis in 2007-2009, growing debt levels worldwide and particularly also in the United States and China have raised concern (Dobbs et al. 2015: ii-88; Diekmann 2015; Anderlini 2014; Schultz 2011). Regarding total debt of households, (financial) corporations, and the government, the United States and China reached in the middle of 2014 a high debt to GDP ratio of 269% and 282%169, respectively (Dobbs et al. 2015: 10; ii; vif.; 2-23; 26; 37-76). The PRC seems yet to have gained the edge over the United States when it comes to general government gross debt: the latter measured in 2015 still mod-

168 In regard to the cases the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue, one may thus expect economic considerations to play a potentially larger role in Chinese than in U.S. foreign policy making. 169 Scholars and pundits have especially warned of high Chinese debt levels regarding the real estate sector and an extensive shadow banking system, as well as substantial (off-balance sheet) borrowing by local (provincial/municipal) administrations (Dobbs et al. 2015: vif.; 9-11; 76-89; Diekmann 2015; Anderlini 2014; IISS 2012: 214; USDOD 2015: 25).

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erate 44% of the Chinese GDP, and is projected to reach about 54% in 2021 (IMF 2016a). From today’s perspective on the PRC fiscal-economic leeway, it seems thus thoroughly reasonable to assume that “in the event of a crisis, (…) China’s central government has [still; J.V.] ample capacity to bail out the financial system” (Dobbs et al. 2015: 86f.; 11; 76). By contrast, U.S. federal budget deficits of $1 trillion-plus in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, (likely) on average $500 billion-plus ones in the years 20132017, as well as probably still significant deficits in the near-term future have evoked fiscal worries and contributed to the U.S. debt-ceiling crises in 2011, 2013, and 2015 (IISS 2017: 37; 2016: 31; 33; 2014: 34; Ferguson 2009; Driessen/Labonte 2015: 20f.; Layne 2011: 155f.; Abrams 2015; Wasson/House 2015). While U.S. general government gross debt measured 64% of GDP in 2007, it reached about 106% of GDP in 2015, and may likely remain in that range at least until 2021 (IMF 2016a; Abrams 2015; Schultz 2011). Overall, one may thus heuristically perceive here the year 2012 – when U.S. general government gross debt surpassed the 100% of GDP mark – as the date when the PRC seems to have gained a potentially greater fiscal(-economic) latitude than the United States (see Table 4). More generally, given persistent PRC trade and current account surpluses, China (which presently still ranks behind Japan) might in the near (to middle) term also become the world’s largest (net) creditor nation, whereas the United States has been the world’s largest (net) debtor nation (Dollar 2016: 1; Ujikane 2016; Jackson 2013: 1; 7; Sharma 2010: 100; 104; The World Bank 2016a;). As has been highlighted concerning the Sino-U.S. creditor-debtor relationship and currency ties, China’s foreign exchange and U.S. (Treasury) securities holdings may thereby likely remain for some time the largest in the world – and China may hence continue to be the largest foreign creditor of the United States (State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC 2016; USDOT 2016a; USDOT et al. 2016: 10f.; 13; 17f.; A-3-A7; USCB 2016b; IMF 2016c; 2016d; Seth 2016; Ujikane 2016; Dollar 2016: 1; Subramanian 2011; Kissinger 2011: 321; Sharma 2010: 105; Lawrence 2013: 37f.). Regarding the Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way, the year 2013 marked a further

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milestone for the PRC, when it passed the United States as the largest trading nation in goods (see Table 4) (IMF 2016c). Finally, 2014 was an even more significant landmark year for China: with still relatively low, but growing Chinese GDP levels per capita, the more than four times more populous PRC had been catching up relatively fast with the United States concerning overall PPP-based GDP (and the respective share of world GDP) (IMF 2016a). In 2014, the PPP-based size of the Chinese economy then overtook the U.S. GDP – so that China already evolved PPP-based as the world’s largest economy (see Table 4) (IMF 2016a). So far, Table 4 has highlighted some of the various categories where a Sino-U.S. economic (power) transition has already taken place. Beyond that (and despite recent PRC financial market turbulences and economic difficulties), China has still an enormous (long-term) potential. There is a high probability that Chinese real GDP growth will (at least) in the near to middle term continue to be higher than in the United States, and that it will pass the United States also in further (politico-)economic categories (IMF 2016a). While the PRC has for instance already emerged as the global export champion in goods and the largest merchandise trading nation, it may in the near term also overtake the United States in overall merchandise imports – and hence become the world’s largest importer of goods (see Table 4) (IMF 2016c). Most importantly, China will (early) in the middle term probably also pass the United States in aggregate MERbased GDP – and will thus likely evolve by any measure as the world’s largest economy (the PPP-based Chinese GDP will then naturally be already significantly larger than the U.S. GDP) (see Table 4) (IMF 2016a; Keidel 2008: 6-8). However, although some authors argue that “aggregate output is essentially equivalent to national power” (Kugler 2006: 37), the Chinese GDP will still be distributed over a roughly four times larger population than in the United States; moreover, (politico-)economic power also usually depends on access to and stakes/roles in the (so far U.S. dominated) world (financial) markets, trans-/international politico-economic institutions and networks (Fuchs 2005: 30; 32; 36; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 42). A Chinese overtaking of the United States not only in aggregate (PPP- and MER-based) GDP but also concerning applicable (institu-

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tionalized) (politico-)economic power may thus happen with considerable time delays. Nevertheless, as China may (early in) the middle term be (also MER-based) the largest economy and market in the world (and might improve its governance environment regarding the rule of law/protection of (intellectual) property rights, transparency, lower bureaucratic hurdles and FDI restrictions), it seems likely that the so far rising inward flows of foreign direct investment in China, and finally also Chinese outward FDI worldwide may in the middle term converge towards – and eventually overtake – U.S. levels; in other words, China may in the middle term quite pass the United States permanently as the largest receiver and provider of foreign direct investment170, 171 (see Table 4) (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 196f.; Dollar 2016: 4f.). Similarly, as the world’s largest economy, China might in the middle term not only stay the number one trading nation in goods, but might ultimately also evolve as the largest trading nation in services (see Table 4). Last but not least, China may still be able to gradually leverage its position as the largest economy also concerning its role and stakes in the global financial markets, trans-/international politico-economic institutions, and networks – and may thus in the middle term also evolve (trans- and internationally) as the world’s number one economic power (see Table 4). Accordingly (and also regarding some recent (IMF-based) advances of the yuan’s international significance), the Chinese currency might in the middle to long term quite evolve as a (reserve currency) rival to the U.S. dollar (and the euro); in the end, there remains the question if China might in the (middle to) long term even become the issuer of the global

170 2003 and 2014 may still be perceived as exceptional years, since China had in these years already overtaken the United States as the world’s largest receiver of FDI; in 2004 and 2015, the United States though took again the lead as the largest receiver (and provider) of foreign direct investment (see Figure 11) (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 5; 196f.). 171 Moreover, as the annual flow of Chinese direct investment in the United States has in the last years already outgrown the respective flow of U.S. FDI in China, the Chinese FDI stock in the United States might within few years also become larger than the U.S. FDI stock in the PRC (Dollar 2015: 1f.; 12; uschina.org 2016; Garcia-Herrero et al. 2015: 14; MCPRC 2016a; Ghub.org 2014: 2).

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lead currency (see Table 4). With the U.S. dollar though most probably staying the world’s anchor currency (and the yuan a secondary reserve currency) for a considerable time to come, especially the latter issue remains naturally speculative (Subramanian 2011: 71; Mallaby/Wethington 2012; Layne 2011: 156; IMF 2016e; 2015b; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 71f.). On the whole, Table 4 illustrates that the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations has been (and will likely continue to be) heavily marked by a relatively fast Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way (see Table 4). This has partly sparked significant bilateral tensions, with concerns about a (limited) currency/financial and trade/economic war increasing since the 2007-2009 world financial crisis, the U.S. debt-ceiling crises in 2011, 2013, and 2015, the 2012 and 2016 U.S. presidential primaries/caucuses and campaigns, and especially under the Trump administration (Jäger 2012b; McCaskill 2016; Friedberg 2010: 3740; IISS 2016: 31; 2014: 34; Gärtner 2011a; Schnabel 2010b; Schmidt/ Heilmann 2012: 72-74; 139-142; 149; Spiegel 2012c; 2011b; Wasson/ House 2015; Abrams 2015).

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Table 4: Structural Frame of the Sino-U.S. Economic Power Transition Under Way China Overtook / May Overtake the United States as (the) More Important Economy / Trading Nation for East Asia, Inter Alia for Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Russia (Largest) Exporter of Goods

(in) (the) First Decade of the 21st Century 2007 / 2009

Largest Car Producer and Car Market

2009

Leading Manufacturing Nation

2010

State With a Potentially Greater Fiscal Latitude

2012

Largest Trading Nation in Goods

2013

Largest Economy (PPP-Based)

2014

Largest Importer of Goods Largest Economy (MER-Based) Largest Recipient / Provider of FDI and Largest Trading Nation in Services Number One Economic Power Issuer of the Global Lead Currency

Near Term (Early) in the Middle Term (2003/2014)

172

/ Middle Term

Middle Term (Middle to) Long Term (?)

Relatively Fast Sino-U.S. Economic Power Transition Source: By author.

172 2003 and 2014 may still be perceived as exceptional years, since China had in these years already overtaken the United States as the world’s largest receiver of FDI; in 2004 and 2015, the United States though took again the lead as the largest receiver (and provider) of foreign direct investment (see Figure 11) (UNCTAD 2016a; 2016b: 5; 196f.).

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Sino-U.S. Shifts in Military Power While it has become clear that the structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations has been marked by strong, slightly asymmetric (economic) interdependence and a relatively fast economic power transition under way, one may not forget to consider also (post-Cold War) structural developments in the military realm. On the one hand, the PLA modernization program has quite yielded some relative Chinese military/strategic gains towards the United States, especially concerning increasingly advanced PRC antiaccess/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities in its (maritime) periphery. On the other hand, the United States may nevertheless stay the global military hegemon for at least the middle-term future. Accordingly, Table 5 reconstructs the structural frame of Sino-U.S. shifts in military power (see Table 5). Regarding force levels since the end of the Cold War, the People’s Liberation Army has been the world’s largest military, commanding in 2016 still more than 60% more servicemen than the United States (IISS 2017: 45; 279). While traditionally (and still mostly) equipped with “a strong but short punch”, the costly (DPRK-)Sino-U.S.(-ROK) battles in the Korean War had already underpinned that at least within and close to its (land) borders, the PRC (which was founded in 1949) has developed military capabilities that render it a forceful military opponent even for the hegemonic United States (Ferris 2010: 258f.). Accordingly, U.S. occupation of (parts of) China would be extremely costly and difficult. While the troubles of the Mao era had at times questioned full PLA operational capability, one may suppose at least since the 1980s (when the shadows of Mao and the Cultural Revolution waned) a significant Chinese defensive capability in a Sino-U.S. contingency concerning major areas of its (land) territory (see Table 5). In the 1980s and especially the 1990s, PLA modernization then gained momentum. First modern (niche) capabilities and PLA structures emerged since (the end of) the 1990s, and began to selectively reduce the PLA (technological) gap to the (U.S. dominated) military stateof-the-art (see Table 5) (USDOD 2011: 13).

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Enabled by China’s economic ascent, PLA modernization thereby profited in the post-Cold War era fundamentally from on average double-digit annual rises in defense spending; parallel to new (absolute and relative) highs in PRC military expenditure, progress in PLA capabilities advanced markedly since the turn of the 21st century (Blasko 2012: 225). In 2001, the PRC emerged as the state with the largest defense expenditure in East Asia. In 2003, it overtook France in defense spending, and has since then remained the second largest (national) military spender in the world; since 2010, it has annually disbursed more money for defense than the East Asian players Japan, Russia, and South Korea combined (see Table 5) (SIPRI 2016a). As post-Cold War PRC defense spending has on average expanded about four to ten times faster than that of the United States, relative Chinese gains in military (spending) power have become evident also towards the U.S. hegemon; in 2015/2016, the Chinese military expenditure may have reached (PPP-based) up to about half the size of U.S. defense spending (see Table 5) (IISS 2017: 37; 45; 278; 2016: 33; 38; 214; 240; SIPRI 2017e; 2016a). Moreover (and although decreasing in recent years), the U.S. defense spending to GDP share still reflected the third highest level among the top ten military spenders in 2015 – while China ranked third lowest (see Figure 23). PostCold War Chinese relative gains in military (spending) power towards the United States have thus not yet significantly increased the burden for the growing PRC economy; while China’s gains in military power seem thus to have been made rather “on the cheap”, U.S. costs of global military dominance and power projection capability have yet been significant since 9/11 (see Figure 22) (Münkler 2005: 243-245). Growing post-Cold War Chinese military expenditure and a profiting/ maturing indigenous defense economy (as well as procurement of Russian armaments) have thus enabled to ambitiously press ahead with PLA modernization; beyond a persistent PRC focus on border/littoral defense and the Taiwan issue, PLA reform initiatives have in particular yielded increasingly advanced (asymmetric) anti-access/area denial capabilities close to China’s (maritime) borders (IISS 2016: 226; USDOD 2015: 33; 2011: 2). More specifically, improving PLA missile, (brown water) naval,

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air, electronic/cyber, space, ASAT (and respective anti-access/area denial (A2/AD)) capabilities have increased the risks inter alia for U.S. contingency (naval/carrier task force) operations in China’s near (maritime) periphery (see Table 5). Accordingly, some relative Chinese military/strategic gains and potential constraints on U.S. regional strategic maneuverability have become apparent. Respective PLA anti-access/area denial capabilities may thereby likely continue to expand in reach and precision. They may in the near to middle term probably extend to major areas of the “First Island Chain”, and in the middle term also to major areas of the “Second Island Chain”; accordingly, the PRC may potentially evolve to a certain extent as a regional U.S. military competitor173 (see Table 5) (Posen 2003: 7; 22-24; 37f.; 41-45; Ikenberry et al. 2009: 8-10; Holslag 2010: 109; 135). Despite recent moves towards the development of a long(er)range force projection capacity, China may though only in the middle to long term be able to build advanced (blue water) power projection capabilities in and beyond the Asia-Pacific (see Table 5). On the whole, China’s (geo-)strategic position, equipment and organizational legacies, so far limited nuclear deterrence and long-range force projection capabilities render it thus unlikely that the PRC will evolve as a global U.S. military competitor174 significantly before mid-century, also since the United States may react to continuing Chinese relative gains. Although U.S. fiscal and economic limitations may partly diminish the U.S. capacity to (militarily) align to progress in PLA modernization (despite the recent U.S. “strategic rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific), based on the superior U.S. capacity for global power projection and a wide network of strategic allies and partners, the United States will stay the military hegemon for a considerable time. Accordingly, China may only in the (middle to) long term have the potential to become a global U.S. military competitor – and that

173 Of course, this “structural judgement” that the PRC may potentially become to a certain extent a regional U.S. military competitor remains here solely based on the anticipation of trends in military (anti-access/area denial) capabilities, and not yet on (grand) theory deductions and respective verification of (foreign) policy behavior. This will be the task of the following Chapters Three and Four. 174 In this respect, and beyond the current construction of the PRC’s probably first military base abroad in Djibouti, China would also need to establish a wider system of military bases overseas (IISS 2017: 259; 279; 2016: 222; Panda 2016b).

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China might evolve as the number one military power remains all the more a long-term contingency (see Table 5). Fundamentally, however (and under the premises of persistent Chinese stability and economic growth/development), there seem no strong reasons to assume that ongoing post-Cold War Chinese economic gains relative to the United States will not continue to be more or less converted – with Chinese (and U.S.) governmental decisions determining the velocity and extent – into relative Chinese gains of military power as well, even in regard to the still significant U.S. (military-technological) edge over the PRC. On the whole, Table 5 illustrates that the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations has also been marked by slow to moderate SinoU.S. shifts in military power (see Table 5). Comparing the Tables 4 and 5, it though becomes evident that bilateral capability shifts have progressed significantly faster in the economic than in the military realm (see Tables 4 and 5). While the PRC has already overtaken the United States in PPPbased GDP, and Sino-U.S. parity in MER-based economic size and economic power is in the middle term quite in sight, this is not yet the case in the military realm – despite substantial post-Cold War Chinese relative gains concerning defense spending and military (denial) capabilities. Nevertheless, advancing PLA modernization may in the (near to) middle term quite establish the PRC to a certain extent as a regional U.S. military competitor that will be partly able to constrain U.S. strategic maneuverability close to its borders and in certain areas of the Asia-Pacific. Slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military power have thereby partly evoked significant (regional) (strategic) tensions, which have recurrently entailed also Sino-U.S. military incidents in China’s maritime periphery.

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Table 5: Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Shifts in Military Power Chinese Military-Strategic Gains Towards the United States and in the Asia-Pacific Since (the) / in the Potentially Forceful U.S. Military Opponent Within and Close to Its (Land) Borders First Modern PLA (Niche) Capabilities and Structures

1949 (PRC Foundation) / 1980s (End of the) 1990s

Largest Defense Spender in East Asia

2001

Defense Spending Exceeds Those of Japan, Russia, and South Korea Combined

2010

Defense Spending May Have Reached (PPP-Based) up to About Half the Size of U.S. Defense Spending

2015 / 2016

Increasingly Advanced (Asymmetric) A2/AD Capabilities Close to Its (Maritime) Borders Growing Risks There for U.S. Contingency Operations

2020

Advanced A2/AD Capabilities Within Major Areas of the “First Island Chain”175

Near to Middle Term

China as a (to Some Extent) Regional U.S. Military Competitor

(Near to) Middle Term

Advanced A2/AD Capabilities Within Major Areas of the “Second Island Chain”176

Middle Term

Advanced (Blue Water) Power Projection Capabilities in / Beyond the Asia-Pacific

Middle to Long Term

China as a (to Some Extent) Global U.S. Military Competitor China as the Number One Military Power

(Middle to) Long Term? Long Term?

Slow to Moderate Sino-U.S. Shifts in Military Power Source: By author.

175 The “First Island Chain” comprises the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and most of the disputed South China Sea. From Japan’s southern tip, it runs along the Ryukyu island chain, the eastern side of Taiwan, and along the western Philippines; it then follows the coasts of Malaysian Sabah, of Brunei, and most of Malaysian Sarawak before heading back along the Vietnamese coastline to the PRC province of Hainan (USDOD 2011: 23; 58). 176 The “Second Island Chain” runs from Japan to the U.S. ruled Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Territory of Guam, Indonesia, and Australia (USDOD 2011: 23; 58).

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Conclusion The analysis of (trends in) PRC and U.S. economic and military capabilities and bilateral interdependence since the end of the Cold War revealed a structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations marked by strong, slightly asymmetric (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power (see Figure 25). As has been highlighted, this (post-Cold War) bilateral structural frame can be perceived as a significant structural constraint (in a probabilistic sense) on freedom of action within (the system of) SinoU.S. (and international) relations, influencing the resulting costs of available action alternatives and thus the chances for realization and success of (foreign) policy options (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 15-40; Jäger 2008a: 25f.; Brooks/Wohlforth 2008: 3f.; Schweller 2011: 176f.; Waltz 1997: 915). Concerning the research design and especially the theory part of the thesis, the analyzed (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties thus embodies a major structural foundation whereupon Chapter Three’s (structural) IR grand theory perspectives, namely a neoliberal (“economically based cooperation”) and a neorealist (“strategic power politics”) one, can be (re-)designed, so that eight hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue can be ultimately derived177 (see Figure 25). To phrase it differently, neoliberal and neorealist lenses assign significant, but different causal weight/effects to shifts in (economic and military) capabilities and (asymmetric) international interdependence178.

177 Knowledge gained in the analysis of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties naturally affects also indirectly the scholarly process of theory reconstruction and testing (and thus of answering the research question if post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations have been rather marked by economically based cooperation or by strategic power politics) by influencing the selection of theoretical foci and the formulation of theoretical arguments and hypotheses. 178 As will be elaborated in Chapter Three, neorealism ultimately considers the (evolution of the) distribution of capabilities as decisive for the structure of, and behavior in, the international system (but partly recognizes also (asymmetric) interdependence inter alia as a source of (and constraint on) political power and tensions). A neoliberal picture of world politics in turn deals specifically with the effects of (asymmetric) interde-

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These IR grand theory perspectives thus perceive the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations differently. At this point, it is hence to move on from structure to (structural) IR theory, and ultimately to the theoretical deduction of (verifiable) behavioral hypotheses (see Figure 25). Accordingly, the (IR grand) theory question (re-)evolves in the following in how far the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations – marked by strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way and slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military power – has influenced post-Cold War (relational) (foreign policy) behavior of the superpowers. Structure thus meets behavior in Chapter Three’s grand theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. relations (see Figure 25). Figure 25: The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations and the Theory Part of the Thesis Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations Sino-U.S. (Economic) Interdependence

Sino-U.S. Economic Power Transition

Sino-U.S. Shifts in Military Power

 Strong, Slightly Asymmetric

 Relatively Fast

 Slow to Moderate

(Structural) IR Grand Theory Pictures Neoliberal Perspective on Sino-U.S. Relations

Neorealist Perspective on Sino-U.S. Relations

“Economically Based Cooperation”

“Strategic Power Politics”

Deduction of Case-Specific Hypotheses Source: By author.

pendence (but also of shifting capability positions) on (chances for) (institutionalized) international cooperation (Jäger 2008a: 10; Caverley 2007: 604).

3

Grand Theory Perspectives on Sino-U.S. Relations

3 Grand Theory Perspectives on Sino-U.S. Relations

As has been highlighted in Chapter One, the scholarly and public discourse on the relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States has been decisively shaped by two alternative grand theories, or what Lamy still calls the “[c]ontemporary mainstream approaches”: neoliberalism versus neorealism (Lamy 2014: 126; 127-139). Based (inter alia) on the analyzed (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties – which has been marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power – the two (structuralist/rationalist) IR grand theory pictures of Sino-U.S. relations will be eclectically (re-)constructed in the following. Subsequently, a neoliberal and a neorealist hypothesis on China’s post-Cold War (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and in the North Korea issue will be deduced – and naturally alike for the respective U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior. This results in eight empirically verifiable, competing hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior concerning these two central Sino-U.S. flashpoints or “triggers for confrontation” (Zhao 2007: 625). 3.1

Neoliberalism

3.1 Neoliberalism

The (theory) picture of Sino-U.S. relations labeled “Make Money, Not War” by Brzezinski – and in the thesis at hand ultimately (Sino-U.S.) economically based cooperation – refers here to a broad neoliberal perspective on world politics (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.). Its basic idea focuses on an interdependent, globalizing (yet anarchical) world where cooperation between states is not only possible but becomes, under certain conditions, the rational and dominant logic of (state) action. Accordingly, neoliberals usually highlight that “the overwhelming majority of transactions © Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2021 J. Vogelmann, Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States, Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-31660-0_3

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between states are peaceful, in accordance with international law, and to the mutual benefit of the states involved” (Wilkinson 2007: 4). Concerning the research issue here of highly complex (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. relations, to simply focus on one narrow approach within the neoliberal paradigm seems yet inadequate. Applying solely neoliberal institutionalism (in the narrow sense) would for instance be inappropriate regarding the only limitedly institutionalized settings of the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue179. Interdependence analysis, globalization, capitalist peace, and global governance approaches have not yet evolved as fully developed IR theories, and referring for example exclusively to Moravcsik’s commercial liberalism would necessitate a domestic network analysis that has hardly been applied for non-democracies and would by far exceed time and space constraints, here (Zürn 2002: 235; Bienen et al. 1999: 6f.; Stone 2009: 47; Schieder/Spindler 2010: 27; Spindler 2010: 121f.; 125). Consequently, the thesis applies the term neoliberalism in the broader sense, enabling a certain degree of (third image) intra-paradigm eclecticism and at the same time a sophisticated integration of substantial “neoliberal” arguments and approaches. Based on the analyzed (post-Cold War) bilateral structural frame, the neoliberal picture of Sino-U.S. relations will be developed by first bearing (inter alia) on interdependence analysis, globalization, capitalist peace, commercial liberalist and global governance approaches and then focusing on game theory, regime theory and neoliberal institutionalism.

179 The Six-Party Talks (6PT) on (primarily) the North Korean nuclear issue did not yet embody a fully developed international institution such as a regime or even an organization. Nevertheless, one may partly perceive the multilateral negotiation platform as pre- or quasi-institutionalized insofar as the (number of) members, location (mostly Beijing) and a rough (procedural) scheme of (rounds of) negotiations – as well as quasi lead roles of the United States and then China therein – were more or less consolidated over the years and internationally accepted. In the course of the first, second, third, and so on, round of talks, many (procedural) elements were thus repeated, reinforced, and subsequent bargaining often referred to and drew upon former results. Accordingly, there was quite a certain degree of institutionalization reached, although the intergovernmental Six-Party Talks did overall not (yet) attain the status of a fully developed international institution. They may hence be rather termed pre- or quasi-institutionalized in the following.

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3.1.1 The Basic Idea: Interdependence As has become evident, the structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations has inter alia been marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence. From an IR (grand) theory perspective and a neoliberal lens on world politics in particular, this is a tremendously fertile finding. Having already been deliberated in the antiquity, modern economics has been studying economic interdependence (and its evocation of reciprocal costs and gains) at least since the free trade theories/utilitarian liberalism of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, and political philosophers from Immanuel Kant to Norman Angell have explored the effects of inter- and transnational interdependence on (peaceful/cooperative) state behavior and the international system per se: “[T]he argument that interdependence leads to peace [has a long tradition; J.V.]. (…) liberal scholars have produced increasingly sophisticated attempts to link [for instance; J.V.] international commerce and international stability” (Caverley 2007: 600; Smith 2005 [1776]; Ricardo 2001 [1817]; Kant 2012 [1795]; Angell 1913; Levy/Thompson 2010: 69-72; Spindler 2010: 98). While Smith’s “Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” was among the early influential (modern age) publications sensitizing also governments to the absolute welfare/cost advantages of free trade (interdependence), and Kant’s “Perpetual Peace” pointed to the incompatibility of commercial gains with war, Ricardo’s law of comparative (cost) advantages highlighted even more specifically that (peaceful) free trade (cooperation) among (specialized) countries may entail welfare gains for any partner, even if one state seems disadvantaged due to lower productivity or resource endowment (Smith 2005 [1776]; Kant 2012 [1795]; Ricardo 2001 [1817]; Schirm 2004: 30-32; Brzoska 2011: 98). At the eve of World War I, Norman Angell’s “The Great Illusion” then pointed explicitly to the crucial links between a nation’s economic wealth, interdependent world (financial) markets, and peaceful interstate relations. War/ conquest or military power politics with usually overall negative effects on (regional) business climates, foreign trade, (direct) investment/financial flows, and prosperity may thus not rationally be in an interdependent trading state’s interest: “[G]rowing interdependence among states increases

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the opportunity costs of violent conflict and thus exerts a restraining and pacific effect on state behavior” (Fravel 2010: 511; Angell 1913; Brzoska 2011: 97f.; 102; Spindler 2010: 98; Zimmer 2010: 58). Accordingly, neoliberal (quantitative) research and in particular interdependence analysis, globalization and global governance approaches, capitalist/commercial peace and neoinstitutionalist theories have long considered strong (free) trade between nations, mutual financial/foreign (direct) investment flows, a (capitalist) free market economy, capital market integration, economic development per se and civil society exchange as significant drivers of (economic) interdependence – and thus of peaceful and cooperative interstate relations (Weede 2010: 206f.; 209; 211f.; Gartzke/Hewitt 2010: 115-117; 121; 138f.; Schneider/Gleditsch 2010: 107f.; Ikenberry in Ikenberry/Walt 2007: 23; Schieder 2010: 190). Numerous research lines (not only in International Political Economy and IR) have thereby been influenced by Keohane and Nye’s milestone publication “Power and Interdependence” (PaI) (Keohane/Nye 1977; 1989; Moravcsik 2009: 243; 257f.; 260; Milner 2009; Spindler 2010: 119). As it established interdependence analysis as a classical, seminal approach within a neoliberal picture of world politics, the central thoughts of “Power and Interdependence” will be more closely elaborated in the following (Keohane/Nye 1977; 1989). In “Power and Interdependence”, Keohane and Nye perceive the world as increasingly linked by mutual dependencies between states/societal actors; accordingly, they highlight that incidents, processes, and (policy) decisions in one nation or region may severely affect economies, societies, ecosystems, and politics/policies in other states/parts of the world as well: “Interdependence in world politics refers to situations characterized by reciprocal effects among countries or among actors in different countries. These effects often result from [substantially increasing; J.V.] international transactions – flows of money, goods, people, and messages across international boundaries” (Keohane/Nye 1989: 8f.; Spindler 2010: 97). Keohane and Nye’s perspective on the international system thereby focuses on those transactions that are politically significant (Spindler 2010: 105). Regarding the famous definitions of politics as “Who Gets What, When, How” (Lasswell 1950), or more narrowly as “the authorita-

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tive allocation of values for a society” and “in the international society” (Easton 1953: 129; 139; 128-141), it stands to reason that they consider those trans- and international transactions as politically significant (and thus as decisive both for their analytical concept of complex interdependence and their perceived condition of the international system) that evoke costs for each party180 (and hence influence the authoritative (re-)distribution of values) (Keohane/Nye 1989: 9f.). Interdependence can thereby cause costly effects of external events on a state (for instance by changes in trans-/international flows of goods, capital, and people due to policies and developments in other nations) even if the respective state does not undertake counteractive policy measures (sensitivity-interdependence), or the state may “suffer costs” when and after policies are altered (vulnerability-interdependence) (Keohane/Nye 1989: 12-16). In the following, a brief view on the spread of the U.S. subprime181 crisis to a world financial and economic crisis in 2007-2009 (affecting also the PRC) as well as on linked European and U.S. state debt crises thereafter may prominently highlight the strong degree of trans- and international interdependence in many areas of today’s globalizing world (and resulting reciprocal costs among states/economies) – a condition that Keohane and Nye had to some extent already anticipated in 1977 (Keohane/Nye 1977); within months, troubles in the U.S. subprime residential property financing market developed into an almost collapse of the world financial system and entailed the most serious global economic crisis since the turn of the 1930s – with far reaching (costly) effects on economies, socie-

180 One may note, though, that Keohane and Nye’s constriction of interdependence as a condition only constituted by cost evoking trans-/international transactions remains somewhat vague and difficult to operationalize, since most trans-/international transactions could potentially entail costly effects. Similarly, the (historical) causes of transand international interdependence remain underspecified in PaI, so that especially the concept of complex interdependence contains tautological aspects (Keohane/Nye 1987: 737-739; 1977; 1989; Spindler 2010: 119-122; 2003: 107f.). As PaI should though be rather perceived here as an early milestone towards the development of a modern neoliberal picture of world politics, distinctive points of criticism will not be explicitly elaborated. 181 A subprime credit generally denominates “a [high interest] loan given to individuals who have a bad credit record” – or here more specifically “the award of residential real-estate loans to low-income persons in the United States” (Merk 2012: 1521).

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ties, politics/policies, and ecosystems in the United States/the Americas, Europe, China/the Asia-Pacific, and many other parts of the world. In 2006 and at the beginning of 2007, warnings by some scholars and pundits increased that the deregulated and weakly oversighted U.S. financial (and shadow banking) sector, low U.S. interest (federal funds) rates, to some extent the U.S. “fair housing policy”, partly naive borrowing behavior of U.S. residents (correlating with dubious lending practices and conditions of financial institutions), deficiencies at the U.S. rating agencies, as well as risk management/compensation systems failure and (hence) too risky and partly unscrupulous business practices in the U.S. and the global financial sector concerning inter alia (residential) mortgage backed securities, (synthetic) collateralized debt obligations, and credit default swaps, had created a transnationalized, securitized subprime loan bubble that was about to burst (The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) 2011: xvi; xviiif.; xxii; xxiv-xvii; Bartmann et al. 2008: 15; Hennessey et al. 2011: 417f.; Merk 2012: 1521-1526; Wallison 2011: 451-457; Weede 2010: 210). Rising rates of residential real-estate loan default in 2006 and 2007 led to first tight liquidity positions of some U.S. financial institutions with significant correspondent (mortgage) exposures (FCIC 2011: xvi). Yet, it was still mainly a U.S. issue. Soon, however, the crisis spread transnationally, since rapidly depreciating (and by rating agencies now downgraded) “mortgage-related securities (…) [had been] packaged, repackaged, and [massively; J.V.] sold to investors around the world” (FCIC 2011: xvi; xxv; Merk 2012: 111f; 1521-1526; 1635; Waldermann 2007). In the second half of 2007, some (hedge) funds and several banks such as the German IKB, the Sachsen LB, or the British Northern Rock acknowledged severe liquidity problems that led to increasing distrust in the interbank and world financial markets – and entailed in the Northern Rock case an almost £2 billion bank run and the first nationalization in the United Kingdom since decades (Bartmann et al. 2008: 16-19; Merk 2012: 1162; Spiegel 2011c; Semmler 2007; Waldermann 2007). Growing market volatilities and stock market slumps such as on January 21st, 2008

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(when losses at Eurasian financial markets proved worse than on 9/11 and the Shanghai Composite Index for instance declined by more than 5%) were yet just first indications of the downward spiral at the world financial markets to come (Spiegel 2008). Increasingly, financial institutions all over the globe (such as U.S., Canadian, Swiss, British, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Belgian, Irish, Icelandic, Japanese, Indian and Chinese banks, financial investors, and insurance providers) suffered from liquidity crises, huge (subprime) write-downs and credit losses – with even those of the Bank of China measuring $2 billion until May 2008 (Onaran 2008; Bartmann et al. 2008: 19). After the U.S. governmental/ Fed based bailout of Bear Stearns and its takeover by JPMorgan Chase in March/May 2008, a distress sale of Merrill Lynch to the Bank of America, and the nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 (together with the nationalization of AIG, of several other financial institutions around the globe as well as the last stand-alone-investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley returning to Fed supervision) marked the height of the crisis and an almost collapse of the world financial system: “Confidence and trust in the financial system began to evaporate as the health of almost every large and midsize financial institution in the United States and Europe was questioned” (Hennessey et al. 2011: 419; FCIC 2011: xxi; 280-389). A disrupted global interbank market, rising interest rates on credit/credit crunches, and a slow-down of industrial investment and sales ultimately necessitated massive governmental and central bank interventions (FCIC 2011: vi; xvi; xxi; Bartmann et al. 2008: 19f.). Within months, the U.S. subprime and then world financial crisis had turned into a world economic crisis, so that not only “global systemically important banks” in the United States and Europe, but also industrial corporations like General Motors or Chrysler had to be financially assisted, refinanced by the state, or even nationalized (FCIC 2011: xvi; Bartmann et al. 2008: 20; Merk 2012: 1522). Only bail-out and economic stimulus package sums previously considered impossible could then step-by-step restore trust and promote economic recovery.

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Yet, these costly state policies (as well as shrinking tax revenues due to the economic crunches) often raised national debt levels significantly, and paved the way for state debt/fiscal crises. Inter alia in several European nations, growing state debt levels (of course also due to previous fiscal-economic and administrative policy failures and economic misallocations) entailed rising interest rates at government bond auctions. This development gained particularly momentum with the outbreak of the Greek government-debt crisis in October 2009; the country’s need of financial support by the EU, the IMF, and the European Central Bank to prevent uncontrolled bankruptcy has in turn recurrently affected global bond, stock, interbank, and currency markets, and partly unleashed contagion effects in the form of mounting interest rates at bond auctions and severe fiscal crises in several other European nations. Leaving further details of the (subsequent) Euro crisis aside, one may furthermore point to the elaborated skyrocketing of U.S. general government gross debt from about 64% of GDP in 2007 to above the 100% mark since 2012 (see Chapter 2.1) (IMF 2016a; Abrams 2015; Schultz 2011). Next to high GWOT related (military) expenditure and low public revenue, this rise in U.S. state debt had been also caused by crisis-induced governmental bailout- and economic stimulus packages since 2007 (Vogelmann 2011; IISS 2013: 60-62; Schweller 2011: 181). U.S. alarm bells thereby rang most evidently during the U.S. debt-ceiling crises in 2011, 2013, and 2015 (Abrams 2015; Wasson/House 2015; IISS 2016: 31; 2014: 34). Regarding the People’s Republic of China in this context, inter alia decreased U.S. and EU consumption/demand since the 2007-2009 world economic crisis and the European and U.S. state debt crises thereafter have naturally left PRC exports, economic growth rates, and debt levels not unaffected: “[W]hen U.S. demand fell sharply, it immediately hurt production across Asia, especially in China” (Tay 2010: 143). While resolute PRC economic stimulus measures to counter the crisis effects and react to diminished world economic growth (most obviously the 2009/2010 fiscal stimulus package of $586 billion) have thereby moderately increased PRC state debt, it has especially been the substantial post-2007 rise in total Chinese debt of households, (financial) corporations, and the government (to 282% of GDP in the middle of 2014) that has raised scholarly

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concern (Dobbs et al. 2015: ii; vif.; 2-23; 40-50; 76-90; IMF 2016a; IISS 2012: 214; Diekmann 2015; Anderlini 2014; Subramanian 2012). Summing up, one can thus draw a (naturally oversimplified) line from (housing and banking) policies and economic (crises) processes in the United States to a sharp decline in PRC exports, the highest economic stimulus package ever announced in Beijing, rising Chinese (total) debt levels, reduced economic growth, as well as financial market turbulences and economic difficulties in the PRC (IMF 2016a; 2016c; IISS 2012: 214). Overall, these (contagion) processes from a bursting U.S. subprime credit bubble to a global financial and economic meltdown to subsequent European and U.S. state debt crises as well as parallel reacting Chinese fiscal-economic data and policies have clearly underpinned the high degree of reciprocal, costly effects within the contemporary trans- and international system. More specifically, that the originally U.S. based crisis also substantially (costly) affected the Chinese economy, society, and policies thereby corroborates Chapter Two’s finding of a strong degree of SinoU.S. (sensitivity and vulnerability) interdependence: due to a significant post-Cold War increase in costly reciprocal (economic) transactions, relations between the hegemonic United States and ascending China have become marked by strong, slightly asymmetric interdependence especially in the realms of trade and (state-based) financial and currency ties. In the following, closer theoretical consideration of Keohane and Nye’s conception of interdependence becomes though essential for (re-)constructing (upon this post-Cold War Sino-U.S. structural frame) an eclectic neoliberal perspective. As indicated, Keohane and Nye namely develop a two-way perception of interdependence: one the one hand, they treat interdependence as a structural condition in many areas of the contemporary trans- and international system; on the other hand, however, they design a concept of “complex interdependence” as a purely analytical construct (only) for theory-building purposes (Keohane/Nye 1989: 8f.; 23f.; 223; 1987: 730f.; 737; Spindler 2010: 106-108). Accordingly, Keohane and Nye develop an ideal type of world politics completely opposite

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182

to (neo-)realism . This “extreme set of conditions” is to offer new ontological dimensions and can be grouped around three core assumptions (Keohane/Nye 1989: 23f.; Keohane/Nye 1987: 730f.; 737; Spindler 2010: 101-103; 106-108). Firstly, under the conditions of complex interdependence, more actors than states are considered to be significant in world politics (“multiple channels of contact among societies”), with transnational agents such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or transnational corporations (TNCs) gaining more relevance183 (Keohane/Nye 1989: 33; 24-26; Keohane/Nye 1987: 737f.; 740). Secondly, the authors of PaI postulate for complex interdependence a multiple issue interstate agenda with an absence of hierarchy among state policy goals, entailing an intermingling of domestic and foreign policy (Keohane/Nye 1989: 25-27; 37; 226; Keohane/Nye 1987: 737). Military security/high politics is thus no longer a priori perceived as the most important issue area by states given an interdependent world where a huge variety of low politics issues in the economic, social, or ecologic realm may prove to be of pivotal (global) significance as well (Keohane/Nye 1989: 4; 24-27; Spindler 2010: 108). Thirdly, Keohane and Nye join other forerunners of the neoliberal school in arguing that at least under the conditions of complex interdependence, military force becomes an inferior, costly, and ineffective means of politics: “[I]n many contemporary situations, the use of force is so costly, [risky; J.V.] and its threat so difficult to make credible, that a military strategy is an act of desperation. (…) [It] is not used (...) when complex interdependence prevails” (Keohane/Nye 1989: 18; 25; 27f.; Keohane/ Nye 1985a: 74; Wilkinson 2007: 4f.). Finally, Keohane and Nye argue that empirical reality usually lies somewhere on the continuum between complex interdependence and the world of states described by (neo-)

182 For neorealism’s basic principles, see Chapter 3.2. 183 Nevertheless, PaI remains overall still a de facto state-based (systemic/structuralist) approach (Keohane/Nye 1989: 260; 263; 1987: 739f.; Spindler 2010: 117f.). That Keohane and Nye partly conceptualize states no longer as coherent actors will not be explicitly considered in this chapter, since they actually neglect this presumption in their further proceedings and do not specifically consider second image variables.

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realism . Accordingly, they reason that scholars ought to choose which model they apply to analyze and explain IR phenomena: “Sometimes, realist assumptions will be accurate (…) but frequently complex interdependence will provide a better portrayal of reality”185 (Keohane/Nye 1989: 24; 4; 29; 242; Keohane/Nye 1987: 737). Of course, Keohane and Nye thereby imply that with regard to many contemporary processes, issue areas, and actor constellations in trans- and international relations, and especially concerning ties between industrialized (and today probably also threshold) countries186, their analytical concept of complex interdependence may provide the more appropriate theoretical basis than (neo-) realism for developing and empirically verifying explanations of causes and effects in the interdependent international system (Keohane/Nye 1989: 23; 25; 223; 227; Spindler 2010: 108-111). In regard to the fundamental concept of political science, power, Keohane and Nye’s “Power and Interdependence” deals with a major research issue (also) in the neoliberal school of IR: To what extent is a state able to translate its “overall power structure” or “power resources” into (congruent) control of political outcomes187 under empirical conditions approx-

184 Many critics of PaI misunderstand Keohane and Nye here, as they criticize the inappropriateness of complex interdependence regarding empirical reality and do not perceive the former as a “thought experiment”, “intellectual tool” or heuristic concept for analytical purposes (Keohane/Nye 1989: 4; 24; Keohane/Nye 1987: 737; Spindler 2010: 108). 185 In this respect, it may be particularly fertile that the thesis at hand tests competitively both a neorealist and a neoliberal perspective on post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations by empirically verifying respective hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue. 186 Naturally, the developing/threshold country China did not belong to the group of (Western) developed/industrialized states and pluralist democracies in the 1970s’ OECD world that Keohane and Nye had originally in mind when constructing the model of complex interdependence (Keohane/Nye 2000: 115; 1977; 1989). Nevertheless, as Chapter Two has highlighted, with a relatively fast Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way and Sino-U.S. ties having become marked by strong, slightly asymmetric (economic) interdependence, Sino-U.S. relations can undoubtedly be studied today on the theoretical basis of PaI and interdependence analysis in general. 187 Keohane and Nye thereby ultimately deal with the two elaborated concepts of power as “control over resources” and “control over actors and outcomes”, and partly argue in the tradition of Dahl’s definition of (instrumental) power (Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; Dahl 1957: 202f.; Keohane/Nye 1989: 11; Hart 1976; Wohlforth 1994/1995: 97). As

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imating complex interdependence? (Keohane/Nye 1989: 29-37; Spindler 2010: 109f.). As the analysis of post-Cold War Sino-U.S. interdependence already showed in Chapter Two, PaI thereby points to the fact that interdependence can be rather seldom described as “evenly balanced” or symmetric (Keohane/Nye 1989: 10f.). Keohane and Nye hence underline that usually prevailing asymmetric interdependence gives the less sensitive/vulnerable (and consequently less dependent) actor in a relationship a potential source of (interstate bargaining) power/influence in a specific issue area (and perhaps in some linked issue areas), as changes in or ultimately even discontinuation of the character of the relationship may be less costly for that actor: “It is asymmetries in dependence that are most likely to provide sources of influence for actors in their dealings with one another” (Keohane/Nye 1989: 10f.; 18; 32; 222; Spindler 2010: 109-111). In other words, (implicit) threats of costly change may serve as an often successful instrument of less dependent (and thus stronger) actors in a given issue area to reach concessions and side payments by their more sensitive/vulnerable counterparts within (the bargaining arenas of) interdependent trans- and international relations, highlighting that “[p]ower resources specific to issue areas will be most relevant” (Keohane/Nye 1989: 37; 10f.; 30f.). By structurally, issue-specifically diminishing or enhancing the (bargaining) power of (state) agents and usually constraining overall freedom of action, the costly effects of (asymmetric) interdependence thus (partly) change the rules of the political (power) game (Moravcsik 2009: 243). (Weaker) states may thereby try to use the (bargaining) arenas of international institutions188 and transnational or transgovernmental coalitions/ networks to reach their goals and foster agenda setting and issue linkage

highlighted in Chapter Two, this dimension of power has been supplemented by (contemporary) global governance scholars inter alia with the broader dimensions of structural power (and thus control over the input side of the policy cycle) as well as the important dimension of discursive power (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008; Fuchs 2005: 79-91). 188 These arguments clearly show that PaI, among other publications, laid the foundation for the development of neoliberal institutionalism and regime theory, which will be further considered in Chapter 3.1.4 (Keohane/Nye 1987: 741; Stone 2009: 47).

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in their interest , with these processes possibly weakening to some extent hierarchy in the international system (Keohane/Nye 1989: 30-37; 1987: 735; 738). More generally speaking, (a high degree of) international interdependence can thus be perceived as a “background condition” or intervening variable, influencing in how far classical state capabilities (as an independent variable) will issue-specifically translate into control over political (bargaining) outcomes (dependent variable) (Spindler 2010: 109f.). Accordingly, neoliberals cope not only with the (structural) effects of anarchy and the distribution of capabilities, but also with the effects arising from an (asymmetrically) interdependent (and partly institutionalized) world: interdependence becomes as well a “[d]efining [f]eature of the [i]nternational [s]ystem” (Milner 2009: 4f.; 15). Just as the elaborated Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way and the so far moderate shifts in military power, strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence may thus significantly influence U.S. and PRC (relational) foreign policy behavior and (regional) outcomes (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue). The post-Cold War structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties may thereby have likely provided the United States (as the still slightly less dependent actor with so far greater capabilities) with partly stronger leverage than the PRC, although this U.S. advantage has been declining. What is more, Keohane and Nye argue that (asymmetric) interdependence changes the political game also insofar as (rationally acting) governments in an interdependent trans- and international system may

189 Nevertheless, one may point out that Keohane and Nye remain overall still cautious and vague in PaI concerning the development of new, distinct middle-range theories of political processes such as bargaining or issue linkage behavior under the conditions of complex interdependence (Keohane/Nye 1987: 733-737; 752; Keohane/Nye 1989: 226). Rather, they argue that potential political (bargaining) advantages due to asymmetric interdependence (or classically due to superior state capabilities) should never be considered isolated, absolute, or as infallible (independent) variables of behavior and political outcomes. Other variables/conditions may also issue-specifically prove decisive in this “translation process” from resources to control over (negotiation) outcomes, with the bargaining process itself as well as differing skills, commitment, and internal political unity of states or domestic groups potentially playing decisive roles as well (Keohane/Nye 1989: 11; 18f.; 30; 224-226).

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competitively try to influence the distribution of costs and benefits from transborder transactions in their favor (Keohane/Nye 1987: 728; 730; Spindler 2010: 110). A state less sensitive/vulnerable in a specific issue area will hence seek to use this political (bargaining) advantage to accordingly manipulate an interdependent bi- or multilateral system in its own interest and to permanently ensure a more favorable outcome than its classical state capability basis would have actually enabled190 (Keohane/Nye 1987: 730). Respective governmental strategies, however, usually anticipate a long term, recurrent, indefinite international (bargaining) interaction of the same interdependent players – and thus issue from conditions that have been perceived by the neoliberal school of IR as necessary and conducive prerequisites for the evolution of (stable) interstate cooperation. A structural frame of strong (asymmetric) trans- and international interdependence thus constrains the autonomous policy making capacity of states, affects their (bargaining) power and behavioral strategies within international interaction, and hence alters as well the background, chances/costs, (implicit) rules, and outcomes of (multilateral) cooperation (Keohane/Nye 1989: 9; 223f.). Accordingly, PaI paves the way for the modern neoliberal argument that interstate cooperation does not necessarily depend on idealist (value) orientations, but emanates from rational (cost-benefit) calculations of egoistic/self-interested state actors191 within anarchical yet interdependent (and at best institutionalized) international relations: “The principal motor of action in this view is self-interest, guided by rationality, which translates structural and institutional conditions into payoffs and probabilities, and therefore incentives” (Keohane 2002: 1; Spindler 2010: 110). The neoliberal conception of state interest/reason thereby seeks to transcend potential neorealist limitations of states as (pure) security and power seekers. It focuses instead on absolute (“plenty”) gains of states and deals with an international

190 Conversely, a state exposed to a particularly high degree of sensitivity/vulnerability to external events may try to reduce this sensitivity/vulnerability as a strategy to enhance its (bargaining) position (within multilateral policy coordination) (Keohane/Nye 1989: 238; Spindler 2010: 110-112). 191 How international cooperation and absolute gains may evolve despite this core assumption of egoistic state action will be elaborated more precisely in Chapter 3.1.4 by considering neoliberal institutionalism and regime theory.

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system where governments remain rationally conscious of their various interdependent economic, security, social or ecological relations with others – and of the resulting (behavioral) constraints, incentives, chances, and risks of this (costly) embeddedness (Keohane/Nye 1989: 32; Keohane 1984: 22-30). Summing up, PaI can be perceived as a founding publication of interdependence analysis and a modern neoliberal picture of world politics, which developed new directions in theoretical thinking on international relations. By establishing a seminal basis for the neoliberal argumentation that interstate cooperation/multilateral policy coordination becomes under certain conditions not only possible, but emerges as the dominant rational action strategy of egoistic states in an anarchic though interdependent international system, Keohane and Nye set a cornerstone for subsequent generations of neoliberal (interdependence) theorists – while closing (some) ranks with previous liberal scholarship. PaI thereby indicates not only relative versus absolute gains and collective action problems193. It takes on also traditional liberal pax mercatoria approaches and lays the foundation for newer capitalist/commercial peace theory, which all more or less argue that (politico-)economic variables such as (high levels of) international (free) trade, export-orientation, integration into the world economy, free capitalist economies/financial markets, economic development and foreign (direct) investment contribute to (strong) transand international (economic) interdependence and (thus) to peaceful and cooperative interstate relations (Keohane/Nye 1989: 10; 32; Angell 1913; Goldstone 2007: 1; Gartzke/Hewitt 2010: 115-117; 121; 138f.; Weede 2010: 206f.; 209; 211f.; Schneider/Gleditsch 2010: 107f.; Spindler 2010: 98; 101; 116). Strong (slightly asymmetric) Sino-U.S. interdependence regarding bilateral trade, strong (roughly symmetric) bilateral interdepend-

192 Neoliberal models of rational state interest have though naturally been advanced since the publication of PaI, inspired for instance by the concept of Herbert A. Simon’s “bounded rationality”, behavioral game theory or the “third” (meta-)theory debate between rationalism and constructivism (Simon 1982; Fearon/Wendt 2002: 52-72). 193 These major IR research issues will be further considered in the Chapters 3.1.4 and 3.2.2.

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ence in the realm of state-based financial and currency ties, to some extent Sino-U.S. FDI flows, solid U.S. and PRC integration into (and high significance for) the world economy, and low to moderate, but increasing (asymmetric) bilateral interdependence regarding military-security relations (see Table 3) can thus be neoliberally perceived as crucial parts of a (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. structural frame that entail pacifying effects on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior and increase the likelihood of rather cooperative Sino-U.S. ties194: “In a world of rising economic and security interdependence, the costs of not following multilateral rules and not forging cooperative ties go up. As the global economic system becomes more interdependent, all states – even large, powerful ones – will find it harder to ensure prosperity on their own. Growing interdependence in the realm of security is also creating a demand for multilateral rules and institutions” (Ikenberry 2011b: 66f.). Furthermore (and in reference to the analyzed trade/economic relations of the superpowers with Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea and Iran (see Chapter 2.1)), a neoliberal perspective on world politics usually ascribes high importance to the politico-economic correlation that strong (bilateral) economic ties (for instance in the realm of trade, (foreign) (direct) investment, and indirectly also regarding potential technology transfer) are often linked to at least low-strain political/security relations (Jervis 2002: 5; cf. Barbieri/Levy 1999: 464f.; 475). While it seems on the one hand obvious that deteriorating political (and in particular security) relations usually influence (bilateral) economic ties negatively, improved political relationships may on the other hand entail positive economic effects as well, as for instance the Sino-Taiwanese détente as from May 2008 (under ROC President Ma Ying-jeou) and quickly reacting cross-Taiwan Strait FDI flows demonstrated (IISS 2013: 273). Due to such (reciprocal) effects among high and low politics issues also within strong Sino-U.S. interdependence as well as the enormous risks and potential costs of Sino-U.S. (military) crisis (escalation), both governments may thus not let

194 Some scholars even perceive current Sino-U.S. ties as already resembling Keohane and Nye’s model of complex interdependence (Sinha 2009: 366).

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differing (strategic) interests and bilateral/regional conflicts develop beyond the point where they begin to substantially harm economic relations and development: “[D]rawing on theories of economic interdependence, scholars highlight the wide-ranging costs that China would pay for aggressive foreign policies, especially the damage to decades of economic reforms in terms of lost trade, foreign investment, and technology” (Fravel 2010: 506). In other (neoliberal) words, the PRC and the United States may usually seek a sound (or improved) bilateral politico-economic climate to enable, and profit from, (absolute) economic gains. Based on the analyzed trade/economic ties of the superpowers with Taiwan, South Korea, and North Korea, one may yet thereby expect commercial considerations to play a (slightly) larger role in Chinese than in U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue, as the PRC’s economic stakes in (East) Asia have since the first decade of the 21st century become greater than those of the United States (see Table 4). Naturally, neoliberals quite acknowledge that the (distribution of) resulting costs (and gains) of interdependence can also be a significant source of (Sino-U.S.) tension. As elaborated in Chapter Two, next to frictions in the strategic realm, there exists a long list of Sino-U.S. politico-economic issues that have evoked conflicts within bilateral interdependence – and even concerns of a trade, financial or currency war195 (Gärtner 2011a; Schnabel 2010b). For instance, the current Sino-U.S. “balance of financial terror” may heighten distrust and worries on both sides196 (Summers

195 To (re-)name just a few, issues of (bilateral) concern have inter alia been the tremendous U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China, mutual accusations of currency manipulation, WTO noncompliance, protectionist/unfair (trade) practices, impeded market access and (punitive/“anti-dumping”) tariffs and nontariff barriers, struggles about Chinese disregard of intellectual property rights, product piracy and forced technology transfer, reciprocal espionage, and the rising economic rivalry between U.S. and Chinese (state owned) TNCs for commodity access and markets (Friedberg 2010: 37; Gärtner 2011a; Kaplan 2006; Nye 2010b: 150; USTR 2010: 2-5; Sandschneider 2007: 93; Schnabel 2010b; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 85-87; 139-142; 149; 160f.; Spiegel 2012c). 196 Moreover, some (defense/dual use technology/energy) trade flows between the superpowers and third parties like Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea or Iran have un-

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2004: 7f.). Besides, the so far potentially greater U.S. power position in many issue areas of bi- and multilateral bargaining derived from the (slightly) greater Chinese dependency on bilateral trade, FDI flows, and the still clearly asymmetric character of Sino-U.S. interdependence in the military-security realm (and of course due to still superior U.S. capabilities) may partly elicit PRC efforts of (multilaterally coordinated) opposition to U.S. stances. Despite these issues of bilateral dispute, many neoliberal scholars and especially interdependence- and capitalist peace theorists yet argue that overall, “[e]conomic interdependence (…) makes war less likely” – and relatively stable, economically based Sino-U.S. cooperation more probable (Weede 2010: 206). As will be shown more detailed in Chapter 3.1.4, this may be also due the fact that strong bilateral interdependence has since the end of the Cold War greatly expanded the realm for Sino-U.S. contingent strategies. Defection in or blockade of an issue area by one side (where it may be asymmetrically stronger) can be answered by the other side with (retaliatory) opposition in numerous other bilateral or global issues at stake in the many (institutionalized) arenas of Sino-U.S. (bargaining) interaction (possibly the more so where that side can in turn bear on a privileged bargaining position). Consequently, thick, iterated, multi-issue bilateral interaction driven by a (post-Cold War) SinoU.S. structural frame inter alia of strong, slightly asymmetric (economic) interdependence may well enable reciprocity/contingent strategies and thus evoke strong incentives for long-term bilateral cooperation. From a neoliberal U.S. perspective, this entails the chance to bi- and multilaterally tackle global and regional issues and to peacefully reassure and integrate the rising PRC into the world economy and the international (institutional) system (Ikenberry 2011b: 68; 2009: 24). From a neoliberal Chinese perspective, strong economic interdependence with the United States and other partners has (to some extent) been the result (and a continued driver) of the dominant and so far quite successful post-Mao national development strategy. Accordingly, neoliberals and interdepen-

leashed conflicts within Sino-U.S. relations. At the same time, trade flows with these third parties have often reflected Sino-U.S. tensions, differing policy goals and IAEA/ UNSC compliance notions of the superpowers.

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dence scholars judge it unlikely that the primacy of internal (economic) development set by Deng Xiaoping will soon be curtailed by a stronger focus on strategic (influence) aspirations, a more challenging international demeanor or even aggressive foreign policies: “To date, China’s economic development has occurred through the relative openness of its economy to trade and foreign investment. In return, China has become increasingly dependent on such openness for high rates of economic growth. [This] (…) suggests that the monetary costs of expansion in terms of slower economic growth would be significant” (Fravel 2010: 511; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 24). Finally, one may still add an interdependence analysis based view on those main characteristics of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations that go beyond strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence: a relatively fast Sino-U.S. shift in (regional and overall) economic capabilities, with an economic power transition at the horizon in the middle term, as well as slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military power (see Figure 25). According to interdependence and capitalist peace theorists, relatively fast changes in the Sino-U.S. economic power ratio may thereby not necessarily impede bilateral (economically based) cooperation. Of course, the economic development/ ascent of the PRC may to some extent quite increase superpower rivalry for politico-economic influence and heightens the competition between Chinese and U.S. (transnational) corporations. Yet, as will be further elucidated in Chapter 3.1.4, neoliberal and interdependence scholars focus more on an absolute than a relative Sino-U.S. (gains) perspective. A relatively fast Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way does naturally not imply that the U.S. GDP shrinks, but that the latter just keeps expanding at a slower pace than the Chinese economy. Further increasing absolute Chinese and U.S. gross domestic products may thereby likely entail also further growth in bilateral transactions concerning trade, (foreign direct) investment, (state-based) financial and currency flows or related economic variables. Incentives for bi- and multilateral policy coordination, triggered by increasing bilateral (economic) interdependence and growing Sino-U.S. capitalist peace (mercatoria) rents/absolute (economic) gains

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may thus stabilize the superpower relationship even while China prepares to become (early) in the middle term also MER-based the largest (and ultimately the most powerful) economic player on the globe. In other words, as Sino-U.S. interdependence, absolute (economic) gains, and PRC integration into the world economy and the international (institutional) system may likely increase parallel to a faster growing Chinese and a slower advancing U.S. GDP (and both interdependent nations may profit from a prospering economy of the other superpower), economically based Sino-U.S. cooperation may be persistently promoted along the economic transition path: “On the economic side, the [neoliberal; J.V.] logic (…) is that, as China becomes increasingly tied to the international economy, its interdependence with others will constrain it from taking political actions that could disrupt its vital access both to foreign markets and capital and to high-technology imports from the United States, Japan, and Western Europe. (…) A China so engaged, it is said, will have strong interests in cooperation and will not be inclined to pursue security competition with America” (Layne 2008: 14). Eventually, a neoliberal and especially interdependence analysis based view on the third distinctive element of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations, slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military power (see Table 5 and Figure 25), may assign to this aspect only subordinate, and to some extent even stabilizing effects on Sino-U.S. relations. Of course, neoliberals agree with neorealists that the possibility of war can never be ruled out in an anarchical international system; consequently, military power (ratios) usually retain some significance. Accordingly, neoliberals may also recognize that a slightly heightened Sino-U.S. security dilemma and the low to moderate degree of bilateral action-reaction processes in armament and security policies can raise distrust and may now and then evoke tensions within bilateral military-security relations. On the whole, though, especially in regard to the overall (post-Cold War) structural frame of (strongly interdependent) Sino-U.S. relations and the primacy of the economic sphere so far in the post-Cold War – globalizing – world, neoliberals and in particular adherents of interdependence analysis and capitalist peace theory may judge the impact of slow to moder-

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ate Sino-U.S. shifts in military capabilities on (chances for) bilateral (economically based) cooperation as limited. While China may in the (near to) middle term quite evolve as a (to some extent) regional military competitor of the United States, a global transition in military power remains still a (speculative) long-term contingency, and the velocity and magnitude of this process have not (yet) been comparable to the post-Cold War SinoU.S. shifts in economic size and power. Neoliberals may thus (still) judge slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military capabilities as a minor structural (independent) variable of U.S. and PRC (relational) foreign policy behavior, also since military-strategic considerations play usually no major role in a neoliberal picture of world politics. Furthermore, since some scholars even perceive Sino-U.S. relations as already resembling Keohane and Nye’s model of complex interdependence (Sinha 2009: 366), a respective interdependence analysis based view may argue that the postCold War Sino-U.S. structural frame may have rendered the use of military force extremely costly, uncertain, and inappropriate to achieve absolute (“plenty”) gains and other (security and non-security) objectives. In PaI, Keohane and Nye assume for complex interdependence an absence of hierarchy among state policy goals; accordingly, strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence may be shaped by a wide range of bilaterally significant high and low politics issues (and reciprocal effects among them). Military force may thus have become a rationally inapplicable means of politics – and with it the slowly to moderately changing Sino-U.S. military power ratio an only secondary structural influence on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior (Keohane/Nye 1989: 25-29). Beyond such considerations, slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military capabilities may partly unleash even stabilizing effects on bilateral ties. Although one may not yet speak of a Sino-U.S. MAD (mutually assured destruction) relationship, increasing PLA nuclear (second-strike) and conventional capabilities have incremented the risks/costs of a potential Sino-U.S. military confrontation and may in this respect exert also grow-

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197

ing pacifying effects (Weede 2010: 206; Friedberg 2005: 43). In other words, the slow to moderate catching-up process of the PLA relative to the U.S. armed forces and hence the latter’s slowly increasing vulnerability (at least within China’s anti-access/area denial sphere) may heighten the so far low to moderate Sino-U.S. interdependence in military-security relations and slowly push its character towards a less asymmetric configuration. The process of bilateral interdependence becoming increasingly marked by both a financial and a military “balance of terror” (Summers 2004: 7b) may thus function as a strong counterinsurance for both superpowers and raise the incentives for policy coordination/cooperation, confidence building measures (like expanded military-to-military contacts) and overall carefully managed Sino-U.S. relations – even more so in areas of bilateral (strategic) discord: “The biggest incentive for [China and the United States] (…) is avoiding an all-out military confrontation. The outcome of such a clash would be an unprecedented disaster in human history. (…) That both countries possess nuclear weapons only increases the stakes. The incentives for cooperation are thus enormous” (Zhao 2007: 624f.). Summing up, based on the analyzed (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties and the founding publication of interdependence analysis – Keohane and Nye’s “Power and Interdependence” (Keohane/Nye 1977; 1989) – a first conception of a neoliberal picture of Sino-U.S. relations has evolved. From such a perspective, the structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties (marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power) may quite alter the political (power) game and influence PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue) at least towards a preference for iterated, multi-issue bi- and multilateral bargaining interaction. Accordingly, interdependence analysis underscores that the post-

197 Now and then uttered PRC and U.S. (implicit) threats of a potential (retaliatory) use of (nuclear) force may underscore these risks/costs and sensitize governments, elites and societies.

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Cold War structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties entails significant preconditions (and strong incentives) for the evolution of relatively stable bilateral cooperation (Russett/Oneal 2001: 125-155). Nevertheless, it is not without reason that IR scholars still prefer to speak of interdependence analysis instead of interdependence theory – a fully developed/general theory of interdependence has still been missing (Zürn 2002: 235; Stone 2009: 47; Schieder/Spindler 2010: 27; Spindler 2010: 121f.; 125). Given the heavily interdependent, more complex, globalizing (post-Cold War) world at the end of the 20th and especially in the 21st century (Milner 2009: 18; Jäger 2005a: 13), it is thus necessary to “update” and advance Keohane and Nye’s basal insights of the 1970s – and to further enhance and deepen the so far developed outlines of a neoliberal perspective on world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular: “In the [more than; J.V.] thirty years since Power and Interdependence, this new paradigm has developed substantially and has become the main alternative to realism for understanding international relations. (…) Among other trends in world politics, (…) globalization (…) has [thereby; J.V.] raised the importance of the neoliberal paradigm” (Milner 2009: 3). Consequently, it is the task of the thesis here to go “[f]rom interdependence to globalization” (Keohane 2002: 14; Zürn 2002: 235). 3.1.2 From Interdependence to Globalization Considering the globalization (and global governance) debate, it soon becomes clear that “[t]he literature on interdependence in the 1970s and on globalization (…) [since; J.V.] the 1990s reveals remarkable similarities” (Zürn 2002: 235; Rode 2010: 426). Contemporary globalization (and global governance) approaches198 thus draw substantially on the precedent findings of interdependence analysis. Keohane and Nye point out that their “characterization of interdependence (…) now applies to globaliza-

198 Like interdependence analysis, the contemporary (heterogeneous) globalization and global governance approaches/concepts can (in the narrow sense) not yet be termed fully developed/general IR theories (Schieder/Spindler 2010: 27; Fuchs/Gaugele 2010: 321; 333). Global governance approaches will be more closely considered in Chapter 3.1.3.

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tion at the turn of the millennium (…) [expressing] a (…) ‘widespread feeling that the very nature of world politics is changing’” (Keohane/Nye, cit. in Keohane/Nye 2000: 104; Keohane/Nye 2000: 104). Accordingly, neoliberals and globalization scholars usually consider the effects of interdependence (on state behavior and international relations) as a major aspect of a “partially globalized world” (Keohane 2001: 1). Given considerably intensified trans- and international interdependence since the end of the Cold War (also concerning super-/great powers), the perception in PaI of the international system and respective conclusions about world politics may have become even more relevant (Keohane/Nye 1977; 1989; Moravcsik 2010: 152;). In other words, some neoliberals argue that due to globalization (and global governance) processes, the model of complex interdependence may have ultimately evolved as the most accurate perspective on trans-/international (and Sino-U.S.) relations: “More dimensions than ever (…) are beginning to approach our idealized concept of complex interdependence” (Keohane/Nye 2000: 118). Similarly, Zürn points out that “today it can safely be stated that (…) complex interdependence indeed seems to comprehend processes and outcomes of world politics much better than realism” (Zürn 2002: 241). As elaborated in Chapter 3.1.1, neoliberals may thus anticipate significant politico-economic incentives in the post-Cold War, globalizing world for relatively stable, cooperative interstate (bargaining) interaction, all the more so within the structural frame of strongly interdependent Sino-U.S. relations. Nevertheless, even Keohane and Nye admit that their concept of (complex) interdependence in PaI still deals with rather single, regional (transand international) linkages (Keohane/Nye 2000: 104; 115). By contrast, they relate globalization to the process that “globalism” has become “increasingly thick” (Keohane/Nye 2000: 108; 105; Keohane 2002: 15). Their term “globalism” thereby denotes an international system characterized by “multiple relationships” or “networks of [trans- and international; J.V.] interdependence at multi-continental distances” (Keohane/ Nye 2000: 105). Accordingly, Keohane and Nye’s concept of globaliza-

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tion rests upon the rising velocity, volume and significance of transand international (multi-continental) flows/influences, not to say on the shrinkage of distance and the intensification of interdependence from single towards multiple/networked, thick and worldwide reciprocal dependencies (Keohane/Nye 2000: 105; Keohane 2001: 1; Zürn 2002: 244). While PaI is thus still concerned with the sensitivity and vulnerability of separate units (within an interdependent system), contemporary globalization scholars often deal with the merging of (these) units due to a tremendous global expansion in costly trans- and international interconnectedness: “Globalization moves beyond linkages between separate societies to the reorganization of social life on a transnational basis” (Keohane 2002: 15; Keohane/Nye 2000: 104; 109). Post-Cold War neoliberal and in particular globalization (and global governance) approaches have thereby inter alia been marked by a wider consideration of the multifaceted effects of interdependence: “The globalization literature differs from [the; J.V.] interdependence studies [of the 1970s; J.V.] in that it (…) broadens the range of themes which may be affected by it” (Zürn 2002: 248). More fundamentally, however, globalization (and global governance) approaches cope no longer with partial interdependence between few (industrialized) nations, but focus on basic structural changes towards a thick, complex, worldwide network of (institutionalized) transborder relations/interactions between nonstate and state actors/variables, an integrated world (financial) market, a world society shaped by transnational (rationally motivated) division of labor,

199 Zürn though points out that the terms globalization or globalism may (in the narrow sense) be only appropriate for specific (issue) areas such as the world financial markets or environmental issues like global warming, whereas globalization seems to hardly proceed in other (issue) areas. Therefore, he prefers to speak of the dynamics of “societal denationalization” (Zürn 2002: 236f.). Such contributions to the globalization debate thereby partly reflect scholarly controversies if the term globalization is in itself adequate. As the latter, however, has become so strongly rooted in today’s use of language and every-day life, the thesis considers the linguistic reconstruction of alternative expressions for globalization with skepticism. The IR debate had better be dealing with accurate definitions and analyses of globalization, (sub-)causes behind, and the resulting consequences for trans- and international relations, actors and behavior.

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value creation and adjustment of interests, and some elements of a world community200, 201 (Albert et al. 1996: 2; 8; 11-13; Weber 1978: 40-42; Barnett/Sikkink 2008: 62-66; Zürn 2002: 236; Messner 2002; Take 2010: 281-289). These processes have of course “fundamental implications for the opportunities and constraints faced by (political) actors” (Fuchs 2005: 19). As globalization (and global governance) scholars’ assumptions of post-Cold War (structural) changes and complexity in a globalizing world hence go beyond PaI, new perspectives and ontological dimensions become necessary. However, the multitude of conceptualizations of globalization have so far only limitedly put forth systematic and intersubjectively shared knowledge about its causes/driving forces and (political) effects202, and any definition of globalization has remained contested (Zürn 2002: 239; Fuchs 2005: 19; 23-25; Fuchs/Gaugele 2010: 321; 333; Scholte 2005: 1f.; 13-47; Take 2010: 281; 285). As Fuchs and Scholte

200 Naturally, globalization thereby also comprises developments that have already been active for a long time. 201 The term world society has often been linked to Weber’s concept of associative relationship: “A social relationship will be called ‘associative’ (Vergesellschaftung) if and insofar as the orientation of social action within it rests on a rationally motivated adjustment of interests or a similarly motivated agreement” (Weber 1978: 40f.). Since the thesis copes with a rationalist neoliberal picture of a globalizing world (and Sino-U.S. relations in particular), the term world community can only be limitedly considered, here. One may nevertheless note that especially neoliberals oriented towards constructivism have also integrated the concept of world community into their approaches; world community can thereby be related to Weber’s term of communal relationship (“Vergemeinschaftung”), and thus to a social relationship where “the orientation of social action (…) is based on a subjective feeling of the parties, whether affectual or traditional, that they belong together” (Weber 1978: 40). Closely linked to such considerations (on globalization) has also been the (cosmopolitanist) debate on worldwide “overlapping communities of fate” (Held 2003: 523-527; 1999). On the whole, it seems apparent that most (trans- and international) relationships in a globalizing world comprise to some extent both associative and communal aspects; on a global scale, the former may though have remained dominant (Weber 1978: 41-42; Albert et al. 1996: 8; 14). 202 The (structural) forces driving globalization include, among others, technological progress for instance in the area of transportation and information/communication technology, rationalist knowledge, economic incentives/capitalist structures and notions, as well as supportive regulatory frameworks set by state and nonstate actors. Naturally, these driving forces of globalization have decisive implications inter alia on equity/ welfare, security, the environment, and (thus) politics in a globalizing world (Fuchs 2005: 32-39; Scholte 2000: 89-282).

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though elaborated, comprehending scholars’ different substantive (and partly geographic204) foci as well as their conceptual lenses on globalization ultimately enables to analyze the globalization debate and respective approaches more systematically (Fuchs 2005: 25-32; Scholte 2005: 1517). First of all, the most frequent substantive focus in globalization approaches has clearly been on the economic sphere; scholars have thereby in particular dealt with developments in the realm of trans-/international production, trade, and sale of goods and services (Fuchs 2005: 28). Significant (post-Cold War) growth in global (and as elaborated in PRC/U.S.) trade and GDP, a worldwide, transborder reorganization of value chains and subsidiarization of business activities, (multi-continental) hypercompetition between (transnational) corporations and economic regions and extensive participation of more and more countries in the global economic arena/market are just a few developments to be mentioned in this context (Fuchs 2005: 28f.; D’Aveni with Gunther 1994; Fravel 2010: 508; Zahn/Foschiani 2000a: 89-93). From a neoliberal view, the post-Cold War increase in the global flow of goods and services, with respective national chances for absolute gains and its trans- and international interdependence effects triggers significant incentives for (PRC/U.S.) decision makers to promote stable, prospering (and profitable) transnational economic

203 Of course, the thesis can in the following only deal with those substantive foci in the globalization debate that are especially relevant for (re-)constructing an eclectic neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. ties in particular (and for eventually deducing hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue). In accordance with the structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations, and regarding in particular strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence and a relatively fast economic power transition under way, the thesis will primarily concentrate on (politico-)economic aspects of globalization; for a closer consideration of (the) globalization (debate) in the realm of communication, information and ideas, culture, demography/migration and the environment, see Scholte (2005) and Fuchs (2005: 23-39). 204 A geographic focus on globalization reveals globalization’s still uneven spread across different regions and issue areas, for instance concerning industrialized and developing countries (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 82; Fuchs 2005: 30-32; Zürn 2002: 242). Overall, it is thus evident that globalization has not yet become universal, and for instance cultural differences (or “[c]ultural distance”) in the world remain barriers to homogenization (Keohane/Nye 2000: 111).

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and at least low-strain international (political) ties (Jervis 2002: 5; cf. Barbieri/Levy 1999: 464f.; 475). Furthermore, since neoliberals more or less assume a primacy of the economic sphere in the era of globalization, they anticipate (PRC/U.S.) (foreign) policy makers to focus on economic development, growth, and absolute (welfare) gains – and thus to weigh likely positive and negative (transnational) (politico-)economic effects of each (foreign) policy alternative carefully (Rode 2010: 427; 436). Accordingly, (PRC/U.S.) decision makers may usually pursue a (foreign) policy option that at least promises not to disrupt so far profitable transnational economic networks and flows of goods206, services, (technological/management) knowledge and people, implying mostly non-confrontational/ cooperative foreign policies: “In a [Sino-U.S.] conflict, Chinese maritime trade [for instance; J.V.] would stop entirely. The flow of oil would cease, and the Chinese economy would be paralyzed” (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.). More specifically, commercial liberalism thereby assumes that if the majority of (influential) transnational and domestic economic actors within the jurisdiction of a state (producers, service companies, investors, consumers, et cetera) mainly benefit from the evolved pattern of the global and domestic economy (for instance from the division of labor, capital, and the high volume of transnational transactions in the post-Cold War, globalizing world), its government may in most cases (be influenced to) not derogate overall profitable transborder economic transactions (and resulting welfare gains) by foreign policies that negatively affect this global/domestic economic pattern and transnational business climates (such as the application of military force) (Moravcsik 1997: 528-530)207. Trans-

205 Respective (reciprocal) effects among transborder political and economic relations (and among high and low politics issues) have already been elaborated in the previous chapters. 206 Neoliberals may for instance also explain the U.S. decoupling (since 1994) of SinoU.S. trade ties from the human rights situation in the PRC by pointing to strong SinoU.S. (economic) interdependence, interests of transnational business actors, and absolute (economic) gains (Kissinger 2011: 465-471; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 17; 136f.). 207 Citing Moravcsik here, who offers a “new”, integrative, systematic, and empirically verifiable perspective on (neo-)liberal IR theory does however not imply that the thesis becomes inevitably inconsistent in its level of analysis (Moravcsik 1997; 2008; Schieder 2010: 190f.). Of course, Moravcsik perceives national governments primarily as

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national (politico-)economic (market) incentives and influences on states that push to abandon aggressive self-help and coercive (influence) strategies may thus have increased in a globalizing world (economy). For most interdependent (industrialized and threshold) countries integrated into the thick, complex, multi-continental post-Cold War network of (institutionalized) transborder transactions and relations, (commercial) (neo-) liberals may hence overall rather anticipate foreign policies of economically based cooperation, implying inter alia peaceful coexistence and the acceptance of the territorial status quo: “[T]he more diversified and complex the existing transnational commercial ties and production structures,

“transmission belts”, assuming that dominant domestic and transnational (individual and private group) preferences finally translate into foreign policy (Moravcsik 2008: 234-237; 1997: 513; 516-533; Bienen et al. 1999: 2). He thus explains state action by applying a subsystemic/intra-state, but also a transnational/systemic level of analysis. Similarly, contemporary globalization and global governance approaches often consider both state and nonstate actors, systemic and subsystemic levels of analysis (Fuchs 2005). Level of analysis (and ontological) differences between the various “neoliberal” streams in IR have thus to some extent decreased. Interdependence analysis and neoliberal institutionalism for instance, that traditionally argue on a systemic level, have tried to also/better take intra-state level variables and nonstate actors into account, and neoliberals have increasingly dealt with systemic (institutionalized) contexts as well (see for instance Putnam’s “The Logic of Two-Level Games” (Putnam 1988) or Moravcsik’s liberal intergovernmentalism (Moravcsik 1998) as “bridgeworks” between neoliberal institutionalism and (neo-)liberalism). Moravcsik thereby perceives his “new liberal” perspective (also) as a systemic theory: “National preferences emerge not from a solely domestic context but from a society that is transnational (…). Foreign policy (…) is about the management of globalization—that is, it is about managing the results of interaction between societies. This (…) systemic quality goes all the way down” (Moravcsik 2008: 247-249; 1997: 515; 521-524). Accordingly, while relying on a third image perspective, the thesis may be partly able to seize also some second image-related insights of globalization, global governance and (commercial) liberalist approaches if these can be condensed and analytically treated as general structural, quasi-systemic (transnational) incentives and constraints on (state) behavior in a globalizing world. That major economic interests and transnational business preferences can usually not be permanently neglected by states that are strongly integrated into the (post-Cold War) world economic system may for instance be perceived as such a “quasi-systemic subtext” and an almost self-evident rationale in a globalizing world. Transnational economic influences can thus be considered in the here developed systemic neoliberal picture of world politics. Since this may be not as stringently possible for second image variables such as the “institutional structure of domestic political representation” (Moravcsik 2008: 244), domestic values/ideologies, institutional substructures/bureaucracies or strategic cultures, and this would render the research design of the thesis too complex (see Chapter One), these variables will be left aside for analytical reasons.

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the less cost-effective coercion is likely to be” (Moravcsik 1997: 530; 2008: 242; 236; Schieder 2010: 199). Considering, as highlighted in Chapter 2.1, the strong integration of the United States and the PRC into world trade and the world economy, as well as the significant Chinese and U.S. increase in overall and per capita GDP since the end of the Cold War, one may hence assume that the majority of (influential) transnational and domestic economic actors there have overall profited from the post-1991 pattern of the global and domestic economy (and thus from the division of labor, capital, and the high volume of transnational transactions in a globalizing world). Moreover, since the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations has inter alia been marked by strong, slightly asymmetric (economic) interdependence, U.S. and PRC (relational) foreign policies may all the more have been focused on (furthermore) promoting profitable economic and stable political ties. According to the most frequent substantive – namely economic – focus of current globalization, interdependence, and capitalist peace accounts, and in particular concerning developments in the realm of trans-/international production, trade, and sale of goods and services (Fuchs 2005: 28), respective neoliberal approaches thus often arrive at similar (foreign) policy expectations for (industrialized and threshold) countries that have been strongly integrated into the world economy; given for instance the tremendous post-Cold War increase in overall foreign and bilateral trade of the United States and China, Sino-U.S. economically based cooperation may become likely: “The more countries trade with each other, the less likely military disputes between them become. Given the size of both economies and the distance between America and China, they already trade a lot with each other. As China is the first Asian giant to become capable of challenging the U.S., these pacifying ties happen to be in place where they are most needed” (Weede 2010: 209). In other words, neoliberals and especially globalization, interdependence, and capitalist peace scholars mostly perceive foreign policies based on (geo-)strategic considerations, power politics, and the application of coercive diplomacy/ military force as misplaced in an (economically) globalizing world.

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Furthermore, the major substantive – namely economic – focus in globalization accounts has also revealed significant (post-Cold War) developments in the field of money and finance (Fuchs 2005: 28f.). As the elaborated (contagion) processes from a bursting U.S. subprime credit bubble to a world financial and economic crisis in 2007-2009 and the linked European and U.S. state debt crises thereafter have demonstrated (see Chapter 3.1.1), the international – or actually transnational – financial system has become one of the most globalized realms, comprising a highly complex, transborder network where interactions and “different relationships of interdependence intersect more deeply at more points” (Keohane/Nye 2000: 112). Nearly global (deterritorialized) capital mobility and the massive (post-Cold War) increase in the volume and velocity of worldwide (computer-based) financial transactions such as foreign exchange, structured products/derivatives, bond, equity or commodity trading have resulted in volatile, strongly interdependent capital markets that react to new (economic/political) data from anywhere on the globe within milliseconds, and limit at the same time significantly (unilateral) state influence on their course and politico-economic effects, even regarding so powerful (financial) players as the United States and (increasingly) the PRC (Fuchs 2005: 29). The enormous capital volumes floating permanently around the globe in search for investment opportunities thereby provide large (institutional) and the swarm of investors/speculators, as well as specific business actors with substantial political leverage (Fuchs 2005: 29; Rode 2010: 428; Hillebrand 2001: 150-152; 161; 165f.). That globalization in the realm of money and finance may have significant effects on (PRC/U.S.) (foreign) policy making becomes also evident regarding the structural (agenda-setting) power of transnational business actors that is derived from the nearly worldwide mobility of finance capital (Fuchs 2005: 119-124; 142f.). In particular, rating agencies, private consultancies, and transnational financial corporations208 may via quasi-regulation influence the acceptability of national polities, politics and policies

208 These business actors have often been referred to as coordination service firms (Nölke/Perry 2007; Fuchs 2005: 124f.).

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in a globalizing world and “‘impos[e]’ the preferences of transnational investors on societies” (Fuchs 2005: 74; 124f.). The structural power of (three) rating agencies209 (as private business actors) vis-à-vis political decision makers and their (partly intransparent) role in post-Cold War times for instance during the Asia, world financial/economic, European/ U.S. state debt and recent Argentina and Turkey crises have become a prominent focus of scholarly research; (sovereign) ratings (according to the perceived credit-worthiness) usually influence the global flow of capital into/out of national economies, and affect trans-/international demand and interest rates at government bond auctions and thus the costs of state (re-)financing, if not state access to the capital markets at all210 (Hillebrand 2001: 150-153; 162-166). Accordingly, the structural (and discursive) power of coordination service firms and other transnational corporations that influence the transfer of capital/investment (and employment) within the globalizing world economy may often imply quasi-regulated political agendas and a limited range of viable fiscal, economic, social, environmental, and of course foreign policies (Fuchs 2005: 119f.; 124f.; Hillebrand 2001: 150f.; 165-167). Regarding the risks and usually negative effects of international crises and a governmental threat/application of military means on transnational economic flows, gains, relations, and regional business (investment) climates, it becomes apparent that escalating Sino-U.S. tensions in a (military) contingency for instance over Taiwan or North Korea would inter alia harm Sino-U.S. and regional trade, derogate the transnational flow of finance and productive capital/foreign (direct) investment to the PRC, and would hence substantially threaten China’s number one objective of economic development (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.). Accordingly, it remains clear that in a globalized economic system, political “[l]eaders who scare the capital markets [usually; J.V.] pay a high price” (Gartzke/Hewitt 2010: 124). Neoliberal analysis of the

209 Three dominant, U.S. based rating agencies – Standard & Poor's, Moody's, and Fitch – influence the vast majority of global financial flows (Fuchs 2005: 124; Hillebrand 2001: 150-152; 168). 210 The latter became particularly evident during the Euro crisis, which eventually made it necessary to establish the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to enable (re-)financing of debtor countries that had no more viable access to the capital markets.

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function and consequences of globalized financial markets in the postCold War era thus usually implies that (PRC and U.S.) political decision makers are well advised to mostly pursue economically oriented, cooperative foreign policies. Moreover, some strategic and organizational adaptations of (transnational) corporations to the increasingly complex, hypercompetitive globalized economic arena – such as the evolution of a transnational, post-Fordist network era shaped by business actors – may as well entail incentives for states (including superpowers) to rather pursue (economically based) international cooperation (Zahn/Foschiani 2002: 266f; 2000a: 89-93; Keohane/Nye 2000: 114; D’Aveni with Gunther 1994). By aligning intra- and interorganizational relations with the network principle, (transnational) corporations increasingly create hybrid organizational structures between hierarchy and the market that may be able to overcome classical strategic dilemmas between competition and cooperation (Brand 2002: 45; Zahn et al. 2006: 131f.; Zahn/Foschiani 2000b: 516-518; Horváth et al. 2004; Nalebuff/Brandenburger 1996). In a globalized economy, networks or strategic alliances among business actors may thereby offer competitive advantages and enable organizational learning and knowledge transfer, market access and a higher accumulation of capital, reduce transaction costs and individual risks, allow for a combination of complementary resources (while focusing on individual core competences), and facilitate the realization of economies of scale and scope (Möller 2004b: 18; Horváth et al. 2004: 32; Zahn/Foschiani 2000b: 496-503; 509f.; 514f.; 518-521). However, transnational business actors will dissolve and rearrange network structures elsewhere if (confrontational) state policies increase risks, regional tensions, and hamper established transnational economic relations/flows. Considering the increasing (inter- and intraorganizational) application of the network principle by transnational corporations (active in the United States and China), and the multitude of joint ventures, franchises, and sub-contracting between Chinese and U.S. business actors, the neoliberal logic elaborated above may to some extent quite affect also PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy making.

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Summing up, based predominantly on the analysis of economic aspects of globalization, and especially regarding developments in the fields of goods and services, money and finance, and business actors’ recent organizational and strategic adaptions, neoliberals and globalization scholars usually anticipate that growing transnational networks and transactions in an interdependent, globalizing world create an (economic) interest of transnational business actors and (thus) (foreign) policy makers in prospering transnational and rather low-strain, cooperative international ties (Zürn 2002: 239). As Moravcsik puts it, “[w]here (…) private trade and investment within complex and well-established transnational markets provide a less costly means of accumulating wealth [than war] and one that cannot be cost-effectively appropriated—as is most strikingly the case within modern multinational investment and production networks— the expansion of economic opportunities will have a pacific effect [on international relations; J.V.]” (Moravcsik 2008: 243f.; 1997: 530). Last but not least, examining (neoliberal) scholars’ different conceptualizations of globalization – namely as liberalization (the reduction of (statebased) regulatory barriers to the transborder flow of (commercial) goods, services, capital, and people within the world economy), as internationalization/transnationalization (the massive increase in transborder flows, interactions, relations, and (thus) in trans- and international interdependence), as universalization and westernization/modernization (the worldwide standardization of goods, services, and norms, and the so far dominant diffusion of mainly Western/American, “modern” social, philosophical/cultural, political and economic/technical values/norms, institutions and traditions), and finally as deterritorialization/supraterritoriality211 (the increasing detachment of social life from territorial logics) – ultimately reveals that it may be in particular the latter conceptual lens that renders

211 In the second edition of his monography on globalization, Scholte regrettably no longer applies the term deterritorialization, but speaks instead of “respatialization”, “transplanetary”, “transworld” and “supraterritorial” social connections (Scholte 2005: 3; 59; 84; 424f.). As the thesis though perceives the conceptual lens of “deterritorialization” as highly adequate and fertile to analytically capture relatively new, distinctive processes and conditions of the post-Cold War globalizing world, it continues to draw on Scholte’s first edition, here (Scholte 2000: 3; 16; 41-50).

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relatively new, distinctive processes and conditions of the post-Cold War globalizing world analytically accessible (Fuchs 2005: 25-28; Scholte 2000: 3; 16; 41-50; 2005: 15-17; 49-59; Fuchs/Gaugele 2010: 322f.). The deterritorialization lens thereby highlights a “space-time compression”, increasingly worldwide (social) networks and (real-time) interactions, and thus “a far-reaching change in the nature of social space” (Jäger 2005a: 14; 2005b: 17; Jäger/Beckmann 2011a: 221; 2011b: 28; Fuchs 2005: 2528; 38; Scholte 2000: 46; 48; 41-50; 2005: 59). Given the reduced “meaning of territory and borders (…) [as] one of the most significant traits of the globalizing world” (Fuchs 2005: 28), globalization processes that can be perceived as deterritorialization processes may in particular entail significant consequences for world politics (and Sino-U.S. relations). As control over social and economic space does no longer necessarily depend on (conquest and) control over territory, but is more and more tied to access to and influence on transborder networks, flows and (institutionalized) interactions212 (Fuchs 2005: 28), a PRC-ROC-U.S. military contingency in the Taiwan issue may for instance have lost most of its rationality. Considering the significant cross-Taiwan Strait economic networks and the flows of goods, services, capital/foreign (direct) investment, knowledge/technology, businessmen and tourists from Taiwan to the PRC (and vice versa) (see Chapter 2.1), neoliberals may argue that while the ROC has already become more dependent on the PRC without a massive Chinese application of military force, a PRC attack to conquer the island would just be highly self-damaging – even more so concerning the causes and effects within an increasingly globalized world economy as well as strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence: “In those parts of the world where globalization has gone furthest, governments face – and are to a considerable degree dependent on – powerful transplanetary [or at least transnational; J.V.] markets and communications networks whose operations would be greatly disrupted by

212 This may also be one aspect of a neoliberal explanation for China’s (post-Cold War) accession to a multitude of global and regional international institutions such as international networks, regimes and organizations. For a closer theoretical consideration of the significance of international institutions in international (and Sino-U.S.) relations, see Chapters 3.1.4 and 3.2.2.

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military adventures. (…) Military conflict between states of East Asia (…) and North America (…) seems unlikely in the foreseeable future” (Scholte 2005: 281f.). On the whole, one may say that neoliberals and especially globalization, interdependence, and capitalist peace scholars usually point to the overall significant structural incentives for peaceful, cooperative international behavior in the globalizing, increasingly deterritorialized post-Cold War world and the triad of the world economy in particular. Based on their most frequent substantive – namely economic – focus on globalization, these scholars perceive inter alia trans- and international economic interdependence and contributing/related variables as major driving forces behind international cooperation, most obviously so also regarding strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. economic interdependence213. The (political) interdependence effects revealed by interdependence analysis (see Chapter 3.1.1) can thus be perceived as even more significant under the post-Cold War conditions of a globalizing world. More generally, several neoliberal scholars thereby argue that globalization/deterritorialization processes may be more or less linked to all three (networked) elements of the “Kantian triangle” that seems to render peaceful international behavior more likely – economic interdependence, democracy214, and (mutual membership in) international institutions/orga-

213 As highlighted in the Chapters Two and 3.1.1, high trade to GDP ratios and volumes of (bilateral) trade, significant transnational capital/foreign (direct) investment flows, (export-based) economic growth and development, high contract-intensity, economic freedom, economic/financial (market) openness and embeddedness into the world economy have inter alia been (neoliberally) perceived to promote international (and Sino-U.S.) cooperation (Angell 1913; Gartzke/Hewitt 2010: 117; 138f.; Keohane 1984: 7f.; Keohane/Nye 1989: 10; 32; Russett/Oneal 2001: 125-155; Freedman 2010: 402; Goldstone 2007: 1; Weede 2010: 206-212; Overholt 2008: 226-228; Spindler 2002: 149; 2010: 98; 101; 116). Accordingly, Weede concludes that “optimism about SinoAmerican relations (…) [has been] based on some kind of capitalist peace” (Weede 2010: 209). 214 As has been elaborated, due to analytical/level of analysis reasons, second image variables such as “democracy” and hence the “institutional structure of domestic political representation” (Moravcsik 2008: 244) will though be left aside in the thesis.

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nizations : “[G]lobalization may be helpful in supporting (…) a diminished role for the armed forces (peace through trade), a liberalization of society brought about by the pressure to improve efficiency (peace through democracy) and the strengthening of international institutions as a political response (peace through international organization)” (Zürn 2002: 242; Russett/Oneal 2001: 10; 9; 35; 71). Most fundamentally, however, globalization has been perceived (by neoliberalism and neoclassical economics) as a fundamental background (process) that has substantially promoted the (politico-)economic rise of threshold countries like the PRC – and hence also the post-Cold War evolution of a Sino-U.S. structural frame marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way, as well as slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military power. Neoliberals have shown that besides idiosyncratic/domestic variables (such as post-Mao reform efforts in China), worldwide processes of liberalization, internationalization/transnationalization, universalization, westernization/modernization, and deterritorialization have significantly contributed to economic growth and development in many threshold countries and the PRC in particular; international reduction of regulatory barriers to trade and capital mobility, falling costs and a growing velocity of transborder communication and (goods) transport, implied transnational transfer of modern knowledge/technology, and the possibility to exploit international differences in production factor (labor) prices have for instance fostered both an increase in trans- and international (Sino-U.S.) (economic) interdependence and the ascent of China. Naturally, globalization processes and the evolution of the elaborated (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations have thereby quite entailed partly heightened international and bilateral competition and an enlarged realm of (potential) (politico-economic) issues and tensions; overall, most neoliberal scholars though remain convinced that especially due to strong trans- and international (Sino-U.S.) economic interdepend-

215 For the integration of regime theory and neoliberal institutionalism into the here developed neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations, see Chapter 3.1.4.

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ence, iterated, indefinite (and institutionalized) trans- and international interaction, and hence due to the pacifying effects of a globalized economy and a globalizing world, international (and Sino-U.S.) conflict escalation will in most cases be (structurally) averted. Put differently, international competition and frictions will stay common, but ultimately subordinate elements in a globalizing system marked by the overall (geoeconomic) imperative of international (economically based) cooperation. As the ascending PRC has thus become firmly integrated into the U.S.-promoted (politico-economic) globalization “game”, the (economically interdependent) U.S. hegemon may have no need to fall back on costly foreign policies of (military) coercion and (strategic) power politics: “If this is correct, China will increasingly become a responsible stakeholder in the existing global order. The country, then, does not need to be contained; globalization will take care of that” (Tay 2010: 142; Steinfeld 2010). According to neoliberals, in a globalizing world, even international (and Sino-U.S.) power shifts may thus usually evolve within overall stable, peaceful and cooperative interstate relations. In the following, it will prove fertile to integrate into the here developed eclectic neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations also approaches that deal specifically with the political side of globalization – and thus with global governance. 3.1.3 From Globalization to Global Governance Global governance can be defined as “multi-actor, multi-level political decision-making” within a globalizing world (Fuchs 2005: 41; 16; 19). Such conceptualizations of global governance show several parallels to complexity theory and approaches of complex, adaptive systems in particular: a large number of adaptive (collective) agents interact (across borders) at the various (sub-state, national, trans-, inter- and supranational) levels of (institutionalized and non-institutionalized) political decisionmaking across the globe (The Commission on Global Governance 1995: 2-4; Holland 2006: 1f.; Gell-Mann 1994). Formulated as an analogy to Ashby’s (cybernetic) law of requisite variety, it seems thereby likely that a highly complex, globalizing/deterritorializing post-Cold War world may in

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the end also necessitate a (more) complex (adaptive) global system of governance216 (Ashby 1957: 202-245); and just as current globalization accounts usually focus on distinctive, “new”, or a new extent of globalization/deterritorialization processes in the post-Cold War world, global governance approaches deal in particular with “new” forms and mechanisms of governance (instead of (world) government), and broaden the ontological realm by considering a variety of state and nonstate, subnational, national, transnational and supranational actors within the political arenas of international relations (Fuchs 2005: 41-45; 18f.; 23; 57). Early conceptualizations of global governance though partly seem to overemphasize (political) cooperation within a globalizing world. The Commission on Global Governance, for instance, defined “[g]overnance (…) [as] a continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and co-operative action may be taken” (The Commission on Global Governance 1995: 2). As such approaches perceive global governance rather as an a priori positive, technocratic and apolitical problem solving – and thus as a (multilaterally concerted) answer to globalization, they often neglect central political issues of power and control (among different actors/interests within global governance) and partly contain ontological biases and normative blind spots: “Focusing on participatory global rule-making, they forgot to ask questions about who rules, how, and in whose interest” (Fuchs 2005: 14; 45-60; 183; 2006: 129f.; Hewson/Sinclair 1999: 4). Accordingly, more recent approaches see global governance rather as a “consequence of globalization”, with the latter structurally affecting the capabilities and behavioral options of (political) actors (Fuchs 2005: 58f.; 24; 80f.). The current global governance debate thus deals prominently with (ongoing) shifts in power and political capacity that may especially benefit nonstate/private, sub-

216 Naturally, globalization and global governance have mutually affected each other. While a highly complex, globalizing post-Cold War world may ultimately also necessitate a (more) complex system of global governance, various globalization (and especially interdependence) processes have at the same time been enabled and stimulated by political (non-)decisions within global governance (Keohane/Nye 2002: 113; Spindler 2010: 121-123).

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and suprastate actors, rendering for instance the realm of transnational private governance increasingly relevant217 (Fuchs 2005: 13; 19; 24; 4152; 58-61; 80-82; 183; Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008; Strange 1996). Given the potentially enhanced resources and (political) influence of the more than 60,000 transnational corporations (TNCs), 20,000 (transnational) nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and 3,000 intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) in today’s globalizing world, the changing role or even “retreat” (Strange 1996) of the (“competition”) state in postCold War global governance has been a major neoliberal research issue (Fuchs 2005: 14; 172; 176; 164-170; Messner 2002: 23; Cerny 2000; Spindler 2010: 123f.). If Messner is thereby right that “the epoch of the nation-state (…) [is; J.V.] being supplanted by the epoch of globalism” (Messner 2002: 22; 37) – where the externality effects of globalization/ deterritorialization limit national autonomy, render unilateral state action increasingly ineffective218, and state actors less powerful (vis-à-vis nonstate actors) – then multilaterally coordinated (foreign) policies and (economically based) international cooperation may increasingly be dominant behavioral strategies of state agents in global governance to adapt to (and partly compensate) these developments (Cooper 1968: 4f.; Schirm 2003: 11; 16; 2001: 210-214; Fuchs 2005: 164-170). Furthermore, as pluralist and republican liberalist scholars may argue, due to the high number and range of (private and public) (group) actors with access to and (potential) influence on policy making within global governance, it may have become less likely that costly/risky (PRC/U.S.) foreign policies with

217 Transnational private governance, defined as (functional) (institutionalized) “transborder governance arrangements” that significantly involve private agents, has thus become a major focus of scholarly analysis within the broader frame of global governance studies (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 71f.). 218 Issues of the effectiveness of national policy making within a globalizing, interdependent world affect also central questions of democratic theory. As the nature of political community, the idea of (national) self-determination, and hence the authority/ legitimacy of the nation state may be (partly) challenged in a globalizing world with “overlapping communities of fate”, the debate about postnational democracy (concepts) has been an influential, though controversial, contribution to scholarly research on (future) global governance and government (Held 2003: 523-527; 1999; Cerny 2000: 117f.; Zürn 2002: 240; Wendt 2003).

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overall negative (regional/global) economic implications such as the application of military force (or illiberal commercial policies) may be pursued (Moravcsik 2008: 244f.; 1997: 517; 530-533; Schieder 2010: 189f.; 200f.). Dealing in the following with a major research focus of neoliberals and global governance scholars in particular, the thesis will take a closer neoliberal look at agent power and potentially pacifying effects on state (foreign) policies and (Sino-U.S.) relations within (post-Cold War) “multi-actor, multi-level political decision-making” in a globalizing world219 (Fuchs 2005: 41; 13f.; 16; 19). Firstly, global governance accounts have prominently analyzed the political role and influence of civil society, most notably of the various (transnational) (networked) NGOs involved in the complex (post-Cold War) system of global governance (Fuchs 2005: 171176). As has become evident, NGOs continue to wield significant instrumental power; besides, via (co-)designing of labels/codes of conduct, and thus via public-private (state-civil society(-business)) and private-private (civil society-business) partnerships, they have gained also active rulesetting (and hence structural) power; most obviously, though, NGOs have in the post-Cold War era recorded a strong increase in political authority/ legitimacy, and thus in discursive power (Fuchs 2005: 171-176; 181). Their capacity to transnationally frame actors and issues, and to monitor, name and shame agents in a globalizing world has often been scholarly linked to (potential) NGO influence on states for instance to refrain from (further) human rights violations or the pursuit of aggressive power politics. Secondly, global governance approaches usually stress today’s often substantial (authoritative) decision-making capacity of supranational and intergovernmental organizations such as the EU, the United Nations, the WTO, the IMF or the World Bank (Fuchs 1005: 176-182). According to neoliberals and global governance scholars, IGOs’ significant (postCold War) gains in structural (agenda- and rule-setting) as well as discursive power (vis-à-vis states) may thereby imply stronger support within global governance for (stable, institutionalized) international cooperation

219 As in Chapter 3.1.2, the main focus will still be on the politico-economic sphere, and thus predominantly on the power of business actors in global governance.

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across a wide range of (linked) high and low politics issues 1005: 176-182; Keohane/Nye 2000: 115).

220

(Fuchs

Last but not least, however, global governance scholars’ strongest argument that states may overall be increasingly influenced within global “multi-actor, multi-level political decision-making” to pursue economically conscious, cooperative foreign policies relies on the fact that “business, in particular TNCs, (…) [have been, J.V.] among the primary beneficiaries of globalization” (Fuchs 2005: 61; 14; 16; 19; 21; 41; 183; Drache 2001: 6). While “none of the non-business actors appear to find a simultaneous expansion in the various dimensions of their political power” (Fuchs 2005: 182), business actors have been able (in the post-Cold War era) to broadly raise their political leverage towards the state, IGOs, and civil society (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 71f.; Fuchs 2005: 183-193). First of all, business has acquired substantial instrumental power; via party and campaign finance, corporate/direct CEO, informal club and business roundtable, association and specialized (law/public relations) firm lobbying, corporate actors can develop significant influence on policy outputs (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 72f.; Berry/Wilcox 2009: 101-190; Fuchs 2005: 93-117). That business for instance already outspent other interest groups 14 to 16 times in the U.S. election cycle in 2000 underlines its usually superior financial, organizational, and human resources at least vis-à-vis other nonstate actors in global governance (United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2002: 5; 68; Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 72f.; Fuchs 2005: 95). Moreover, the (lobbying) maxim to “get into politics or get out of business” has increasingly been followed by TNCs not only on the (sub-)national level, but also on the intergovernmental/ supranational level inter alia at the UN, the EU, the WTO, the IMF or the World Bank (Berry, cit. in Fuchs 2005: 96; Fuchs 2005: 96-117).

220 For a closer analysis of neoinstitutionalist and regime theoretic argumentation on the role of international institutions/IGOs concerning (stable) international (Sino-U.S.) cooperation, see Chapter 3.1.4.

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Furthermore, the structural power of business has grown as well in the globalizing/deterritorializing post-Cold War world. Concerning the input side of politics and policies, business’ structural power may on the one hand (passively) influence the agendas and policy choices of political decision makers (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 73; 76; Fuchs 2005: 20; 80-82; 119-144). As already indicated, the agenda-setting power of corporate actors may have significantly advanced in the post-Cold War era due to heightened international economic competition (between a larger number of intensely participating national economies), the potentially costly “exit-options” of (finance) capital and jobs, and corporations’ organizational and strategic adaptations towards more flexibility and adjustable (transnational) intra- and interorganizational network structures in the globalized world economy (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 76; Fuchs 2005: 122; Zahn/Foschiani 2002; 2000a; 2000b; Zahn et al. 2006; Horváth et al. 2004; Möller 2004b). Additionally, one may not forget the structural (agenda-setting) power of coordination service firms; by influencing capital market actors’ perceptions concerning the politico-economic/credit standing and (economic/foreign) policies of states, quasi-regulation by these corporate actors may in particular promote economically orientated state policies that seek to foster growth and avoid international/regional crises (see Chapter 3.1.2; Fuchs 2005: 124f.). What is more, access to (transnational) (sector) networks/associations and control over often superior technological, economic and organizational (knowledge) resources have on the other hand also provided business actors with direct rule-setting power (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 73f.; 81; Fuchs 2005: 82). Especially TNCs have thereby become able to actively (co-)influence the scope of legitimate behavior in a globalizing world (economy), most notably via self-regulation/codes of conduct (concerning for instance the ISO 14000/ 14001 environmental management or SA 8000 social accountability standard) and via involvement in public-private or private-private partnerships (such as the UN Global Compact or the Forest Stewardship Council) (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 72-77; 81; Fuchs 2006: 138-147; Fuchs 2005: 126-144; 2006: 138-141).

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Finally, global governance scholars’ analysis of the discursive power of business (in the post-Cold War era) has revealed a significant ability of business actors to shape wants, perceptions, norms, ideas and interests in public (political) communication/opinion and global “multi-actor, multilevel political decision-making” (Fuchs 2005: 16; 19; 41; 83-86; 145-161; Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 73; 79). As the discursive power of business in global governance thereby depends on authority and legitimacy as a political actor, the latter may be strengthened as a return on investment into media campaigns/public relations efforts, business think tanks, and (pro bono) social and environmental (charity) projects, partly in cooperation with civil society, IGOs and state actors (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 73f.; 77-83; Fuchs 2005: 85f.; 153). Respectively, business has sought to strengthen or reconstruct (neoliberal) images of itself as a major provider of (public) goods, socio-economic benefits and technological solutions concerning inter alia welfare/economic development, research/ human progress, efficient problem-solving and resources management, as well as transnational environmental goods, social engagement, employment, mobility, energy, et cetera (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 78; Fuchs 2005: 48; 138). In addition, corporate actors have also striven to frame political issues in accordance with neoliberal norms – and themselves as “politico-economic experts”, “good corporate citizens”, and hence as agents with substantial political (output-)legitimacy and the potentially better regulators vis-à-vis states, IGOs and NGOs (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 77-83; 73f.; Fuchs 2005: 85f.; 145-161; 2006: 142; 147). Based on this political authority/legitimacy and its resources and networks in the globalizing world, business agents and especially TNCs have thus been able to (partly) extend their discursive power and raise a powerful political voice within post-Cold War global governance221.

221 Nevertheless, one has to note that the (neoliberal) notion of business as a legitimate (self-)regulator and political actor has since the world financial and economic crisis in 2007-2009 to some extent lost public (civil society, media, and state) support. Accordingly, it remains clear that the political authority/legitimacy, and hence the discursive power of business is naturally not uncontested within global governance (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 77-82; Fuchs 2005: 85f.; 145-161).

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On the whole, neoliberal analysis of agent power and potentially pacifying effects on state (foreign) policies and (Sino-U.S.) relations within (postCold War) “multi-actor, multi-level political decision-making” in a globalizing world has revealed an increasing political leverage of NGOs, IGOs, and most notably of business vis-à-vis the state; especially corporate actors have thus gained an advanced capacity to influence political outputs, inputs, and public perception of issues and agents, especially concerning (the interdependent dimensions of) multi-level lobbying, agenda-, rule-setting and discursive power (Fuchs 2005: 41; 16; 19, 186-189; Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 71f.; 77; 80-82). More specifically, neoliberals and global governance scholars have found “an increase in the relative political power of TNCs vis-à-vis the state and civil society, and (…) vis-à-vis small- and medium-sized firms” (Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 71; 81f.). Given the elaborated interest of the majority of transnational corporations and business actors in peaceful and cooperative international relations that do (at least) not harm so far profitable transnational transand interactions in a highly interdependent, globalizing world (economy), business may hence usually apply its significant instrumental, structural and discursive power (vis-à-vis state agents) in global governance to ensure or foster a stable trans- and international environment. Especially in times of international (Sino-U.S.) frictions and crises (that may partly also arise from a post-Cold War Sino-U.S. structural frame marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military power), business actors may thus mostly influence (PRC and U.S.) (foreign) policy makers to prevent any escalation of tensions and maintain so far profitable post-Cold War (bilateral) frame conditions. Based on the dominant interests and broad political leverage of business (and other nonstate) actors in global governance, and regarding China and the United States as the two largest (strongly interdependent) national economies/markets in the globalizing world, the anticipation of PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policies that carefully consider potential (global/regional) politico-economic consequences and hence focus overall on economically based cooperation (in

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the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue) is thus at the heart of a neoliberal and global governance perspective on post-Cold War Sino-U.S. ties. Finally, having inter alia considered neoliberal arguments from interdependence analysis, globalization, capitalist peace, commercial/republican liberalist, and global governance approaches so far, game theory, regime theory and neoliberal institutionalism may in the following complete the here developed neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations. 3.1.4 Cooperation in a Globalizing World Neoliberal institutionalism and regime theory222 represent a matured theoretical body that deals (among other things) fundamentally with the “evolution of cooperation” (Axelrod 1984; Milner 2009: 21). Rather than relying on idealist premises, it shows (based on quite gloomy axioms) that cooperation may under most conditions be (individually and collectively) beneficial, and is hence likely to emerge even in a (competitive) anarchic international system (Keohane 1984: 64; Zangl 2010: 144; Sterling-Folker 2013: 115f.). Regarding the basal assumptions of the neoliberal institutionalist/regime theoretic system of thought, it applies, as neorealism, a systemic (third image) perspective on world politics that conceptualized states predominantly as black boxes/unitary agents that represent the principal actors223 within international anarchy224; while states pursue their self-interests rationally (in terms of cost-benefit calculations), they yet do so against a complex international (relational) back-

222 Since regime theory can be considered as a major line of thought within the broader frame of neoliberal institutionalism, the thesis will primarily use the latter term while referring to the former as well; both theories evolved since the late 1970s/1980s as a critique of neorealism, and have strongly influenced International Relations, International Political Economy, and most obviously scholarly debate on (institutionalized) (international) cooperation (Breitmeier et al. 2006: 1; Zangl 2010: 131-134; Spindler 2002: 143). 223 Some neoliberal institutionalist approaches though attribute a more or less independent actor role also to supranational/international organizations, and increasingly also to (other) non-state actors. 224 For an elaboration of (basal) neorealist assumptions and the concepts of international anarchy and relative versus absolute gains, see Chapter 3.2.

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ground of potential actions, reactions and outcomes (Keohane 1993: 271277; 1984: 25-30; 67, 83f.; Waltz 1979: 93-99; Mearsheimer 2013: 78; Zürn 2002: 248; Goldstein 2007: 645f.; Sterling-Folker 2013: 115f.; Zangl 2010: 131). Egoistic states are thus “concerned with the behavior of others (…) insofar as that behavior can affect the egoist’s utility” (Krasner 1983: 11). Unlike neorealists, who point to significant obstacles to (long-term) cooperation between (potentially “cheating”) states that pursue relative (security/power) gains within international zero-sum games, neoliberal institutionalists assume for most conditions a positive-sum environment – and hence consider (egoistic) maximization of absolute (plenty/economic) gains225 as the dominant state goal within international anarchy (Grieco 1993: 118-132; Keohane 1993: 274-288; 1984: 22-30). Since “[s]tates [thereby; J.V.] evaluate intentions as well as capabilities” (Keohane 1993: 276), absolute gain seeking may especially prevail in contexts where it seems unlikely that individual gains may (soon) be used against (former) cooperation partners, and hence under international conditions marked by a certain degree of trust and mutual/shared interests among states, as well as within issue areas where the same (limited number of) interdependent players repeatedly interact (Keohane 1993: 275-288). Bi- and multilateral, (institutionalized) cooperative regulation or resolution of interstate conflicts – not to say (relatively stable) international cooperation – may thus frequently evolve based on the general state objective to maximize absolute (individual) utility, as well as due to reciprocal interests among states within the globalizing, interdependent (post-Cold War) trans- and international system and their rational intention to manage their various interdependencies profitably (Keohane 1984: 6, 78f.; 1993: 274f.; Spindler 2002: 149; 153).

225 As already indicated, so perceived, it may clearly be in the U.S. interest to further support the economic ascent of (an institutionally embedded) China, for a greater Chinese and world economy implies also rising opportunities for U.S. absolute (plenty/ economic) (cooperation) gains (Glaser 2005: 31; 35). These “mutual gains from an expanding economic relationship will (…) [thus remain an; J.V.] important peace- [and cooperation-; J.V.] inducing force at work in U.S.-China relations” (Friedberg 2005: 43).

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Linkages of neoliberal institutionalism and regime theory (inter alia) with interdependence analysis, globalization and global governance approaches become thereby apparent. Neoliberal institutionalists for instance usually assume (as well) that rising trans- and international interdependence (in the globalizing, post-Cold War world) increases both the need for international policy coordination and to a certain extent shared/ mutual interests among states across many issue areas – and (hence) heightens the potential (individual and collective) gains that can be realized via stable international cooperation: “[T]here are times when rational self-interested calculation leads actors to abandon independent decision making in favor of joint decision making. This formulation presumes the existence of interde-pendence—that an actor’s returns are a function of others’ choices as well as its own” (Stein 1983: 132; Sterling-Folker 2013: 117f.; Keohane 1984: 78-80; Zangl 2010: 142). Accordingly, these scholars also argue that globalization/deterritorialization processes have provided major incentives for an increase in the number, scope and relevance of international institutions within global “multi-actor, multi-level political decision-making” (Fuchs 2005: 41; 16; 19; Zürn 2002: 246f.; 241; Keohane 1984: 8; Sterling-Folker 2013: 114). While recent neoliberal institutionalist and regime theoretic approaches thus usually share the understanding that the globalizing/deterritorializing, interdependent and highly complex post-Cold War world may partly alter the context of international interaction and render cooperation more likely, they nevertheless continue to emphasize (and sophistically elaborate) that the evolution and persistence of stable international cooperation may thereby overall still depend on some key (fundamental) circumstances/variables (Keohane 1984: 12f.). The basic research focus of neoliberal institutionalism and regime theory has thus remained as important today as in the 1980s: “Under what conditions will cooperation emerge in a world of egoists without central authority?” (Axelrod 1984: 3). Neoliberal institutionalism in the narrow sense thereby ascribes cooperation enhancing and pacifying effects most notably to international institu-

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226

tions, arguing that (inter alia) international organizations, regimes , and networks can provide structural conditions that enable “states to overcome a variety of collective action impediments” (Sterling-Folker 2013: 114; Keohane 1984: 12f., 57-64; 78-107; Krasner 1983: 2; Spindler 2002: 153). Accordingly, the theory copes in particular with “the effects of international institutions and practices on [individually and collectively gainful; J.V.] state behavior”, and (hence) with multilateral policy coordination and the interests and rational action strategies of states within institutionalized settings (Keohane 1984: 26; 1993: 275-288; Zangl 2010: 131-144). As “intervening variables” on the causal path from the international distribution of capabilities to (inter-)state behavior and policy outcomes, international institutions such as international organizations, regimes, and networks may thereby be decisive catalysts for the evolution and persistence of relatively stable international cooperation; more specifically, these institutions may provide various benefits for states such as defining international cooperation and providing information and structures for iterated interaction/reciprocity, reducing transaction costs and uncertainty, enhancing the reliability of expectations, and facilitating the assurance of compliance via monitoring, control and sanctions mechanisms; respective-ly, they may inter alia help to reduce state concerns of cheating by others, enhance international trust, and decrease state discount rates on future (absolute) gains – all in all mitigating to some extent the security dilemma227 in international anarchy and providing substantial incentives for the evolution of (long-term) international cooperation (Keohane 1984: 64; 78-107; 1993: 274f.; 288; 2002: 3; Keohane/Nye 1985b: 152-154; Keohane/Martin 1995: 45f.; Stone 2009: 44; Milner 2009: 7-9; Axelrod 1984; Moravcsik 2009: 253f.; Spindler 2002: 151-153; 2010: 117; Zangl 2010: 138-141).

226 International regimes may be defined as “sets of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actors’ expectations converge in a given area of international relations” (Krasner 1983: 2; Keohane 1984: 56-64). Unlike international organizations, international regimes are (thus) usually limited to specific issue-areas and do not have the capabilities to shape trans- and international outcomes as an independent actor (Keohane 1984: 61-64; Zangl 2010: 133). 227 For an elaboration of the security dilemma concept, see Chapter 3.2.

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Neoliberals and neoliberal institutionalists in particular thus usually emphasize that beyond international (economic) interdependence and national democratic structures, it may be common membership and involvement of states in international (intergovernmental) organizations, regimes and networks that seem to significantly promote peaceful and cooperative international relations: “[T]he more international organizations to which two states belong together, the less likely they will be to fight one another or even to threaten the use of military force” (Russett/Oneal 2001: 37; 157-196; 212). Considering that U.S. and PRC common membership and involvement in international institutions (and Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence) have substantially increased since 1991, the neoliberal (institutionalist) argumentation elaborated above gives thus rise to optimism concerning (peaceful and overall cooperative) post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations. Indeed, the United States and the PRC have in the post-Cold War era been both highly active in globally oriented international institutions such as the United Nations (especially as permanent members/veto powers in the UNSC), the WTO (since 2001)228, the IMF, the World Bank, the G-20 (since 1999/2008), and the nuclear non-proliferation regime (since 1992)229, in regional international institutions such as the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) (since 1991), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) (since 1994), and the East Asia Summit (EAS) (since 2011), and at bi- and multilateral communication platforms such as the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (since 2009) and the Shangri-La Dialogue (since 2002/2007) (The White House 2012; Clinton 2011: 59; 61; Kissinger 2012; 2011: 497; IISS 2014b; Rode 2010: 431; 438; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 17f.; 34-43; 135). Accordingly, neoliberal institutionalists may derive the expectation that “the growth of international institutions in Asia and the expansion of both U.S. and Chinese participation in them are drawing the United States and the PRC into a thickening web

228 The dates in brackets here indicate the first year of common PRC and U.S. membership in the respective international institution if this common membership was reached at/after the end of the Cold War. 229 The PRC acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in March 1992, and had become a state party to the IAEA in 1984 (United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs 2016; Kan 2015: 1; Gellman 1998b; IAEA 2016; IISS 1992: 139).

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of ties that (…) will promote contact, communication (…), greater mutual understanding and (…) trust” (Friedberg 2005: 14). Moreover, the development towards a more institutionalized international system in general, with dense, rule-based multilateral interaction in today’s more than 3,000 IGOs may have overall substantially affected (super-/great power) foreign policy behavior in the post-Cold War era (Fuchs 2005: 176f.; Messner 2002: 23; 26f.; Ikenberry 2011b: 56). In other words, by providing major incentives for stable bi- and multilateral cooperation and (partly) structurally constraining behavior, the thick network of international institutions in the globalizing, interdependent world may have significantly influenced post-Cold War interstate ties, including the relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States: “Institutions matter both for the rising great power and the leading state. (…) the more institutionalized and encompassing the existing order is, the more difficult it is for a newly rising state to overturn it—and the more likely it will pursue an accommodative strategy” (Ikenberry 2008: 92; 2011a: 175; 2011b: 60-62; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 26-40; Keohane 1993: 273; Spindler 2002: 143; 153). The predominantly U.S.-shaped and -guarded, deeply rooted, densely institutionalized international and world economic system may thus foster stable Sino-U.S. (economically based) cooperation insofar as a rationally acting, absolute (plenty) gain seeking PRC may choose to rise and engage within – rather than overthrow – the global structural (institutional) framework that has so beneficially (co-)enabled its politico-economic ascent: since “[p]articipants (…) gain trading opportunities, dispute-resolution mechanisms, frameworks for collective action, regulatory agreements (…) and resources in times of crisis (…) rising states will embrace the (…) [established; J.V.] international order” (Ikenberry 2011b: 61f.; 57-60; 2011a: 175f.; Goldstein 2007: 648-652; Friedberg 2005: 13f.; Fravel 2010: 506; Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.). Encouraged by the United States, the China may thus realize that accommodative behavior towards the U.S. hegemon and within the global and regional (institutionalized) system may most effectively advance its own (egoistic) absolute (plenty) gain objectives (Goldstein 2007: 651). Summing up, neoliberal institutionalists may argue that

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as long as complex Sino-U.S. relations remain embedded into a densely institutionalized international (and regional) system, inevitable strains evoked (next to the pacifying effects) by a Sino-U.S. structural frame of strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interde-pendence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power can be mitigated via (iterated) rule-based, cooperative bargaining (mechanisms) – instead of building up towards “the sort of tragic great power rivalry” that emerged in similar historical constellations when such a densely institutionalized international system had been missing (Goldstein 2007: 641; 646). Most notably, however, the here developed neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations builds pivotally on neoliberal institutionalism in the wider sense, which copes more generally with the fundamental circumstances and chances for (stable) (international) cooperation230 (Axelrod 1984; Keohane 1984; Spindler 2002: 144f.). Neoliberal institutionalists have thereby strongly profited from the sophistication of game theory231 and the “archetypal” constellation of the prisoner’s dilemma232 in

230 Since the here (re-)constructed neoliberal perspective is to ultimately enable the deduction of four distinctive hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue, neoliberal institutionalism in the wider sense may especially provide crucial theoretical insights as interaction in these two regional settings has (apart from UNSC/IAEA involvement and to some extent the Six-Party Talks) been only limitedly institutionalized. This seems obvious in the Taiwan issue, where (Sino-U.S.) foreign policy interaction has only limitedly taken place in institutionalized (bargaining) channels of international organizations, regimes or networks. Furthermore, as has been elaborated, the SixParty Talks embodied at best a pre-/quasi-institutionalized diplomatic platform that nevertheless provided already some (pre-/quasi-institutional) benefits that may promote stable interstate cooperation; inter alia, they provided a structure for the iterated interaction among the same (limited number of) (interdependent) players, helped to reduce transaction costs (inter alia due to mainly one venue (Beijing)), and improved the distribution/flow of information. Neoliberal institutionalists would thus expect a proceeding institutionalization of the 6PT towards an international regime or in the long term even a regional security organization that might be connected to the broader network of regional and global international institutions; such anticipations and hopes have though not (yet) come true (Goldstein 2007: 641; Fukuyama 2005: 75f.; 87; Overholt 2008: 303; 240). 231 As a theory of social interaction and a branch of applied mathematics, game theory evolved out of the tactical analyses during World War II (Nalebuff/Brandenburger 1996:

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particular (Keohane 1984: 67-84; Milner 2009: 21; Zangl 2010: 135-138). This standard two-player game is marked by simultaneous interdependence, where each player has to independently make a decision that takes the potential choices of the other into account (Ullrich 2004: 11; Kunz 2004: 53). Thereby, “the game allows the players to achieve mutual gains from cooperation, but it also allows for the possibility that one player will exploit the other, or the possibility that neither will cooperate” (Axelrod 1984: vii). At first view, the classical, static prisoner’s dilemma seems to reflect the anarchic international system with rational, interdependent state actors that neoliberal institutionalists presume quite adequately (Keohane 1984: 67-69; Axelrod 1984: 27; Zangl 2010: 135-137). The game’s solution, or Nash equilibrium, though highlights a fundamental obstacle to (international) cooperation and leads to a rather disillusioning picture of world politics. If played only once, non-cooperation evolves as the dominant strategy of each rational (utility-maximizing) (state) actor233, despite Pareto suboptimal/inferior collective results: “[W]hat is best for each (…) [player; J.V.] individually leads to mutual defection [non-cooperation; J.V.], whereas everyone would have been better off with mutual cooperation” (Axelrod 1984: 9; Keohane 1984: 67-70; Kunz 2004: 56f.). The solution of the classical, static prisoner’s dilemma and its interpretation concerning a rather non-cooperative international (anarchic) system thus shows an incongruity between individual and collective rationality – a classical discrepancy in many (collective) action contexts that has been

17f.). It deals with complex decision-making under uncertainty, more specifically with so-called games that involve multiple, interdependent deciders (players). Game theory (and the recent stream of behavioral game theory) have proven to be of tremendous relevance inter alia for the social and economic sciences. Accordingly, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was given to the game theorists John Harsanyi, John Nash and Reinhard Selten in 1994, to Robert Aumann and Thomas Schelling in 2005, and to Elinor Ostrom in 2008 (Nobelprize.org 2017; Ostrom 2008). 232 Since the prisoner’s dilemma is game theory’s most well-known game, it will not be explicitly elaborated here. For a more detailed consideration, see for instance Holler/ Illing (2005) or Kunz (2004). 233 This may be even the case if the game is iterated a limited, predetermined number of times (Axelrod 1984: 10f.). The latter argumentation has though recently been challenged not only by behavioral game theorists (Hardin 1982: 145-150; Holler/Illing 2005: 159-165, Lohmann 2000: 274; Ullrich 2004: 82-110; 149).

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most prominently analyzed in (evolutionary) economics (Olson 1965; Hardin 1982; Ostrom 2008; Snidal 1994: 63). Consequently, neoliberal institutionalists may quite admit that at first sight, and hence based on the (international anarchy) premises of neoliberal institutionalism and the Nash equilibrium of the classical, static prisoner’s dilemma, chances for the evolution of stable (Sino-U.S.) cooperation seem rather limited – even in a globalizing/deterritorializing (post-Cold War) world with (economically) interdependent nations and some common/complementary state interests. Ultimately, these scholars though still anticipate a usually high probability for relatively stable international cooperation (in the globalizing/deterritorializing, interdependent post-Cold War world) since they actually perceive most international action contexts to be indeed iterated prisoner’s dilemmas, where the effects of recurrent, indefinite interaction of the same players and thus the shadow of the future become crucial: “What makes it possible for cooperation to emerge is the fact that the players might meet again. This possibility means that the choices made today (…) can also influence the later choices of the partners. The future can therefore cast a shadow back upon the present and thereby affect the current strategic situation” (Axelrod 1984: 12; 10f.; 123-129; 152; 170-176; Hardin 1982: 5; 13; 145-151; 170; 186; Keohane 1984: 75-78; Goldstein 2007: 663; Topp 2002: 71f.; 137; Rittberger/Zangl 2006: 214). Since interdependent states in a globalizing/deterritorializing (post-Cold War) world can usually expect to recurrently and indefinitely interact with each other in the future, the prisoner’s dilemma is usually played repeatedly and indefinitely in world politics234, with the consequence that chances for relatively stable international cooperation (under anarchy) may significantly increase (Axelrod 1984: 10-12; Keohane 1984: 75f.; Hardin 1982: 5; 13; 145-151; 170; 186; Sterling-Folker 2013: 120). By adjusting the classical, static prisoner’s

234 Keohane also highlights that “[n]egotiations on [for example; J.V.] international monetary arrangements, trade, and energy take place continuously and are expected to continue indefinitely into the future. Furthermore, the fact that many closely related negotiations take place simultaneously increases the ‘multiple-play’ rather than ‘singleplay’ character of the game” (Keohane 1984: 76).

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dilemma to (post-Cold War) international contexts that are mostly characterized by an open time horizon with recurrent, indefinite interaction of the same (limited number of interdependent) players, a new game, the iterated (or multiple-play) prisoner’s dilemma, appears that, according to neoliberal institutionalists and neoliberals in general, reflects “most realistic settings” and world politics in particular more accurately235 (Axelrod 1984: 10f.; Keohane 1984: 75f.; Fearon 1998: 269f.). Consequently, neoliberal institutionalist argumentation on the crucial effects of iterated, indefinite interaction in (post-Cold War) international and (highly interdependent) Sino-U.S. relations provides a strong theoretical basis for the deduction of overall rather cooperative interstate as well as PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior. Relatively stable international cooperation may thus arise out of the conditional, robust action strategies of egoistic, interdependent states if these share at least some common/complementary interests, a basic level of mutual trust (that their partners will not go to war or use resulting gains against them), and if these actors place sufficient value and (thus) low discount rates on future (rather than short-term) (absolute) cooperation gains: “[T]he ‘shadow of the future’ [has to; J.V.] be long enough—the states have to care sufficiently about future payoffs and expect that future interactions are likely enough for the threat of retaliation to deter cheating” (Fearon 1998: 270; 285; 296; Milner 2009: 9; Keohane 1984: 75f.; Axelrod/Keohane 1985: 232f.; Stone 2009: 44). Regarding superpower ties, neoliberal institutionalists may thus argue that as long as the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations (that has been marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in mili-

235 In fact, the iterated prisoner’s dilemma has become a social psychological standard model that has been applied to analyze not only trans- and international relations (phenomena), but also a large variety of other research topics. It has for instance been used as the conceptual foundation and/or experimental test bed for analyzing Puccini’s opera Tosca, westernization effects in developing countries, oligopolistic (market) competition, U.S.-Soviet arms races in the Cold War era, and numerous other collective action problems; “[t]he iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma has [thus; J.V.] become the E. coli [Escherichia coli; J.V.] of social psychology” (Axelrod 1984: 28f.; Mérö 2004: 55).

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tary power) correlates with significant shared/mutual interests and does not elicit too many frictions so that bilateral relations can rely upon a certain extent of trust and sufficient valuation of future payoffs, the anticipation of prospective (absolute) cooperation gains and recurrent, indefinite, and dense Sino-U.S. interaction in various issue areas will – in the sense of an iterated prisoner’s dilemma – substantially promote relatively stable Sino-U.S. cooperation. Based on the neoliberal edifice of rational (egoistic), (absolute) gain seeking, interdependent, repeatedly and indefinitely interacting state actors in a globalizing/deterritorializing (post-Cold War) world, and given a usually multiple-play prisoner’s dilemma in international relations, it becomes evident that defection remains under these premises mostly an irrational – and hence unlikely – behavior, since it harms a player’s reputation and reduces his chances to get a significant share of future international cooperation yields: “[D]efection is in the long run unrewarding, since the short-run gains thereby obtained will normally be outweighed by the mutual punishment that will ensue over the long run” (Keohane 1984: 75; 76-84). As the other players (states) can (threaten to) retaliate against defection in the following rounds of the (international) game (via sanctions or defection by themselves), contingent strategies become applicable that ultimately enable the (decentralized) evolution of cooperation (Holler/Illing 2005: 135f.; Kunz 2004: 57; Ullrich 2004: 210; Zangl 2010: 137f.). At this point, the empirically quite successful, and collectively stable (generic) strategy of tit for tat comes into view: “A player following this strategy begins by cooperating, then does whatever her opponent did on the last move, retaliating for defection and reciprocating for acts of cooperation” (Keohane 1984: 76; Axelrod 1984: viii; 13, 20; 27-209). Surprisingly, this simple mode of behavior seems under many conditions to enable relatively stable cooperation among egoists without central authority236 (Axelrod 1984: 31; viii-209).

236 Indeed, tit for tat seems to be a prevalent action strategy behind a large variety of (empirically observable) cooperative behavior, with apparently even sticklebacks cooperating on that basis (Mérö 2004: 65f.; Axelrod 1984: 31).

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Given the usually multiple-play prisoner’s dilemma in international politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular, conditional (tit-for-tat) (and respective issue linkage) strategies hence further contribute to neoliberal (institutionalist) optimism concerning overall rather cooperative post-Cold War (PRC and U.S.) (relational) foreign policy behavior (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue): “[I]f states interact repeatedly on a particular issue—which they typically do—cooperation in Prisoners’ Dilemma–like situations might be sustained by mechanisms of conditional retaliation such as Tit-for-Tat” (Fearon 1998: 270). Moreover, regarding the elaborated (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations, one may even assume an “enlarged shadow of the future” of very frequent/ recurrent, indefinite and momentous interaction between two strongly interdependent (superpower) players – which may render relatively stable cooperation even more likely (Axelrod 1984: 124-132; Fearon 1998: 270f.; 285f.; 294-298; Keohane 1984: 65-84; Kunz 2004: 57). Last but not least, neoliberal institutionalists may also add that although post-Cold War PRC and U.S. interaction in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue has only partly taken place in institutionalized (bargaining) channels of international organizations, regimes or networks, the bilateral shadow of the future may overall have still become significantly larger in the postCold War era due to increasing U.S. and PRC common membership and involvement in (globally and regionally oriented) international institutions (Fearon 1998: 270). Summing up, if one perceives international politics in the wider neoliberal institutionalist sense mostly as “super-/iterated games” marked by recurrent, indefinite interaction among the same (limited number of) interdependent (rational) state actors that strive for (future) absolute (plenty) gains, then the power of iteration and (thus) the shadow of the future seem to render the evolution of relatively stable international cooperation highly likely: “Among sophisticated players, cooperation in iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma [may even; J.V.] be the norm” (Hardin 1982: 146; Axelrod/Keohane 1985: 232; Keohane 1984: 75-78). As other states are able to punish non-cooperative behavior in the future, (individually anticipated) mid- to long-term gains from cooperation may in many international

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(action) contexts outweigh potential short-term gains from defection (Ullrich 2004: 130; 143-150; Holler/Illing 2005: 22; 137). Accordingly, contingent/tit-for-tat (and respective issue linkage) strategies, and thus reciprocity based on potential (threats of) retaliation, reputational costs, and calculations of (future) absolute (plenty) gains may ultimately enable the evolution of cooperation237 (Axelrod 1984: 131f.; Sterling-Folker 2013: 119-122; Keohane 2002: 3). Regarding the elaborated increase in transand international interdependence/interaction in the globalizing/deterritorializing post-Cold War world in general – and recurrent, indefinite, and dense interaction of the United States and the PRC in particular (given a bilateral structural frame marked by strong, slightly asymmetric (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power) – calculations of (future) absolute (plenty) gains, shared/mutual interests, common membership and involvement in international institutions, and especially the crucial effects of the multiple-play prisoner's dilemma in international and Sino-U.S. relations may thus ultimately promote relatively stable postCold War interstate and Sino-U.S. cooperation; accordingly, neoliberals may perceive “China’s rise (…) [as; J.V.] an opportunity for building cooperation” (Goldstein 2007: 639; Axelrod/Keohane 1985: 239-243; Keohane 1984: 65-84; Snidal 1994: 63-74).

237 As already indicated, behavioral game theory, which assumes bounded rationality and improper information of the players, has recently shown that due to reputation, communication, and trust effects, cooperation may evolve even given a limited, definite time horizon (Holler/Illing 2005: 159-165, Loh-mann 2000: 274; Ullrich 2004: 82-110, 149). More generally, behavioral game theory thus argues that cooperation may actually develop more often than classical game theory anticipates. Even in empirical experiments that resembled the classical, static prisoner’s dilemma, cooperation among human beings for instance still occurred in about 40% of the cases (Mérö 2004: 61-69, 139; Ullrich 2004: 104-108, 127). Accordingly, recent findings of behavioral game theory actually further support the neoliberal institutionalist argumentation that a globalizing/deterritorializing post-Cold War world (marked inter alia by international interdependence and recurrent, indefinite (state) interaction across various issue areas) renders the evolution of relatively stable (institutionalized) international cooperation highly likely.

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3.1.5 Neoliberal Hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior Based on the developed eclectic neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular, distinctive hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue can ultimately be deduced. As has become evident, neoliberalism thereby assigns inter alia significant effects to the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations, most notably to strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence and the relatively fast economic power transition under way. Interdependence analysis highlights that given an interdependent, complex (globalizing) post-Cold War world and Sino-U.S. relations that seem to more and more resemble the model of complex interdependence (Sinha 2009: 366), international and Sino-U.S. policy coordination/cooperation may (in most cases) evolve as the rational and dominant logic of (state) action. By contrast, application of military force in the interdependent trans- and international system may have become a tremendously costly “act of desperation” (Keohane/Nye 1989: 18; 25; 27f.). As deteriorating political (and in particular security) relations usually disrupt (bilateral, regional or even global) economic ties/flows and respective absolute (plenty) gains, such (reciprocal) effects among high and low politics issues also within strong Sino-U.S. interdependence as well as the enormous risks and potential costs of (military) crisis (escalation) between the hegemonic United States and the rising PRC may influence both (rationally acting) governments to not let differing (strategic) interests and bilateral/regional conflicts develop beyond the point where they begin to substantially harm economic relations and development. Instead, the superpowers may seek to cooperatively influence a wide variety of (regional) policy outcomes via bi- and multilateral (institutionalized) negotiations, also since the costly effects of (asymmetric) interdependence may alter (bargaining) power relations issue-specifically. Strong (slightly asymmetric) Sino-U.S. interdependence regarding bilateral trade, strong (roughly symmetric) bilateral interdependence in the

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realm of state-based financial and currency ties, to some extent SinoU.S. FDI flows, solid U.S. and PRC integration into (and high significance for) the world economy, and low to moderate, but increasing (asymmetric) bilateral interdependence regarding military-security relations (see Table 3) can thus be neoliberally perceived as crucial parts of a (postCold War) Sino-U.S. structural frame that increase the likelihood for overall rather cooperative PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue, and render PRC and U.S. harsh power politics or even (large-scale) military confrontation highly improbable. While neoliberals quite acknowledge that strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. interdependence and bilateral shifts in capabilities can be a significant source of (bilateral/regional) tensions, they yet argue that overall, “[e]conomic interdependence (…) makes war less likely” (Weede 2010: 206) – and relatively stable, economically based Sino-U.S. cooperation more probable. Incentives for bi- and multilateral policy coordination, triggered by strong Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence and (potential) PRC and U.S. capitalist peace (mercatoria) rents/absolute (plenty) gains may thus stabilize the superpower relationship even while China prepares to become (early) in the middle term also MER-based the largest (and ultimately the most powerful) economic player on the globe. Besides, adherents of interdependence analysis and capitalist peace theory may judge the impact of slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military capabilities on (chances for) bilateral (economically based) cooperation as rather limited (although the process may partly evoke bilateral/regional tensions). Apart from the traditional neoliberal focus on the politico-economic sphere and neoliberal scholars’ usually perceived inadequacy of military force as a means of politics in the post-Cold War era, adherents of interdependence analysis may in particular point to the fact that Sino-U.S. interdependence has become increasingly marked by both a financial(-economic) and a military “balance of terror” (Summers 2004: 7b), which further increases the potentially enormous costs and risks of Sino-U.S. (military) crisis (escalation) – implying a strong counterinsurance for both superpowers and raising the incentives for cooperation, confidence building measures, and

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overall carefully managed Sino-U.S. relations. The (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties may thereby though have still provided the United States (as the slightly less dependent actor with so far greater capabilities) with partly stronger (issue-specific) (bargaining) leverage than the PRC, although this U.S. advantage has been declining. Besides, based on the analysis of the superpowers’ economic ties with Taiwan, South Korea, and North Korea, interdependence theorists may derive for the cases the Taiwan and the North Korea issue the anticipation that commercial considerations may potentially play a larger role in post-Cold War PRC than in post-Cold War U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior. Globalization approaches point to a multitude of (politico-economic) incentives for the post-Cold War evolution of relatively stable, cooperative ties between the United States and China (as the now two largest, interdependent players in the globalizing world economy). As elaborated, these incentives become especially apparent when regarding the economic side of globalization, and hence inter alia the globalized financial markets, the strong (post-Cold War) increase in the trans-/international production, trade, and sale of goods and services, the global flow of finance and productive capital/foreign (direct) investment, (transnational) corporations’ organizational and strategic adaptations to, and the extensive participation of more and more countries in the increasingly complex, hypercompetitive globalized economic arena/market. Commercial liberalism thereby suggests that the majority of (influential) U.S. and Chinese transnational and domestic business actors may so far have overall benefitted from the post-1991 pattern of the world economy and Sino-U.S. economic relations; accordingly, the PRC and the U.S. government may in most cases (be influenced to) not derogate overall profitable transborder economic trans- and interactions (and resulting welfare/plenty gains) by foreign policies (such as harsh power politics or the application of military force) that negatively affect this (global/regional/bilateral/domestic) economic pattern and transnational business climates (Moravcsik 1997: 528-530). Growing transnational (economic) networks and economic trans-/interactions in the globalizing, interdependent (post-Cold War) world may hence often imply an (economic) interest of (influential) (trans-

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national) business actors and (thus) U.S. and Chinese (foreign) policy makers in further prospering transnational and rather low-strain, cooperative international ties. Conceptualizing globalization as deterritorialization highlights in particular that control over social and economic space as well as (absolute) (plenty) gains may in a globalizing world no longer necessarily depend on (conquest and) control over territory, but may be more and more tied to access to and influence on transborder networks, flows and (institutionalized) interaction – and thus to cooperative international behavior as the standard mode of (post-Cold War) conflict regulation/resolution; SinoU.S. military crisis or harsh power politics over Taiwan or North Korea may thus have mostly become irrational and (hence) unlikely in an (economically) globalizing world (Fuchs 2005: 28). Moreover, several neoliberal scholars argue that globalization/deterritorialization processes may be more or less linked to all three (networked) elements of the “Kantian triangle” that seems to render peaceful (and in the wider sense cooperative) international behavior more likely – economic interdependence, democracy238, and (mutual membership/involvement in) international institutions/organizations (Russett/Oneal 2001: 9f.; 35-37; 71; 157-196; 212; Zürn 2002: 242). On the whole, globalization scholars may conclude that China and the United States may usually pursue (relational) foreign policies that at least promise not to disrupt so far profitable transnational economic networks and flows of goods, services, capital, (technological/ management) knowledge and people. As both (strongly interdependent) superpowers have become firmly integrated into the thick, complex, global network of (institutionalized) transborder trans- and interactions, neoliberals may mostly anticipate Sino-U.S. economically based cooperation (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue).

238 As has been elaborated, due to analytical/level of analysis reasons, second image variables such as “democracy” and hence the “institutional structure of domestic political representation” (Moravcsik 2008: 244) will though be left aside in the thesis.

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Global governance approaches, dealing with “multi-actor, multi-level political decision-making” in a globalizing world, point to the political roles of also nonstate/private, sub- and suprastate actors (Fuchs 2005: 41; 16; 19; 42-60). Given the (enlarged) resources and (political) influence of the more than 60,000 transnational corporations (TNCs), 20,000 (transnational) nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and 3,000 intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) within post-Cold War global governance, these actors have already adopted significant political roles/functions, and may overall rather seek to influence PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior towards cooperation (Fuchs 2005: 14; 41; 172; 176; 164-170; Messner 2002: 23). More specifically, analyses of agent power in global governance (inter alia by global governance, neoliberal and International Political Economy scholars) often find substantial political leverage of NGOs, IGOs, and most notably of business vis-à-vis the state, and conclude that “in particular TNCs (…) [have been; J.V.] among the primary beneficiaries of globalization” (Fuchs 2005: 61; 14; 21; 183; Drache 2001: 6). Corporate actors have been able to both increase their instrumental (multi-level lobbying) power, structural (agenda- and rule-setting) power, and also their discursive power in post-Cold War times, hence acquiring a significant capacity to influence political outputs, inputs, and public perception of issues and agents (Fuchs 2005: 41; 16; 19, 186-189; Fuchs with Vogelmann 2008: 71f.; 77; 80-82). According to the elaborated interest of the majority of transnational corporations and business actors in peaceful, stable, and cooperative Sino-U.S. relations that do (at least) not harm so far profitable transnational trans- and interactions in a highly interdependent, globalizing world (economy), business and especially TNCs may thus mostly seek to influence PRC and U.S. decision makers to pursue economically conscious, cooperative foreign policies. Overall, neoliberal and global governance scholars may thus anticipate that China and the United States may rather pursue post-Cold War (relational) foreign policies of economically based cooperation (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue).

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Neoliberal institutionalism and regime theory finally point out that growing Sino-U.S. and international (economic) interdependence in the globalizing post-Cold War world have increased both the need for bi- and multilateral policy coordination and shared/mutual interests among the superpowers – and have thus heightened the potential (individual and collective) profits/benefits that the absolute (plenty) gains seekers United States and China may realize via relatively stable (economically based) cooperation. What is more, the United States has in the post-Cold War era complied with all three, and China with two (intervening) variables (international (economic) interdependence, (common) membership and involvement in international institutions, and national democratic structures) that seem to significantly promote peaceful and cooperative (relational) foreign policy behavior (Russett/Oneal 2001: 9f.; 35-37; 71; 157196; 212). Concerning the neoliberal institutionalist focus on international institutions as decisive catalysts for the evolution and persistence of relatively stable international cooperation, the predominantly U.S.-shaped and -guarded, deeply rooted, densely institutionalized international and world economic system may thus foster stable Sino-U.S. (economically based) cooperation insofar as a rationally acting, absolute (plenty) gain seeking PRC may choose to rise and engage within – rather than overthrow – the global structural (institutional) framework that has so beneficially (co-)enabled its politico-economic ascent. In other words, as long as complex Sino-U.S. relations remain embedded into a densely institutionalized international system, inevitable strains evoked (next to the pacifying effects) by the (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. structural frame may likely be mitigated via institutionalized bi- and multilateral negotiations and policy coordination. Furthermore, according to neoliberal institutionalism in the wider sense, which copes more generally with the fundamental circumstances and chances for (stable) (international) cooperation, game theoretic findings suggest that recurrent, indefinite, frequent and momentous Sino-U.S. interaction – also due to a bilateral structural frame characterized by strong, slightly asymmetric (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts

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in military power – can be perceived as an iterated (or multiple-play) prisoner’s dilemma, where an (enlarged) shadow of the future renders the post-Cold War evolution of relatively stable Sino-U.S. cooperation likely (Axelrod 1984: 10f.; Keohane 1984: 75-79; Fearon 1998: 269f.). As long as the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations thus correlates with significant shared/mutual interests and does not elicit too many frictions so that bilateral relations can rely upon a certain extent of trust and sufficient valuation of future payoffs, the anticipation of prospective (absolute) cooperation gains and recurrent, indefinite, and dense SinoU.S. interaction in various issue areas may substantially promote relatively stable cooperation between the two (strongly interdependent) superpowers; given the usually multiple-play prisoner’s dilemma in international politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular, conditional (tit-for-tat) (and respective issue linkage) strategies (that are based on the possibility of (future) retaliation for defection) hence further contribute to neoliberal (institutionalist) optimism concerning overall rather cooperative post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue). Summing up, the developed eclectic neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular implies that the ascent of the People’s Republic of China may have evoked a post-Cold War relationship with the hegemonic United States characterized to a considerable extent by (here so termed) economically based cooperation – naturally including PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue as well. Economically based cooperation thereby denotes cooperative/coordinated PRC and U.S. (relational) (foreign) policies that predominantly found on (politico-)economic logics, and result from non-violent conflict regulation/resolution239. Strategic interests may

239 The research question on the fundamental causes/conditions of conflict and cooperation in world politics has always been constitutive for International Relations. As (international) cooperation has thus been a key concept in the discipline, the thesis applies as well this term for reasons of research compatibility and integration of IR language. Cooperation thereby implies that “actors adjust their behavior [at least partly; J.V.] to the actual or anticipated preferences of others, through a process of policy

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thereby be only pursued insofar as these do not significantly harm SinoU.S., regional and global (transnational) economic relations, networks, and flows of goods, services, capital, (technological/management) knowledge and people, as well as the resulting absolute (economic/plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents and respective economic development/ growth. Accordingly, Sino-U.S. economically based cooperation does not include PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior that implies an application of explicit coercive diplomacy and (potentially) military force. The superordinate (foreign policy) maxim in the globalizing, interdependent post-Cold War world and within post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations may thus be “Make Money, Not War” (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.). Based on these deductions from an eclectic neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. ties in particular, four distinctive hypotheses on the post-Cold War (relational) foreign policy behavior of the PRC and the United States in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue will be derived in the following.

coordination” (Keohane 1984: 51). Nevertheless, it should be clear that although for instance IR scholars may characterize periods of Sino-U.S. relations as marked by economically based cooperation, some U.S. and Chinese interests may at the same time clash, and some actors (in various politico-economic arenas) may naturally also pursue competitive (market) strategies. Accordingly, Keohane highlights that cooperation “is typically mixed with conflict and reflects partially successful efforts to overcome conflict, real or potential” (Keohane 1984: 53f.). Similarly, Nalebuff and Brandenburger coined the interesting and fertile concept of “coopetition”, which deals with the fact that (market) relations usually consist of a combination of competition and cooperation (Nalebuff/Brandenburger 1996). According to the IR (research) tradition, the thesis continues to apply the concept of cooperation, though in a broader sense. Sino-U.S. economically based cooperation may thus also comprise periods of stagnation or some competitive/conflictive elements – as well as the terms (policy) coordination and collaboration; as will be indicated, it does though not include PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior that implies an application of explicit coercive diplomacy, (potentially) military force, and significant interstate violence (Keohane 1984: 51-55; Stein 1983; Fearon 1998: 272). Accordingly, cooperative relations between two states implicate also peaceful (in the sense of non-violent) relations, whereas there may also exist peaceful international relations without significant bi- or multilateral cooperation (for instance when international geographic distance is large and contact intensity has been low).

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Neoliberal Hypotheses on the Post-Cold War (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior of the People’s Republic of China The Taiwan Issue As the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States have become strongly (economically) interdependent in post-Cold War times and have recurrently, indefinitely and frequently interacted in the globalizing (post-Cold War) world, according to neoliberalism, it seems probable that the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of China towards the United States in the Taiwan issue will be characterized by economically based cooperation. Accordingly, the PRC will at least for the near term settle for the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and refrain from explicit coercive diplomacy/ military threats towards Taiwan (or U.S. forces in the region), hence preventing the negative economic effects/costs and enormous risks of a potential international (PRC-ROC-(U.S.)) crisis or even military escalation that could derail its (interdependent) economic development and its further (beneficial) post-Cold War integration into the predominantly U.S.shaped, densely institutionalized international and world economic system. As long as the status quo persists (and Taiwan does not declare formal independence), the PRC will not apply military force against the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC). What is more, the PRC will limit its pursuit of strategic (inter alia military capture) interests and respective military maneuvers concerning the island to not threaten its continued economic rise and the absolute (economic/plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents resulting from strong Sino-U.S., global, regional, and cross-Strait conomic ties. As Chinese foreign policies thus mostly found on (politico-) economic logics (also regarding strong economic relations with Taiwan), the PRC may expand (tacit) communication (mechanisms), bilateral negotiations, and may even partly coordinate policy moves in the Taiwan issue with the hegemonic United States (and the ROC). Moreover, China will promote a deepening of cross-Taiwan Strait (institutionalized) interactions, economic relations, networks, and flows of goods, services, capital/ foreign (direct) investment, (technological/management) knowledge, busi-

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nessmen, and tourists, seeking to enhance Taiwan’s (inter-)dependence on the (politico-)economic development of the mainland, and thus pursuing absolute (economic/plenty) gains as well as a peaceful, economically conscious long-term strategy of reunification. In the globalizing (post-Cold War) world, the PRC will hence give its continued economic rise and integration into the international and world economic system, and especially economically based cooperation with the hegemonic United States a higher priority than the Taiwan issue in general and strategic interests concerning the island in particular. The North Korea Issue As the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States have become strongly (economically) interdependent in post-Cold War times and have recurrently, indefinitely and frequently interacted in the globalizing (post-Cold War) world, according to neoliberalism, it seems probable that the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of China towards the United States in the North Korea issue will be characterized by economically based cooperation. Accordingly, the PRC will support a peaceful, multilaterally coordinated denuclearization of the Kim regime as well as better regional (political and economic) relations also between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK). A multilateral bargaining approach on DPRK denuclearization would strengthen the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and (hence) meet major foreign policy goals of the United States (namely a solid global nuclear non-proliferation regime and a nuclear weapons-free North Korea), improving political and probably also economic relations between the superpowers. Moreover, a peaceful denuclearization of the DPRK could help to ease regional tensions, raise inter- and transnational trust in the Asia-Pacific, and would (thus) foster regional stability, cooperation, and economic development/ growth. (PRC) security guarantees and resumed comprehensive trade and economic ties with the DPRK after the end of UNSC and international sanctions might then further support North Korea’s economic recovery. A peaceful, multilaterally coordinated denuclearization of the

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Kim regime could thus yield significant (mid- to long-term) absolute (economic/plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents and improved regional business climates for China, also since business actors might to a lesser extent fear DPRK-ROK/U.S. or even PRC/DPRK-ROK/U.S. armed hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. However, the PRC will not support a coercive regime change concerning its North Korean ally, as considerable military, security, proliferation, political, economic and social (refugee) risks of such a (U.S.-ROK) policy option would threaten regional stability and economic development, thus appearing at least in the short to middle term contra-productive to China’s continued economic rise and rational interest in absolute (economic/plenty) gains. Rather, the PRC will seek to integrate the hegemonic United States into a multilateral bargaining approach of peaceful DPRK denuclearization, and might later pursue (further) institutionalization and advancement of the (Six-Party) format. As PRC (relational) foreign policies in the North Korea issue mostly found on (politico-)economic logics (also regarding the United States, Japan and South Korea as three out of its top four trading partners as well as strong Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence), it will pursue strategic interests only insofar as these do not significantly harm Sino-U.S., Sino-ROK, Sino-Japanese, regional and global (transnational) economic relations, networks, inter-/transactions as well as the resulting absolute (economic/plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents and respective economic development/growth. Hence, the PRC will promote an at least stable, not to say economically prospering Korean Peninsula as well as cooperative Sino-U.S. ties. Overall, PRC (relational) foreign policies in the North Korea issue will focus on carefully negotiated bi- and multilateral interaction (inter alia concerning DPRK denuclearization), striving to ensure and enhance economically based cooperation especially with the hegemonic United States, but also with the other regional players (in the 6PT), even at the partial expense of strategic interests.

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Neoliberal Hypotheses on the Post-Cold War (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior of the United States The Taiwan Issue As the hegemonic United States and the ascending People’s Republic of China have become strongly (economically) interdependent in post-Cold War times and have recurrently, indefinitely and frequently interacted in the globalizing (post-Cold War) world, according to neoliberalism, it seems probable that the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the United States towards China in the Taiwan issue will be characterized by economically based cooperation. Accordingly, regarding the negative consequences for U.S.-PRC, U.S.ROC, regional and global economic relations/business climates as well as the potentially enormous costs/risks, the United States will in the Taiwan issue seek to prevent being torn into a military conflict with the strongly interdependent PRC, and has no interest in cross-Strait war between the PRC and the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC). It will hence strive to forestall severe Taiwan crises and settle in the near term for the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. The United States will (strongly) influence Taipei not to pursue steps towards (or even declare) (formal) independence, even though it will slowly reduce U.S. weapons sales to the island to prevent recurrent tensions with the PRC (as its largest trading partner and largest foreign creditor); at the same time, the United States will leave it open if it will support Taiwan militarily in case of a PRC application of force towards the island, thus deterring the PRC from potentially coercive diplomacy and military options of unification. What is more, the United States will underscore the significant Chinese benefits that arise out of strong Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence and ongoing PRC integration into the predominantly U.S.-shaped, densely institutionalized international and world economic system, clarifying that military conflict in the Taiwan issue would threaten the continued flow of absolute (economic/plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents and economic development/growth in the PRC. Relying mostly on (politico-)economic logics and its still partly (issue-specifically) stronger (bargaining) leverage towards

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China, the United States will not apply explicit coercive diplomacy/military threats towards the PRC and will only reluctantly react to potential provocative PLA maneuvers in the region with very restricted strategic countermeasures. Strategic interests will thus be only pursued in U.S. (relational) foreign policies insofar as these do not significantly harm (so far profitable) U.S.-PRC, U.S.-ROC, regional and global (transnational) economic ties, networks, and flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge and people. In the long term, the United States may quite support certain modes of a peaceful, bilaterally (voluntarily) agreed (re-)unification of China and Taiwan to ultimately remove this central (traditional) issue of Sino-U.S. tensions that has so often impeded closer (politico-)economic relations and coordination between the superpowers. Overall, the United States will hence restrain strategic interests in the region to not hamper absolute (economic/plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents and economic growth based on cooperative ties with the PRC. The Taiwan issue is thus of little interest for the hegemonic United States compared to the enormous potential of Sino-U.S. economically based cooperation. The North Korea Issue As the hegemonic United States and the ascending People’s Republic of China have become strongly (economically) interdependent in post-Cold War times and have recurrently, indefinitely and frequently interacted in the globalizing (post-Cold War) world, according to neoliberalism, it seems probable that the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the United States towards China in the North Korea issue will be characterized by economically based cooperation. Accordingly, the United States will pursue a peaceful, multilaterally coordinated denuclearization of the Kim regime and support enhanced regional and also DPRK-ROK (political and economic) relations. This would strengthen the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and reduce the risk of (enormously costly) DPRK-ROK/U.S. or even PRC/DPRK-ROK/U.S. armed hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. A U.S. initiated/promoted multilateral bargaining approach could help to ease regional tensions, raise inter- and transnational trust, and foster regional stability, cooperation,

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and economic development/growth, thus potentially triggering also increased absolute (economic/plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents for the United States. Besides, as China remains the Kim regime’s last strategic ally and could significantly reduce the costs of denuclearizing the DPRK by applying its political and economic influence, the United States will use its still partly (issue-specifically) stronger (bargaining) leverage towards China and encourage the PRC to assume an active, major diplomatic role within a multilateral (Six-Party) format of recurrent negotiations; the United States might later also promote (further) institutionalization and advancement of the multilateral (Six-Party) Talks. Since U.S. (relational) foreign policies mostly found on (politico-)economic logics, the United States will not risk to hamper (so far profitable) U.S.-PRC, U.S.-ROK, U.S.-Japanese, regional and global (transnational) economic ties, networks, and inter-/transactions by pursuing unilateral, confrontational approaches, explicit coercive diplomacy/military (threat) strategies of denuclearization or even a coercive (military) regime change in the DPRK. Accordingly, the United States will pursue strategic interests in the North Korea issue only insofar as these do not significantly harm U.S.-PRC, regional and global flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge, people, as well as the resulting absolute (economic/plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents and respective economic growth. Rather, the United States will focus on coordinated Sino-U.S. and multilateral (institutionalized) (bargaining) interaction (inter alia on DPRK denuclearization) that helps to further integrate the PRC into the (institutionalized) international system, improves Sino-U.S. political and probably also economic ties, and leaves North Korea little scope for playing the Chinese ally card. Overall, U.S. (relational) foreign policies in the North Korea issue will focus on carefully negotiated bi- and multilateral interaction (inter alia concerning DPRK denuclearization), striving to ensure and enhance economically based cooperation especially with the PRC, but also with (the other 6PT members) Japan, South Korea, and Russia (as well as in the long term potentially also with North or a unified Korea), even at the partial expense of strategic interests.

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Neorealism

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When Mearsheimer predicts a rising China “[s]howing the United States the [d]oor” (Mearsheimer 2005b: 49), the underlying theory school is evidently (neo-)realism. This system of thought, and especially its structuralist (Waltzian) branch, remains still one of the most influential IR theory traditions240; although often perceived as passé after the end of the Cold War particularly by European scholars, it has, at least in the North American IR community, made a stunning comeback since 9/11 (Mearsheimer 2013: 91; Betts 2010: 188; Walt 2002: 197f.; Elman/Jensen 2013: 20; Schörnig 2010: 65; 67f.; Wilkinson 2007: 2). Unlike (neo-)liberals, who often (implicitly) assume in principle a more or less continuous historical process of human progress, enlightenment and development also towards more “civilized” and institutionalized, non-violent international interaction, (neo-)realists remain rather skeptical towards the possibility of a fundamental transformation of international politics over time; rather, they basically rely on a more or less cyclical model of human history241 that naturally includes, though on a lower to higher technological scale, recurrent periods of (open) rivalry and (violent) (international) conflict: “Countries have always competed for wealth and security, and the competition has often led to conflict. Why should the future be different from the past?” (Waltz 1993: 64; 66; 1979: 102f.; Gilpin 1981: 7; 211-230; Betts 2010: 188; Schweller 2003: 323-325).

240 The chapter at hand deals with structural realism/neorealism and does not explicitly consider anthropological realism and its focus on human nature and the biopsychological drive of humans for power (Morgenthau 1948). Just as the neoliberal theory part in Chapter 3.1, it predominantly applies a systemic level of analysis. If the term “realism” comes up or is cited in the following, it actually refers to structural realism/neorealism, embodying an abbreviation often applied within the Anglo-Saxon/international research debate. 241 Such a cyclical perception of human history, with periodic outbreaks of (violent) conflict between groups or states can be traced back in the realist tradition at least to Thucydides, who argues in his analysis of the Peloponnesian War that permanent peace of mankind will always remain an illusion and wars will continue to occur, also due to the unequal growth of power among states (Thucydides 1966 [ca. 395 B.C.]; Gilpin 1988: 591-599; 603-605; 1981: 7; 211-230; Sonnabend 2011: 149; 152; 154; Vretska 1966: 18; 24).

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(Neo-)realism thereby “frankly recognizes the phenomena which are connected with the urge for security and the competition for power, and takes their consequences into consideration” (Herz 1950: 158). Respective scholars have for instance sought to explain the sensitivity of states to international power shifts, apparently similar (realpolitik) foreign policy behavior of (great) powers or their tendency to pursue an increase in national security, relative capabilities, and establish spheres of (economic and strategic) influence (Waltz 1979; Mearsheimer 2001; Rose 1998: 149; 155-157; Walt 1997: 932f.). As elaborated, such research issues and (hypo-)theses have also significantly shaped the (IR) discourse on the post-Cold War relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States. Consequently, based on the analyzed (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties – marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military power – an eclectic neorealist perspective will be developed in the following. Concerning the “broad” and “large” neorealist paradigm and research program (Walt 1997: 932f.), as well as the highly complex issue of (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. relations, to thereby simply draw on one narrow approach within the neorealist theory school seems rather inadequate. Designed as the theoretical alternative to the eclectic neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations (re-)constructed in Chapter 3.1, the chapter at hand covers multiple strands of structural realist theory as well. It develops the grand theory picture by drawing on basal neorealist premises, as well as on predominantly defensive and rise and fall neorealist perspectives (on the structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties). Based on this theoretical body, four empirically verifiable hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue will ultimately be deduced.

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3.2.1 Basic Neorealist Thought: A Rather Grim Picture of World Politics

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As one of the fathers of neorealism, Waltz, inspired by systems theory and the natural and economic sciences, developed a seminal, third image structural perspective on world politics (see for instance Waltz 1959; 1979; 1981; 1986; 1993; 1996; 1997; 2000). His monograph Theory of International Politics has thereby been particularly influential (Waltz 1979). It focuses on the characteristics of “different international systems, for example, (…) their likely durability and peacefulness”, the effects of the structure of the international system on the (behavior of the) interacting units (states), and vice versa (Waltz 1979: 39f.). According to Waltz, the structure of the international system is shaped by its ordering principle (anarchy), the (self-help) character of the (undifferentiated) units (states), and the international distribution of capabilities (power) (Waltz 1979: 88-104). Marked by strong deductive coherence and parsimony, structural realism can be developed out of few central premises (Zangl/ Zürn 2003: 43; Schörnig 2010: 70). First, neorealists conceptualize (predominantly rationally acting) states243 as the main agents in world politics that basically “seek to ensure their survival” (Waltz 1979: 91-97; 121; 1996: 54; 1988: 618; 1986: 330f.; Grieco 1996: 289; 1995: 27f.; 34; 1993: 118; 123; 127); great/superpowers are thereby the key units in the international system: “Given the inequality of nations, (…) the number of consequential states is small. (…) Viewed as the politics of the powerful, international politics can be studied in terms of the logic of small-number systems” (Waltz 1979: 131;

242 The phrase “[[r]ealism paints] a rather grim picture of world politics” is cited from Mearsheimer (1994/1995: 9). 243 Waltz does not explicitly define rational state action as a core axiom in Theory of International Politics (Waltz 1979). This has entailed some controversies among IR scholars on the significance of rational choice in the structural realist school (Walt 2002: 200). Schweller for instance perceives “[n]eorealism (…) not [as; J.V.] a rationalist theory of state behavior” (Schweller 2003: 324; 325). Nevertheless, Waltz later confirmed that he assumes at least most states in the international system to “behave sensibly”, and thus ultimately acknowledged “an assumption of [bounded; J.V.] rationality” (Waltz 1986: 330f.; 1979: 92; 118) Accordingly, both the neoliberal and the neorealist third image (structural) perspective on world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular are developed here as rationalist IR grand theories.

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72f.; 94-97; 1993: 44; Mearsheimer 2013: 77-79; Buzan 1991: 150). Accordingly, neorealism underlines the central significance of super-/great power capabilities and behavior for (the (foreign) policies of) all units in the system; by contrast, international institutions, regimes, and (intergovernmental) organizations seem to rather offer “a false promise” in international relations, as they may be “merely arenas for acting out power relationships”, especially for the super-/great powers and (regional) hegemons (Mearsheimer 1994/1995; Evans/Wilson 1992: 330; Kennedy 2002; Waltz 1979: 88). Similarly, neorealist scholars usually presume (transnational) nonstate actors such as NGOs or business actors/TNCs to play rather minor roles in international (super-/great power) politics, even given a globalizing post-Cold War world (Waltz 1979: 93-95). Differences to neoliberal approaches thus become evident. Second, neorealism highlights the (effects of the) fundamental ordering principle of the structure of the international system: “International systems are decentralized and anarchic” (Waltz 1979: 88; Gilpin 1981: 7; Schweller 1997: 927; Buzan 1991: 146-150). International anarchy thereby denominates the (probably eternal) lack of a superordinate authority above the state units (in the sense of a world government) that could establish and enforce rules, sanction transgressions, and prevent states from doing each other harm/applying force against each other244 (Grieco 1995: 27; 34; 1993: 126f.; 132; Waltz 1979: 88f.; Mearsheimer 1990: 12; Buzan 1991: 146-150; Zangl/Zürn 2003: 41-43). The anarchic structure thus constitutes international politics as a specific realm of social relations that differs markedly from (“Leviathan’s”) usually hierarchical domestic political systems (Hobbes 2011 [1651]; 1971 [1681]: 57; Jäger 2005a: 11; Waltz 1979: 88f.; 116). Without a superordinate (central) authoritative guardian in the international system, and hence under persistent uncertainty among the state units about the potentially harmful/belligerent (fu-

244 Since most neorealist scholars reject the feasibility and desirability of a world state/ world government – and thus the possibility to overcome international anarchy and transform the international system – they perceive basic neorealist deductions about international relations to timelessly account for the past, the present, and the future (Waltz 1979: 100; 1986: 342f.; Buzan 1991: 147f.; 378f.).

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ture) intentions and actions of other (great) powers, anarchy ultimately implies self-help as the dominant principle of (inter-)state behavior: “The international imperative is ‘take care of yourself’! […] [T]hose who do not help themselves, or who do so less effectively than others, will fail to prosper, will lay themselves open to dangers, will suffer” (Waltz 1979: 107; 118; 91-111; 1986: 331; Schörnig 2010: 65). Accordingly, the anarchic structure of international relations determines as well the “character of the units”, entailing (to a certain extent) a functional homogeneity of states within the international self-help system; in other words, for Waltzian neorealists, states can be theoretically treated as “unitary actors”, “like units” and “black boxes”, rendering the consideration of first and second image/subsystemic variables mostly redundant (Waltz 1979: 93-97; 101; 1996: 54; 1959: 12; Mearsheimer 2013: 78; Schörnig 2010: 71f.). These scholars may thus not specifically focus for instance on the (effects of the) PRC’s autocratic political system of a one-party regime or on (the effects of) the United States being a presidential democracy; rather, they usually argue that also internally different states that are similarly placed in the international system by their capabilities often tend to behave alike in the international realm (Jäger 2005a: 11; Waltz 1996: 54; 1979: 96-99; 116f.; Mearsheimer 2013: 78; Rose 1998: 149). A third neorealist core axiom thus becomes apparent: ultimately, only changes in the distribution of capabilities among the state units alter the structure of the international system and decisively influence (inter-)state behavior and international outcomes (Waltz 1979: 96-101; 129-131; 1986: 342f.; Wohlforth 1994/1995: 96). Accordingly, structural realists distinguish states predominantly by the capabilities they have (relative to others) at their (potential) disposal: “States are alike in the tasks they face, though not in the abilities to perform them. The differences are of capability (…). States are differently placed by their power” (Waltz 1979: 96f.; 98f.; 129-131). As freedom of action significantly depends on a state’s relative capability position in the international system, super-/great powers usually have the broadest range of (rationally viable) foreign policy options; conversely, these powerful actors may be (theoretically perceived as) potentially greater constraints on the (foreign) policy behavior

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of other (super-/great) powers than a nation with a minor capability base (Jäger 2005a: 11; Waltz 1979: 96-100; 129-131; 1986: 342). In regard to the neorealist key concept of power, a state’s (share of) capabilities relative to the capabilities of others thus become crucial in any international relationship or concerning (relational) foreign policy behavior245 (Waltz 1979: 96-98; Jäger 1996: 76; Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; Zangl/Zürn 2003: 43f.). Since “[m]inds can be changed, new leaders can come to power, (…) [and; J.V.] new opportunities and dangers can arise” in the anarchic international self-help system, capabilities embody the ultimate foundation of state security, and the crucial currency of world politics (Jervis 1978: 168; Grieco 1993: 128f.; Mearsheimer 2013: 77; Schweller 1997: 927). In this sense, (super-/great) powers usually (suspiciously) compare their capabilities246 with those of potential competitors – “especially their abilities to do harm” (Waltz 1979: 131). More fundamentally, Herz introduced the (ultimately very influential) security dilemma concept into the IR theory debate, linking the (perceived) security of the (state) units within international anarchy to the governmental pursuit of power (capability) maximization: “Wherever such anarchic society has existed (…) there has arisen what may be called the ‘security dilemma’ (…). Groups (…) living in such a constellation must be (…) concerned about their security from being attacked, subjected, dominated, or

245 While the Waltzian structural realism focuses mainly on the concept of power as “control over resources”, other (defensive) neorealist strands deal also more specifically with the concept of power as influence, and thus as “control over actors and outcomes” (Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; Hart 1976; Brooks/Wohlforth 2011: 202; 2008: 13; Wohlforth 1994/1995: 97; Jäger 1996: 92; 75). Neorealist considerations concerning to what extent a state may be able to translate its capabilities into effective influence on actors and outcomes (in specific (regional) settings) will be considered further below. 246 As elaborated, it is usually a combination of capabilities that determines how successfully a (great) power may be able to pursue its interests (and ultimately secure its persistence) (Waltz 1979: 129-131). While historically, changes in the international distribution of power have also often been influenced by (recurrent) (great power) wars/conquest and thus more or less rapid alterations in the “size of population[,] (…) territory, [and] resource endowment”, in post-Cold War times, it have mostly been varying national economic growth rates and armament decisions (next to “political stability and competence” variables) that have implied changes in the international distribution of capabilities (Waltz 1979: 131; 129f.).

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annihilated by other groups (…). Striving to attain security from such attack, they are driven to acquire more and more power in order to escape the impact of the power of others. This, in turn, renders the others more insecure and compels them to prepare for the worst. Since none can ever feel entirely secure in such a world of competing units, power competition ensues, and the vicious circle of security and power accumulation is on” (Herz 1950: 157). According to neorealists, anarchy hence mostly entails an international environment marked by “fear and distrust” (Grieco 1993: 127f.; 118; Mearsheimer 1990: 12). The imminent possibility that other (super-/great) powers may (in future) pursue harmful, violent, and expansionist policies renders it highly unlikely that (rationally acting) governments (recurrently) ignore systemic incentives and constraints on (foreign) policy behavior (Waltz 1979: 105; 118f.; Mearsheimer 1990: 12; Grieco 1993: 128). In other words, any state that (repeatedly) fails to adequately act according to structural security (and power) maximization incentives (and constraints) might ultimately even disappear from the international scene. By decisively shaping the structure of the international system, anarchy and the international distribution of capabilities have thus significant effects on (foreign) policy behavior in a self-help world: “[S]tates (…) are unitary actors who, at a minimum, seek their own preservation and, at a maximum, drive for universal domination” (Waltz 1979: 118). Accordingly, (super-/great) powers in the system may generally pursue a hierarchic order of state preferences, with (military) security usually ranking highest. As already indicated, since capabilities embody the most important, ultimate “currency of value when security is threatened”, power resources evolve as the central category of international politics (Baylis/ Wirtz 2010: 8; Walt 1997: 932; Mearsheimer 2013: 77). Nevertheless, while a certain level of capabilities seems to enhance the security of any state (Waltz 1986: 334), reckless maximization of (relative) power may not always maximize individual security as well (quite the contrary); under certain conditions, maintenance of the international status quo (concerning the international distribution of power) or only slow to moderate improvement of a state’s relative capability position may be the more appro-

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priate (rational) strategies for preserving and enhancing individual state security247 (Waltz 1979: 126). Overall, the international system though mostly “stimulates, and may compel, a state to increase its power; at the least, it necessitates that the prudent state prevent relative increases in the power of competitor states” within a (so perceived) zero-sum international game (Gilpin 1981: 87f.; Grieco 1993: 118; 127-132; 135; Walt 1997: 932f.). The anarchic structure of the international (self-help) system and the resulting security dilemma hence turn (most) states into security and power seekers – and constitute international relations as a realm predominantly shaped by (great) power politics248 (Mearsheimer 2013: 77; 91; Grieco 1995: 27). Generally, the neorealist model of state preferences evolves as a major theoretical difference to neoliberalism. In contrast to the neoliberal perception of states as individual seekers of absolute (economic/plenty) gains, neorealists usually conceptualize the units in the international system to be positional in character (Grieco 1993: 117f.; 127-132). As anarchy and the resulting security dilemma make survival via self-help the primary state interest, and imply (contingent levels of) international competition for security and power, relative security and capability gains may be ranked potentially higher by (foreign) policy makers than absolute economic welfare yields; in other words, states may mostly seek to at least maintain their level of security and relative power, and thus their position in the international system (Waltz 1979: 126; Grieco 1993: 117f.; 127132; 135; Mearsheimer 2013: 77-80; 1990: 12). Given these prevalent unit preferences for relative security and capability gains, (super-/great) powers may thus even forgo (potential) welfare profits from international cooperation if this prevents competitors from improving their relative position (Waltz 1979: 126; Roloff 2002: 101). The anarchic international system and the significance of relative state capability (shifts) therein thus

247 As this issue has been a major source of debate between offensive and defensive neorealist scholars, it will be analyzed in more detail further below. 248 Neorealist deductions that states as security and power seekers in the anarchic international system tend to act inter alia according to balancing (balance-of-power, -threat, -interests, and/or soft-balancing) logics will be considered in Chapter 3.2.2.

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entail several barriers to (stable/long-term) interstate cooperation: “[I]n addition to concerns about cheating, states in cooperative arrangements also worry that their partners might gain more from cooperation than they do. (…) [A] state (…) might (…) exit from (…) [a joint arrangement] because the partner is achieving relatively greater gains” (Grieco 1993: 118; 127-132; Waltz 1979: 105f.). Even if (great) powers may thus share common/complementary interests, define themselves “moderately” as defensive positionalists (in terms of security and power), and even given potentially effective monitoring and sanctioning mechanisms within a cooperative (institutionalized) international arrangement to prevent cheating/noncompliance, states may under certain conditions still “seek to prevent increases in others’ relative capabilities”, rendering (stable/long-term) international cooperation difficult to achieve (Grieco 1993: 127; 128-132; 135). This may hold true especially under circumstances where the security dilemma, and hence “fear and distrust” have been heightened and the valuation of future payoffs has been significantly discounted (Grieco 1993: 127f.; 118; Brooks 1997: 446; 450-452; 458; 472). Since “who will gain more from cooperation?” seems to be the question to cautiously ask for the units in an anarchic self-help world, chances for (instrumental, issue-specific and variable) interstate cooperation remain contingent on the international environment (Waltz 1979: 105f.; Grieco 1993: 118; 127-135; Glaser 1994/1995: 53; 58). According to (defensive) neorealists, the geoeconomic “make money” imperative to realize absolute cooperation gains in the globalizing post-Cold War world (and concerning Sino-U.S. relations) may thus be only followed by (super-/great) powers when the risk of cheating by partners has been minimized (for instance by effective means of control), the international, regional, and/or bilateral security dilemma/”fear and distrust” have to some extent been attenuated, and pre-cooperation balances of power can be roughly maintained (also via political compromise and compensations/side-payments) (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.; Grieco 1993: 127f.; 118; 129-132; 135; Morgenthau 1948: 135f.). Furthermore, relative gains concerns may become less severe if a larger number of partners (informally) collaborate presumably for the short term, and when easy exit

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options are given; (instrumental/issue-specific) international cooperation becomes thereby also possible since resulting (relative/absolute) gains of the partners imply at the same time relative gains towards those states not participating in the cooperative arrangement (Schörnig 2010: 90f.; Grieco 1993: 133f.). Overall, neorealists though make it clear that despite a multitude of chances for and cases of (instrumental, issue-specific and variable) cooperation in (post-Cold War) international (and Sino-U.S.) relations, harsh competition/rivalry and the use of force/the outbreak of violent (interstate) conflict can never be completely ruled out under anarchy: “[W]ars occur because there is [still; J.V.] nothing to prevent them” (Waltz 1959: 232; 238; 1979: 102f.), and they continue to lurk constantly “in the background of international politics” (Carr 1981: 109). These scholars thereby also seize classical realist (structuralist) thought that has inter alia been already highlighted by 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes: “You are not to expect (…) a Peace between two Nations, because there is no Common Power in this World to punish their Injustice” (Hobbes 1971 [1681]: 57). Summing up, neorealism thus highlights that it is due to international anarchy, and not necessarily due to “the inherently bad character of man” (Waltz 1959: 238), that an international self-help system persists also in the globalizing post-Cold War era that has still been shaped by the (rational/egoistic) state unit pursuit of security and power, (contingent levels of) interstate rivalry and distrust, as well as potential/latent and manifest/open (violent) conflict between (super-/great) powers (Waltz 1959: 232; 238; 1979: 102-104; Carr 1981: 109; Walt 2002: 200; Grieco 1993 118f.). 3.2.2 Defensive Neorealism The controversy among defensive and offensive neorealists has yielded “[t]he most interesting conceptual development within the realist paradigm” (Walt 1998: 37). Neorealist scholars thereby differ if the anarchic structure of the international system entails mostly states that seek to maximize their security by usually maintaining the international status quo and that are satisfied with keeping or only slowly to moderately (contin-

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gently) improving their relative capability position – or if it implies predominantly revisionist (super-/great power) state units that “seek to maximize [their; J.V.] security by maximizing their relative power”, potentially also by applying force249 (Walt 1997: 932f.; 2002: 209; Mearsheimer 1990: 12; 2013: 78-80; Waltz 1979: 126f.; Feng/Ruizhuang 2006; Brighenti 2007: 6f.; 41f.). Offensive neorealists like Mearsheimer highlight the latter, arguing that (super-/great) powers mostly pursue increases in their capabilities relative to others, “with hegemony as their final goal”250 (Mearsheimer 2001: 29; 2; 2013: 78-80). Under certain (cost/risk) conditions, aggression may thereby serve “as the best way to accumulate more power at the expense of rivals” (Mearsheimer 1990: 12; 2001: 2). As the globalizing post-Cold War world may hence still be shaped by (super-/great power) competition for (relative) state capabilities, the rise of China may just be “the latest example of the tendency for rising powers to alter the global balance of power in potentially dangerous ways, especially as their growing influence makes them more ambitious” (Walt 1998: 29f.; 38). By contrast, defensive neorealists like Waltz, Walt or Glaser251 highlight that states that want to survive in an anarchic self-help system value security as the highest end, which is, also due to balancing logics, not necessarily served by recklessly increasing relative capabilities (Waltz 1979: 126f.; Glaser 2010: 77; 1994/1995: 71-73; 88; Baumann et al. 1999: 52f.; Walt 1987; 1997: 932f.). More specifically, Waltz argues that “[s]tates can seldom afford to make maximizing power their goal. International politics is too serious a business for that” (Waltz 1979: 127). The units in the system are thus perceived to strive for security and at least

249 Nevertheless, it naturally remains clear that these two neorealist strands of theory still overlap to a considerable extend, and many distinctions remain blurred (Walt 2002: 209f.). For instance, “a balance-of-power system works whether we find states seeking only the minimum of power needed for security or whether some of them strive for domination” (Waltz 1986: 334). 250 “[G]reat powers fear each other and always compete with each other for power. The overriding goal of each state is to maximize its share of world power, which means gaining power at the expense of other states. (…) They almost always have revisionist intentions” (Mearsheimer 2001: 2). 251 Glaser calls his defensive neorealist approach “contingent realism” (see for instance Glaser 1994/1995: 52-90; 1997:189-197; 2010; 2011a; 2011b).

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preservation of their relative (capability) position; relative gains in power may be only pursued if these do not contradict security objectives (Waltz 1979: 126f.; Grieco 1993: 135; 127-132; Glaser 1994/1995: 71f.; Baumann et al. 1999: 52f.; Walt 1997: 932f.). Defensive neorealism thus offers the more sanguine perspective on world politics and (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. relations in particular. Of course, respective scholars do thereby not rule out the possibility of severe (Sino-U.S.) tensions, rivalry, and (military) conflict (escalation). Yet, concerning the post-Cold War structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, the Asia-Pacific, and the international system, they emphasize “as [o]ptimists” that there exist to some extent (contingent) conditions and partly strong (systemic/structural) incentives that at least render military conflict escalation unlikely and may rather entail an ascending PRC with limited aims that coexists more or less peacefully with the hegemonic United States (Glaser 1994/1995; Mearsheimer 2013: 89f.). More precisely, by rejecting axiomatic worst-case assumptions and competition/conflict bias and adopting a probabilistic/conditional perspective, defensive neorealists theoretically allow for significant variation in international conditions, and thus in the severity of the security dilemma and the probability of conflict; since they integrate inter alia (communicated) state intentions/motives, offense-defense and nuclear deterrence theory, threat perceptions, and (soft-)balancing(-of-power/ -threat) logics into their models of international (influence) politics, variable unit (foreign) policies towards friends and foes as well as contingent power political strategies for (cooperative and competitive) interstate behavior become possible (Brooks 1997: 446-449; 453-459; 463; 472-474; Glaser 2011a: 81-86; 89-91; 1994/1995: 58; Walt 1987; Jervis 1978; Baumann et al. 1999: 267-272). Cooperation as Self-Help Defensive neorealist scholars often criticize a competition bias in offensive neorealism; they argue that competitive behavior in the anarchic interstate system usually reinforces international rivalry and heightens the security dilemma, entailing costs and risks that often outweigh those of international cooperation (Glaser 1994/1995: 58-60). Cost-sensitive and risk-averse state units under anarchy may hence often prefer cooperation

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and the status quo to an elevated security dilemma, potential arms races or even violent conflict: “[U]nder a wide range of conditions, [even; J.V.] adversaries can best achieve their security goals through cooperative policies, not competitive ones, and should, therefore, choose cooperation” (Glaser 1994/1995: 51; 58-60). The international self-help system does thus not a priori imply a tendency towards competitive (inter-)state behavior: “[C]ooperative policies are [also; J.V.] an important type of selfhelp” (Glaser 1994/1995: 53; 58). Besides, under certain conditions, relative gains concerns of cooperation partners may be internationally manageable (inter alia via compromise or compensations/side-payments) or may to some extent play a less significant role (for instance among nuclear (super-/great) powers such as the United States and China) (Grieco 1993: 127f.; 118; 129-132; 135; Morgenthau 1948: 135f.; Glaser 1994/ 1995: 72-79). Moreover, enhanced security of a state (reached for instance via bi- or multilateral cooperation) can as well imply security gains for others; likewise, the foreign policy behavior of more secure units may become easier to calculate, raising the reliability of expectations for any actor in the system (Glaser 1994/1995: 72-79). Defensive neorealists may thus argue that although the ascending (nuclear power) PRC has in the post-Cold War era recorded slow to moderate gains in relative military, and faster so in economic capabilities towards the hegemon and nuclear power United States, this may not significantly affect U.S. but increase China’s security, potentially also raising to some extent the (perceived) security and cooperation incentives within the superpower relationship. Finally, based on arms control literature and game theory, several defensive neorealists show that the risk of cheating does not necessarily imply an unsurmountable constraint on (the evolution of) (post-Cold War) international cooperation, also since alternatives such as (security) competition and arms races may entail greater (security) risks/costs (Glaser 1994/1995: 79-83). Most importantly, these scholars highlight that “the security dilemma can vary across space and time (…) [and] there can be significant variation in the attractiveness of cooperative or competitive means, the prospects for achieving a high level of security, and the prob-

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ability of war” (Glaser 1997: 171; Brooks 1997: 446; 456-458). As the decision for cooperative or competitive (inter-)state behavior thus depends on the contingent (global/regional/bilateral) conditions present in international relations, cooperative PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policies (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue) remain viable options in the post-Cold War era. Nevertheless (and partly based on hegemonic stability theory), defensive neorealists usually still consider international cooperative arrangements to be the result of (hegemonic) power politics (Zangl 2010: 131f.; 143-145). Judging State Intentions As indicated, defensive neorealism conceptualizes the state units in the international system to be to a certain extent able to (adequately) judge the intentions of their (rival) counterparts. Not only capabilities, but also state intentions, motives and threat perceptions may hence matter in international relations (Walt 1987: 25f.; 1988: 277; 280f.; 313f.; 2002: 205f.; 209; 212f.; 1997: 933f.; Glaser 1994/1995: 67-70; 90; Baumann et al. 1999: 267-272). Although “today’s friend may be tomorrow’s enemy in war” (Grieco 1993: 118), the (rationally acting) units in the anarchic selfhelp system have thus the behavioral option to treat allies and friendly nations differently from their foes252. Based inter alia on their (military/ foreign) policy behavior and communicative signals, (super-/great) powers thus (rationally) estimate the intentions/motives of others (Glaser 1994/1995: 67-70; 90). Nonthreatening and cooperative (military) policies such as arms control, unilateral defense (an autonomous national focus on defensive capabilities) or unilateral restraint253 may convince other (super-/great) powers (in the vicinity) of a state’s non-belligerent/nongreedy motives, and may entail an overall higher level of international (regional/bilateral) trust, an attenuated security dilemma, and a higher

252 This behavioral choice becomes theoretically possible (inter alia) since defensive neorealists reject worst case assumptions and perceive states as mostly defensive positionalists instead of aggressive revisionists (Grieco 1993: 127-132; 135). 253 In regard to post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations, skeptics though argue that unilateral restraint could hardly be observed concerning U.S. and Chinese military expenditure and armament policies (see also Chapter 2.2).

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valuation of future (cooperation) gains (Glaser 1997: 190-193; 1994/ 1995: 53; 58; 64-70; Brooks 1997: 446; 455-458). According to Grieco’s formula of interdependent utility calculation, states may for instance reckon their utility U as a function of the “individual payoff, V”, and “the partner’s payoff, W”: “U = V – k (W – V)”; k thereby represents “the state’s coefficient of sensitivity to gaps in payoffs either to its advantage or disadvantage” (Grieco 1993: 129). Accordingly, k comprises the level of distrust/fear among states, and the degree of competitiveness among rationally calculating players; if (potential) cooperation partners are judged to be friendly nations (based on their (military/foreign) policies and communication), if they have even been long-term allies, and if non-security issues are at stake, governmental sensitivity for limited relative cooperation gains of others may be lower, even though most neorealist scholars argue that k will still remain positive254 (Grieco 1993: 129). Defensive neorealists thus highlight that under such favorable conditions of an attenuated security dilemma, relative gains concerns of the units may be lower, can often be managed, and (super-/great power) cooperation may thereby evolve quite frequently255. To contingently participate in or bloc international cooperation hence belongs to the evident foreign policy repertoire of rational state units under anarchy, and these actors have “no general preference for competition” (Glaser 1994/1995: 90). Next to the distribution of (offensive) capabilities, the estimated intentions of other units (in the vicinity) may thereby contingently influence a state’s (military/

254 Jervis is here even “more optimistic”, (implicitly) arguing that a negative k may be also possible: “[W]hen a state believes that another not only is not likely to be an adversary, but has sufficient interests in common with it to be an ally, then it will actually welcome an increase in the other's power” (Jervis 1978: 175). 255 In addition, super-/great powers, (regional) hegemons or other powerful nations may to a certain extent tolerate relative gains of (significantly) weaker states, since these are (at least in the near to middle term) unlikely to become a serious threat. Together with balancing arguments, this may also be a (defensive) neorealist explanation for the U.S. rapprochement and strategic cooperation with the PRC during certain periods of the Cold War. While the United States predominantly sought to prevent relative Soviet gains in power in the bipolar era, coeval lower U.S. concerns towards relative Chinese gains from cooperation seem comprehensible on that score (Betts 1993: 75; Waltz 2000: 38; cf. Goh 2005).

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foreign) policies, alliance choices and cooperation behavior (Walt 1987: 21-26). Concerning Sino-U.S. relations (and high politics interaction in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue), even defensive neorealists may though acknowledge that the United States and the PRC have not been allies in the post-Cold War era, and may have only to a limited extent perceived each other as a friendly nation256. Moreover, as will be more closely elaborated, these scholars may admit that the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power, may have to some extent quite evoked an increase in bilateral tensions, distrust, competitive and threat perceptions. Hence, the level of k may have been perspicuously positive in the post-Cold War utility functions of the superpowers, entailing a rather limited potential for permanent, economically based cooperation (Grieco 1993: 129). Moreover, the indicated U.S. tolerance so far of relative Chinese (economic and military) gains may decrease, and the coefficient of k rise, the more China’s potential as a future (regional) contender of the hegemonic United States becomes apparent. According to this line of thought, post-Cold War U.S. and PRC (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue may likely be rather marked by strategic power politics. This does though not exclude instrumental, issue-specific and variable cooperation among the superpowers and further state units (especially in the North Korea issue) as long as low exit-costs are given for the case of significant relative gains of certain (rival) parties or the worsening of international (regional/bilateral) (security) conditions (Grieco 1993: 133f.). Varia-

256 Besides, while conceptualizing (as the thesis at hand) third image variables as most significant for (inter-)state behavior, some (defensive) neorealists also partly integrate factors such as militarism or (hyper-)nationalism into their models of international relations; based on such models (which will not be considered in the following), Chinese nationalism (fed by historically caused animosities) might potentially be problematic regarding (future) Sino-U.S. and international relations (Mastanduno 1997: 65; Van Evera 1994; Mearsheimer 1990: 7f.; 12; 20f.; 25; 29; 35; 37; 49f.; 55f.; Nabers 2005: 128; Walt 1998: 37; 42).

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tion in the severity of the security dilemma and the probability of conflict (or cooperation) may thereby be also influenced by offense-defense variables (Jervis 1978: 173f.; 186-214; Van Evera 1998: 5f.; 16-22; Brooks 1997: 456; Walt 1987: 24f.; 2002: 204f.). Offense-Defense Theory Integration of offense-defense theory has been perceived as a major theory refinement by defensive neorealist scholars (Walt 1998: 31; Glaser 1994/1995: 60-67). Instead of relying solely on (the balance of) power, they focus as well on the capacity of states to accomplish military missions – and hence inter alia on military technology, geography and social/ population factors; accordingly, they argue that these (structural) variables can decisively (co-)influence (inter-)national security and (superpower) foreign policy behavior (Glaser 1994/1995: 53; 60-67; Brooks 1997: 456; 458; 472; Van Evera 1998: 5f.; 16-22; Jervis 1978: 173f.; 194-199; Walt 2002: 204f.). Most notably, the offense-defense balance and distinguishability may affect the severity of the security dilemma, contingently rendering international cooperation an optimal or suboptimal, more or less risky governmental strategy (Glaser 1994/1995: 53; 60-67; Brooks 1997: 456; Jervis 1978: 186-194; 199-214; Rose 1998: 149f.; Van Evera 1998: 5f.; 10f.; Walt 2002: 204). When defense for instance has the advantage, states usually enjoy higher levels of security, so that cooperation may often be the rational (foreign) policy option to pursue (Glaser 1994/1995: 67; Walt 1998: 31). Similarly, if offensive and defensive military capabilities are distinguishable, and offense has the advantage, states may in particular seek to establish cooperative arrangements of arms control that restrict forces for offensive missions while allowing for defensive capabilities; this may imply barriers to cheating, avoid the dynamic risks and costs of arms races, and promote the status quo as well as higher levels of international security (Glaser 1994/1995: 64-67). Overall, according to offense-defense theory, (military) technological, geographic and social/population factors may render large-scale Sino-U.S. military confrontation rather unlikely; as neither the nuclear armed PRC, with about 1,375 million residents (in 2015), the fourth largest national

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territory, with (MER-based) the second largest economy and military expenditure worldwide, nor the nuclear armed United States, with a population of about 322 million (in 2015), the third largest national territory, with (MER-based) the largest economy and defense expenditure and as the clear-cut military hegemon, can be easily defeated militarily, and less so conquered or occupied, offense-defense variable, cost-benefit, and (nuclear) deterrence calculations may strongly work against bilateral conflict escalation and superpower war (Walt 1998: 31f.; IMF 2016a; CIA 2016a; The World Bank 2016b: 48; 52). It thereby becomes evident that many (defensive) neorealist scholars perceive the possession of nuclear weapons by states, and of nuclear second-strike capabilities in particular, to contribute to peaceful, potentially even cooperative (Sino-U.S.) foreign policy interaction: “[A]mong the great powers the nuclear revolution (…) [may have; J.V.] resulted in easily established relationships of mutual deterrence that provide not only a robust buffer against general war, but also a strong constraint on both limited war and crisis behavior” (Goldstein 1997/1998: 70; Waltz 1981; Glaser 1994/1995: 79; 89). Pacifying Effects of Nuclear Weapons When (defensive) neorealist scholars thus rely on the pacifying effects of nuclear weapons and hold that (large-scale) war between nuclear powers can usually be avoided, this argument rests decisively upon offensedefense theory and deterrence logics: “Concerning nuclear weapons, it is generally agreed that defense is impossible—a triumph not of the offense, but of deterrence. Attack makes no sense, not because it can be beaten off, but because the attacker will be destroyed in turn. (…) the result is the equivalent of the primacy of the defense” (Jervis 1978: 198; 206-210; 2002: 1; 7f.; Mearsheimer 1993: 50f.; 57; 1990: 13; Waltz 1993: 71; 73). As super-/great power status has per se been linked (inter alia) to the possession of nuclear weapons and especially nuclear secondstrike capabilities, respective U.S. and PRC capacities may improve bilateral security, restrain behavior and render large-scale militarized disputes rather unlikely (Kast 1997: 10; Waltz 1993: 51-54; Mearsheimer 2013: 90; Jervis 1978: 198; 206-210; 2002: 7f; Friedberg 2005: 28; Sheehan 2010: 61f.; Masala 2010b: 60f.). In other words, the (post-Cold War) security

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dilemma in Sino-U.S. relations may have been significantly diminished by nuclear weapons, also since “[w]inning big, because it risks nuclear retaliation, becomes too dangerous to contemplate” (Waltz 1993: 53; Glaser 1994/1995: 87-89; Wohlforth 2009: 29; Jervis 1978: 198)257. In particular, the elaborated post-Cold War modernization efforts concerning the PLA (land-, submarine-, and air-based) nuclear second-strike capabilities may have rendered reciprocal superpower deterrence more robust; this may have clearly decreased (structural) incentives for arms races and the probability of an escalation of conflicts evoked for instance by the structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, the Taiwan issue or the North Korea issue: “China has [several; J.V.] (…) intercontinental missiles (…) able to hit almost any American target and (…) [even; J.V.] more missiles able to reach the west coast of the United States (…) Deterrence is much easier to contrive than most Americans have surmised” (Waltz 2000: 32; 1979: 195; 202; Mearsheimer 1990: 11). Consequently, from a defensive neorealist perspective, a quite stable superpower relationship comes into view in the post-Cold War era, where the nuclear powers United States and China compete more or less peacefully for security, capabilities and (spheres of) influence (Goldstein 1997/1998: 70-73; Walt 1998: 31f.). Although China’s relatively fast economic ascent as well as slow to moderate advances in military power (since the end of the Cold War) have to a certain extent altered the Sino-U.S. and international distribution of capabilities, relative gains (and cheating) concerns may thus have been somewhat attenuated in Sino-U.S. relations since it may be rather dif-

257 Naturally, other (neorealist and power transition) scholars question potentially appeasing effects of nuclear weapons. Kugler for instance points out that “[p]ower transition theorists (…) strongly doubt that nuclear parity between the U.S. and a risen but dissatisfied China could preserve the peace” (Kugler 2006: 41; 40; Tammen et al. 2000: 32f.; 39f.; 82-106; 183). Similarly, Walton states that “[w]hile it is often assumed (…) that nuclear weapons make countries more cautious and therefore less likely to go to war, there is reason to doubt that this will be true in all cases. (…) It is (…) difficult to anticipate how a country such as North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, or Pakistan will act in the future. (…) [I]t is, regrettably, very easy indeed to imagine that the present Nuclear Age will be marked by one or more relatively small nuclear wars” (Walton 2010: 216; 225). For skeptical arguments concerning nuclear (super-/great power) peace, see also Gilpin (1981: 213-218; 1988: 611-613) and Friedberg (1993/1994: 25f.; 28).

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ficult here to transfer relative (cooperation) gains into decisive (nuclear) strategic advantage: “[C]ountries that possess large nuclear arsenals (…) should not be inhibited from security or economic cooperation by security-related relative-gains constraints, since nuclear weapons create a very large advantage for the defense” (Glaser 1994/1995: 79; 89; Waltz 1979: 195; 1993: 51-54; Goldstein 1997/1998: 71). Defensive neorealist scholars may hence argue that the value of Grieco’s coefficient of fear may (although clearly positive) have still remained moderate within post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations, so that instrumental, issue-specific and variable bi- and multilateral cooperation among the superpowers and others continues to be a “key instrumen[t] of statecraft—indeed, of realpolitik” (Mastanduno 1997: 72f.; Grieco 1993: 129; Glaser 1994/1995: 79). NevertheNevertheless, U.S. and Chinese nuclear (second-strike) capabilities do naturally not imply that military power may no longer strategically serve as an instrument of political purpose in a wider Clausewitzian sense (Clausewitz 1980 [1832]: 210; 990; Jäger/Beckmann 2011a: 216; 224; Gilpin 1981: 213f.; Sheehan 2010: 62; 48f.; 55; Etzersdorfer 2011: 54; Beckmann 2010: 9; 33; Mahnken 2010: 69-76; Gray 1999: 17f.). Accordingly, defensive neorealists may argue that nuclear and conventional military capabilities of the superpowers may still be frequently applied as a political instrument below the threshold of evoking major militarized conflict, and thus (inter alia) for coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal/ strategic) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers and (limited) power projection (Jervis 2002: 7; Gilpin 1981: 214; Baylis/Wirtz 2010: 4f.; Gray 1999: 17f.). Chinese and U.S. state actors may thereby still “make decisions based on the probability of conflict” (Brooks 1997: 457; 446-459; 463; 472-474). “Influence Politics” While offensive neorealism argues (based on worst-case assumptions) that states under anarchy aggressively strive for power due to the mere possibility of conflict, the conditional view of defensive neorealism theoretically allows for the probability of conflict to vary significantly in the international (and a regional/bilateral) system; this contingent probability of conflict decisively influences the systemic/structural effects on the units,

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and thus also (PRC and U.S.) foreign policy behavior (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue) (Brooks 1997: 446-449; 453-459; 463; 472-474; Baumann et al. 1999: 266-272). Fundamentally, most defensive neorealists thereby share the basic (neo-)realist assumption that the more capabilities a state has at its disposal, the more will it use these power resources to realize its (security) interests – in other words, the more may it pursue (strategic) power politics (Baumann et al. 1999: 245247; 257; 260; 268; 277f.; Snyder 2004a: 55). Given the tremendous post-Cold War capability bases of the ascending PRC and the hegemonic United States analyzed in Chapter Two, high levels of (strategic) power politics may likely characterize their (relational) (foreign) policy behavior. What is more, however, is that defensive neorealist scholars have developed models of realpolitik (unit) behavior that take the two different categories of power (already indicated in Chapter Two) explicitly into account – namely the dimensions of power as “control over resources”, and of “power (…) as influence [and thus as] (…) control over [interdependent/ regional; J.V.] actors and outcomes” (Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; Hart 1976; Brooks/Wohlforth 2011: 202; 2008: 13; Wohlforth 1994/1995: 97; Keohane/Nye 1989: 11; 18; Ikenberry et al. 2009: 3-5; Jäger 1996: 92). Several defensive neorealists thereby argue that according to the (estimated) international (regional/bilateral) probability of conflict and hence a state’s perceived level of international security pressures, a (super-/great power) unit in the international system may pursue (at least) two kinds of power politics: autonomy and/or influence seeking behavior (Baumann et al. 1999: 245-247; 250-254; 257-272; Brooks 1997: 447; 450; 458; 472). Baumann et al. for instance suggest that when the probability of international (regional/bilateral) conflict and aggression from other states seems high, states may first and foremost pursue autonomy maximizing behavior; this implies that they seek (inter alia) to reduce (asymmetric) interdependence and the influence other units may have on their fate (Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; 257-259; 261-272). The lower international threats and security pressures and the more attenuated the international security dilemma may though appear, the more likely it will be that (super-/great) powers will opt for (longer-term oriented) influence maximizing behavior,

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even if this involves a loss of autonomy (Baumann et al. 1999: 259-272; 278f.; Brooks 1997: 447; 450; 458; 472). States may then predominantly seek to translate their capabilities into control over actors and outcomes, and may hence pursue to increase their influence on the perception/ intentions, (foreign) policy decisions and (inter-)action of other (state) actors in the system; this implies that they discount future (influence) gains to a lesser extent and may bi- and multilaterally cooperate also via (pre-/quasi-)institutionalized platforms as a means to acquire voice opportunities towards more powerful units or increase their control over less powerful states in the international (or a regional/bilateral) system (Grieco 1996: 264; 286-289; 294; 301-305; 1995: 24; 34-40; Hirschmann 1970; 1978: 90; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 18; Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; 259272; 278; Brooks 1997: 450; 458; Jäger 1996: 75). As has been highlighted both in Chapter Two and in regard to offensedefense (and hence military (nuclear) technology, geography and social/ population) variables, international and reciprocal security pressures/ threats concerning ascending China and the hegemonic United States have been rather low to moderate in the post-Cold War era. Chapter 2.2 for instance showed that for the present-day PRC, “the likelihood of a land invasion of the Chinese mainland is extremely remote. A major amphibious assault against China’s coast is also improbable. China’s size, population, and military improvements over the past decades greatly reduce the chance of political success for any ground-oriented military operation directed against the mainland, except for terrorist action and possibly border raids” (Blasko 2012: 230). Similarly, the superior security position of the hegemonic United States has become obvious. Consequently, both superpowers may prefer influence- over autonomy-enhancing (foreign) policies and may hence seek to translate their capabilities into control over actors and outcomes; this implies that they may inter alia quite bi- and multilaterally cooperate also via (pre-/quasi-)institutionalized formats, as these embody important arenas for potentially increased Chinese voice opportunities towards the U.S. hegemon, and U.S. influence on the ascending PRC (Grieco 1996: 264; 286-289; 294; 301-305; 1995: 24; 34-40; Hirschmann 1970; 1978: 90; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 18; Bau-

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mann et al. 1999: 250f.; 259-272; 278; 282; Mearsheimer 1994/1995: 13; Evans/Wilson 1992: 330). Defensive neorealists may thus inter alia offer an influence (power) politics based explanation concerning the post-Cold War increase in common PRC and U.S. membership and involvement in globally oriented international institutions such as the United Nations (especially as permanent members/veto powers in the UNSC), the IMF, the World Bank, the G-20 (since 1999/2008)258, and the nuclear non-proliferation regime (since 1992)259, in regional international institutions such as the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) (since 1991), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) (since 1994), and the East Asia Summit (EAS) (since 2011), at bi- and multilateral communication platforms such as the U.S.China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (since 2009) and the Shangri-La Dialogue (since 2002/2007), and regarding China’s accession (in 2001) to the WTO (which implied a loss of autonomy) (The White House 2012; Clinton 2011: 59; 61; Kissinger 2012; 2011: 497; IISS 2014b; Rode 2010: 431; 438; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 17f.; 34-43; 135). Similarly, the SixParty Talks on primarily the North Korean nuclear issue may be such a multilateral (pre-/quasi-institutionalized)260 arena of influence (power) politics where the PRC may profit from voice and co-determination opportunities towards the hegemonic United States and the latter may seek to increase its (regional) influence inter alia on the actions of rising China and the DPRK; beyond that, both superpowers may naturally try to maximize their control over the interaction processes of the other involved (allied) powers and the international outcome (Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; 259-278; 282; Evans/Wilson 1992: 330; Mearsheimer 1994/1995: 13).

258 The dates in brackets here indicate the first year of common PRC and U.S. membership in the respective international institution if this common membership was reached at/after the end of the Cold War. 259 The PRC acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in March 1992, and had become a state party to the IAEA in 1984 (United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs 2016; Kan 2015: 1; Gellman 1998b; IAEA 2016; IISS 1992: 139). 260 For an assessment of the Six-Party Talks as a pre-/quasi-institutionalized diplomatic platform, see Footnotes 179 and 230.

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Consequently, they may pursue influence gains and seek to enforce their (security) preferences, also by making sure that the other participants comply with reached decisions. Of course, defensive neorealists thereby also acknowledge that the kind of “influence politics” elaborated above may often be backed or replenished by efforts to constrain the freedom of action and (politico-economic/ strategic) sphere of influence of others (Baumann et al. 1999: 262). Accordingly, the United States may inter alia threaten and apply (politico-) economic sanctions against the DPRK, and potentially to some extent also against the PRC if the latter does (recurrently) not meet or comply with certain policy expectations; besides, the United States may try to limit China’s (military) freedom of action and sphere of influence in the AsiaPacific by partly applying coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers and (limited) power projection (most obviously in the Taiwan issue, but also in the North Korea issue) (Gray 1999: 17f.; Baylis/Wirtz 2010: 4f.; Baumann et al. 1999: 262; 264). Taiwanese dependence on U.S. (diplomatic and potentially military) support and weapons sales thereby ensures a certain degree of U.S. control over the policies made in Taipei, and strengthens the U.S. sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific. Naturally, such politico-economic and strategic (power political) instruments are available to the ascending PRC as well (though still to a lower extent), which may increasingly seek to transfer its post-Cold War relative economic and military gains towards the United States and Taiwan into capabilities that enable it to deter and deny U.S. military action close to its borders, raise U.S. intervention costs in a Taiwan contingency, and deter ROC (Republic of China on Taiwan) steps towards formal independence – thus in turn constraining respective freedom of behavior: “China (…) may believe that it is entitled to a ‘sphere of influence’ in its region (…) [and] could [thus to some extent; J.V.] seek to limit U.S. military and perhaps economic access” (Khalilzad et al. 1999: 86; 19; Baumann et al. 1999: 262).

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Balancing Approaches on balancing behavior of the (super-/great power) units in the international system have been a prominent issue in the (defensive) neorealist school of thought261 and promise to be fruitful here as well concerning the (re-)construction of an eclectic neorealist picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular. One of the fundamental balancing theories was thereby established by Waltz: “If there is any distinctively political theory of international politics, balance-of-power theory is it” (Waltz 1979: 117). His theory implies that state units under anarchy usually seek to establish a balance of power in the international (and in regional) system(s), since a relative maximum of security may then be reached262 (Waltz 1979: 117-128; 163-174; Mearsheimer 2013: 77; 91). More specifically, an international balance of power may temporarily provide interstate peace since no (super-/great power) unit or (military) alliance can attack another without risking defeat (Zangl/Zürn 2003: 45-47). The major policy incentive set by the (anarchic self-help) structure of the international system thus usually implies to level imbalances in the international distribution of capabilities and to balance relative gains in capabilities of other nations or a coalition of states – in fact via internal and/or external balancing measures (Waltz 1979: 117-128; 163-174). Internal balancing thereby comprises “moves to increase economic capability, (…) military strength, [and] to develop clever strategies”, while external balancing comprises “moves to strengthen and enlarge one’s own alliance or to weaken and shrink an opposing one” (Waltz 1979: 118). Overall, given state units in the international system that mostly prefer an international balance of power, established (super-/great) powers (such

261 The era of the “Concert of Europe/European Pentarchy” (more or less between the Congress of Vienna and World War I) as well as the Cold War period have inter alia provided historical behavioral patterns among the (super-/great) powers that have often been used by (neo-)realist scholars for developing approaches on balancing behavior (see for instance Kissinger (1957); for a partly opposite view, see Schweller 1994: 105f.). 262 For super-/great powers, it would in principle be more desirable to attain a further relative security maximum of becoming the global hegemon or, as the absolute maximum, if international anarchy could be terminated by the establishment of a world government/state. As elaborated, these two maxima are yet hardly achievable from a neorealist point of view.

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as the hegemonic United States) have to always fear that they may be balanced by alliance-formation among weaker states and/or the politicoeconomic ascent and military (capability) advancement of a potential (Chinese) challenger (Grieco 1993: 127-132; 135). This may be true both regarding the international system as a whole and (partly) regional interstate systems, implying that “if any state becomes too powerful, (…) the other great powers will build up their militaries and form a balancing coalition that will leave the aspiring hegemon at least less secure” (Mearsheimer 2013: 81). According to Waltz, states may thereby join usually the weaker side of two alliances/power centers, since this promises to provide higher security benefits and influence gains concerning joint decision-making (Waltz 1979: 126f.; Walt 1987: 18-21). More recent (defensive) neorealist approaches have though often sought to revise and “refine” the Waltzian balance-of-power approach (Schweller 1997: 927). According to Walt’s balance-of-threat theory, for instance, states may (pursue steps of reciprocal economic integration and) form a (military) coalition against the (super-/great) power perceived as the biggest threat, which is not necessarily the most powerful state or (the U.S.) hegemon in the international or a regional system: “States ally to balance against threats rather than against power alone. Although the distribution of power is an extremely important factor, the level of threat [that states may pose] is also affected by geographic proximity, offensive capabilities, and perceived intentions” (Walt 1987: 5; 21-26; 147; 178f.; 211; 263; 282; 1988; 1997: 933f.). Powerful nations with rapidly growing resources, significant offensive capabilities and (perceived) aggressive intentions may thus trigger balancing reactions especially by (sufficiently powerful) states in the vicinity; moreover, the latter state units may often embrace regional interference of more distant super-/great powers and agree to economic and military cooperation with these, thus providing “regional divide et impera” opportunities for more remote super-/great powers and hegemons like the United States (Walt 1987: 21-26; Holslag 2010: 30). A military (and potentially also politico-economic) alliance may hence evolve to collectively hinder an ascending (threatening) super-/great power (in the vicinity) from gaining superior (offensive) capabilities and becoming a

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regional hegemon (Walt 1987: 21-26; 1988). In addition, Schweller developed a “balance-of-interests” approach, which argues that bandwagoning (for profit), and thus “siding with the stronger state or coalition” can also be a (low-cost) behavioral option for (both threatened and not directly threatened) (revisionist) smaller/weaker states and (revisionist) great powers that are faced with an emerging (revisionist) (regional) hegemon – and this bandwagoning choice may partly entail significant opportunities for relative gains (Schweller 1997: 928; 1994: 99; 72-75; 7985; 88-107; 1993: 83f.)263. Moreover, states may bandwagon if they simply cannot individually or collectively balance a (U.S.) super-/great power (and hegemon) that has superior capabilities at its disposal; similarly, this implies that weaker states in a region that have no realistic chance of (immediately) defending themselves in the case of aggression from a nearby (rising) (Chinese) super-/great power (and potential hegemon) may affiliate themselves with this superior neighbor as it is in their (security) interests – also since other potential (super-/great power) allies may be too far off (Walt 1987: 17-33; Schweller 1994: 107; 1997: 928; Holslag 2010: 76; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 25). Based on such realpolitik calculations, (Sino-U.S.) super-/great power relations can thus be marked by (regional) rivalry for allies and spheres of strategic, economic and institutional influence (in Asia and the Asia-Pacific) (Walt 1987: 25). Last but not least, Pape developed a model of international soft-balancing behavior that has become quite influential in recent years (Pape 2005). Soft balancing by a state or a (temporary) coalition of nations thereby implies that weaker state units apply non-military (diplomatic, economic

263 Schweller’s “balance-of-interests theory” is included here to complement potential (PRC and U.S.) behavioral options within an eclectic neorealist perspective on world politics and Sino-U.S. ties, and to point to a potential superpower struggle for allies and spheres of influence. For reasons of coherence and due to often closely related balancing and bandwagoning logics, this is done here within the chapter on defensive neorealism; it though remains clear that Schweller’s theoretical allowance for states in the international system that are no defensive positionalists but aggressively purse relative capability gains, and thus his dichotomist introduction of revisionist versus status quo states, as well as his stronger reference to unit-level variables may render his theory rather a neoclassical or even offensive neorealist approach (Schweller 1993; 1994; 1996: 92; 119f.; 1997; 2003; 2004; Masala 2010a: 61f.).

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or other) measures to notify their discontent with and oppose (aggressive unilateral/military) policies264 of more puissant (super-/great) powers: “Soft-balancing measures do not directly challenge a unipolar leader's military preponderance, but they can delay, complicate, or increase the costs of using that extraordinary power. Nonmilitary tools, such as international institutions, economic statecraft, and strict interpretations of neutrality, can have a real, if indirect, effect on the military prospects of a unipolar leader. (…) Mechanisms of soft balancing include territorial denial, entangling diplomacy, economic strengthening [also seeking to exclude the addressee from regional economic integration; J.V.], and signaling of resolve to participate in a balancing coalition” (Pape 2005: 17; 36; 7-10; 37-45; Paul 2005: 47; 58-71; Posen 2013). State units choose soft- over hard-balancing behavior as a strategy to sidestep (for now) the usually enormous (economic, diplomatic and military/strategic) costs and risks of internal and external balancing, if they simply lack the capabilities or if collective action problems with potential partners remain too significant for successful hard-balancing efforts (Pape 2005: 8-10; 15-17). (Diplomatic and politico-economic) opposition to (super-/great power) (military) policies may thereby be pursued unilaterally or multilaterally coordinated, also via international institutions such as the United Nations (Security Council) and via public diplomacy (Pape 2005: 17f.; 10; 36-45; Posen 2013; Paul 2005: 47; 58-71). While soft balancing seeks to demonstrate resolve and threatens further (collective) resistance, it often still pursues to influence the addressee and to (co-)shape (post-Cold War) international outcomes, for instance by challenging a (super-/great) power’s authority/legitimacy and (thus) raising the costs and risks of unaccepted (unilateral/multilaterally coordinated) action (Pape 2005: 17f.; 10; 36-45; Paul 2005: 47; 58-71; Posen 2013). In principle, (PRC and U.S.) soft balancing can thereby also evolve into hard-balancing behavior (Pape 2005: 17f.; 42f.).

264 Soft balancing is perceived here in the wider sense (and thus to a certain extent broader than in Pape (2005)) in so far as it may comprise a non-military response of a weaker state or a coalition of weaker states to military or non-military, unilateral or multilaterally coordinated policies of a more powerful (super-/great power) unit in the international (or a regional) system.

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Overall, balance-of-power, -threat, -interests and soft-balancing approaches clearly enrich the neorealist perspective on world politics (and Sino-U.S. relations) and may in the following also prove important for deducing neorealist hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue. For although a system-wide international balance of power has not (yet) evolved in the post-Cold War era marked by U.S. hegemony265, regional and issuespecific/situational (soft-)balancing processes and (super-/great power) struggles for spheres of influence may nevertheless have significantly shaped post-Cold War international and regional politics (in the Asia-

265 Since the neorealist discourse on the (post-Cold War/current) polarity of the international system and respective scholarly deductions concerning (the probability of) international peace, stability and balancing/bandwagoning behavior have stayed quite heterogeneous, this research area will be only shortly considered, here (Buzan 1991: 160-166; Gilpin 1981: 88-93). As elaborated in Chapter Two, different concepts of (military, economic, demographic, competence-based or instrumental, structural and discursive) power and/or influence have been one reason for these varying judgements on the polarity of the international system and potential effects on international stability and the likeliness of war. In regard to the latter, Waltz and Mearsheimer for instance argue that interstate war may be less probable, and the international system more stable, when a balance of two (nuclear) superpowers exists (as the era of the “long peace” between the Soviet Union and the United States may have proved); relative capabilities may then be easier to calculate, so that the danger of misperceiving the balance of power and triggering a super-/great power war may decrease (Waltz 1979: 161-193; Mearsheimer 1990; 2001; 2013: 84f.; Zangl/Zürn 2003: 39f.; 47). By contrast, in the “fluid environment” of multipolarity, states may feel threatened by several other (super-/great) powers whose capabilities/intentions remain difficult to estimate; thus, the probability for preemptive strikes and interstate war may rise (Waltz 1979: 161-193; Mearsheimer 1990; 2001; 2013: 84f.). Similarly, in a unipolar world, structural balancing incentives in the anarchic international system may evoke antihegemonic alliance formation; as this is not in the interest of the unipole, the likelihood of military conflicts and wars may rise (Schörnig 2010: 76f.). Nevertheless, other neorealists (such as rise and fall theorists) have come to different judgements and deductions, claiming for instance that unipolar and/or multipolar systems may be more peaceful than bipolarity (Mearsheimer 2013: 84-86; Buzan 1991: 160-162; Wohlforth 2009; Tammen et al. 2000; Copeland 2000; 1996; Zangl/Zürn 2003: 47f.). Overall, what may be more or less commonly accepted is that periods of transition in the international system seem to be more conflict-/war-prone (Mearsheimer 2013: 87f.; Buzan 1991: 162; Tammen et al. 2000; Gilpin 1981; 1988; Layne 2008: 13; 16; Ferguson 2006: 68f.). In the end, one may conclude that if one perceives from a defensive neorealist perspective the post-Cold War era so far as either uni- or multipolar, this entails for both cases a moderately grim picture of Sino-U.S. ties, namely a relationship marked by strategic power politics.

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Pacific) (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 36; 39f.). Waltz for instance argues in regard to the ascending PRC that “[i]ts nearly 3 million strong army, undergoing modernization, and the gradual growth of its sea- and air-power projection capabilities, produce apprehension in all of China’s neighbors and add to the sense of instability in a region where issues of sovereignty and disputes over territory abound” (Waltz 2000: 33). Post-Cold War Chinese (relative) gains in economic and military capabilities, and in particular the relatively fast Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way as well as the slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military power (see Chapter Two) may thus have worried state units (inter alia) in Asia and the Asia-Pacific (such as Taiwan, ASEAN members, Japan, South Korea, Australia or India) and to some part the hegemonic United States as well – and may hence have partly elicited regional balancing/bandwagoning processes influenced by the superpowers; more specifically, according to regional balance-of-power, soft-balancing, and (international) balance-ofthreat logics, the ascending PRC may have induced certain ASEAN/AsiaPacific states, on the account of China’s proximity, its (increasing) power, potent means of conquest, and perceived intentions (also in regard to the Taiwan, the North Korea, the East and the South China Sea issue) to pursue (bi- and multilaterally coordinated) (soft-)balancing measures to counter this perceived threat, and to (economically and militarily) cooperate with and embrace a stronger regional engagement of the hegemonic United States (Walt 1987: 21-26; 1988: 308-316; 1997: 933f.; Economy 2010: 149; Goldstein 1997/1998: 63f.). The (U.S. supported) formation and further integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) may for instance have (inter alia) been the outcome of such a regional (soft-)balancing dynamic towards the rising People’s Republic of China. The United States may thereby pursue foreign policies in the post-Cold War era that ensure at least continued “[a]ccess to the Theater (…) [in] the Western Pacific” (Khalilzad et al. 1999: xviii). Moreover, from a defensive neorealist view, it may develop a moderate (soft-)balancing(-ofthreat) approach towards the PRC that also pursues to secure its established sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific; next to some internal (struc-

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tural military, economic and strategy) adjustments, this implies to improve bilateral relations, consolidate existing partnerships (for instance with Singapore), and win new (ASEAN) countries (such as Vietnam) and again New Zealand as closer military partners; similarly, the five major U.S. (non-NATO) allies in the region (Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and (periodically) the Philippines), as well as (potential) U.S. use of (own) military/support facilities in and regular military contacts/joint maneuvers inter alia with Singapore, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Mongolia, as well as the U.S. initiatives and (nuclear) deals with the Indian government in recent years may be seen in such a perspective: “Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been busy trying to strengthen and solidify its ties to its traditional regional allies (including Japan, South Korea, and Australia) in large part out of concern over the growth of Chinese power. Especially since the latter part of the 1990s, the United States has also been working to expand its network of alliances and quasi alliances in Southeast, South, and Central Asia” (Friedberg 2005: 23f.; Economy 2010: 149; IISS 2013: 50; 54; 246; 267; The White House/Obama 2011; Kaplan 2005; Wagener 2009: xii; 2011: 245; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 2011; Overholt 2008: 229f.; 241; Globalsecurity.org 2012). Furthermore, the United States may partly seek to delay Chinese (military) modernization (and thus potential Chinese internal balancing success) for instance by impeding (via embargo) Western high-technology (weapons) exports to the PRC (Caverley 2007: 611f.). Nevertheless, taking into account that the United States seems to overall still profit from strong, slightly asymmetric (economic) interdependence with the PRC266, respective positive (politico-)economic effects for the United States and resulting sources of power/influence would be significantly harmed by strong U.S. military or even economic containment of China; besides,

266 A (rise and fall) neorealist perception and behavioral deductions based on the (postCold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties – marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power – will be developed in Chapter 3.2.3.

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especially the latter would in the end probably turn out to be ineffective, antagonize (potential) allies and partners not only in Asia and the AsiaPacific, and elicit hostile reactions from Beijing (Christensen 2006: 122; 125; Betts 2010: 192; 1993: 54f.; Kirshner 2012: 70f.; Tammen et al. 2000: 40; 158). Accordingly, full-scale U.S. internal and external balancing against the People’s Republic China would unrealistically assume practically no discount rates on anticipated future relative losses towards the PRC, and would against the background of a so far (“only”) slightly heightened Sino-U.S. security dilemma and the low to moderate degree of bilateral action-reaction processes in armament and security policies be hardly comprehensible from a balance-of-power and -threat perspective; the United States may hence deliberately seek to avoid the (politico-) economic, strategic, and influence costs/drawbacks of harsh balancing measures and follow so far rather a hedging strategy that has been also termed “gentle” or “polite” containment: “An explicit American project to organize Asia on the basis of containing China (…) is unlikely to succeed—in part because China is an indispensable trading partner for most of its neighbors” (Kissinger 2011: 526; Christensen 2006: 122; 125; Möller 2002: 5; 19f.; Betts 1993: 54; Medeiros 2005/2006: 145-153; Rudolf 2006: 6; 11-16). What is more, regarding the Sino-U.S. financial “balance of terror” analyzed in Chapter 2.1 (Summers 2004: 7b), aggressive U.S. balancing against rising China could eventually even trigger U.S. fiscal, (politico-)economic and dollar crises, and thus affect major pillars of U.S. (structural) power (Kirshner 2008; 2012: 70). Due to strategic considerations, the military hegemon United States may though from a defensive neorealist perspective likely retain and potentially moderately increase the recently 75,000-85,000 U.S. forces that have been permanently deployed to the western Pacific theater/sphere of influence, and may (as elaborated) strengthen its bilateral military alliances and partnerships in the region to “keep a new balance of power from forming in Asia” (Waltz 2000: 36; Holslag 2010: 31f.; 61; IISS 2016: 50-52; 2013: 267; Capaccio/ Gaouette 2014). Since “those who cause others to align against them are at a significant disadvantage” (Walt 1987: vii), and as it still lacks the full range of neces-

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sary (military, technological and economic) resources, the People’s Republic of China may thereby refrain (as well) from too aggressive (balance-of-power/-threat) policies against the United States and its allies. Despite a certain Chinese perception of strategic encirclement and containment by the U.S. military presence and the various U.S. allies and partners in Asia and the Asia-Pacific, the PRC may in the post-Cold War era thus rather pursue a moderate (soft-)balancing approach towards the U.S. hegemon, knowing that a more assertive (regional) demeanor “would enhance cooperation among all or at least some of (…) [its neighbors], evoking China's historic nightmare” (Kissinger 2012; 2011: 528; Li 2009: 223; Posen 2013; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 137). (“Only”) moderate PRC (soft-)balancing against the United States may also keep Chinese economic opportunity costs limited and seems unlikely to seriously threaten its continued economic rise (Brooks 1997: 464f.). In addition, this behavioral strategy does not hinder the efforts of the ascending People’s Republic of China to increase its regional and international influence. Overall, the PRC may thus pursue strategic power politics in the postCold War era that partly/issue-specifically seek to (soft-)balance and/or influence the United States, expand Taiwanese (economic and security) dependence on the mainland, ensure a certain level of control over its North Korean ally, and raise its influence on South Korea and other state units in the regional and international system. Furthermore, the “Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation” (signed in 2001), the often affirmed Sino-Russian strategic partner- or even special relationship, coordinated Sino-Russian actions within international institutions, and common Sino-Russian military exercises may be neorealistically perceived as elements of such a post-Cold War, moderate PRC (soft-)balancing strategy towards the hegemonic United States (Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2002; Voltaire Network 2001; Medeiros 2005/2006: 157; Owen 2001: 133; 137; Posen 2013; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 137). As has become evident from a (defensive) neorealist perspective, postCold War strategic power politics of the superpowers may hence involve moderate, but not full-scale internal and external balancing(-of-threat/

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power) policies, with a low to moderate degree of bilateral action-reaction dynamics. Besides, soft-balancing behavior may play a significant role within post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations. In regard to superpower struggles for spheres of (politico-economic) influence, (defensive) neorealists may for instance point to soft-balancing approaches concerning the (potential) creation of (Asia-Pacific) (free) trade and other politico-economic agreements. Comparable to the longstanding U.S.-EU talks on a potential Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (that stalled after the November 2016 election of Donald Trump as U.S. president), the United States and eleven states in the Asia-Pacific had negotiated and intergovernmentally agreed (in February 2016) on the establishment of a Pacific free trade zone, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (although U.S. ratification was then (finally) stopped under the Trump administration) (The White House/Obama 2011; Johnston/Calmes 2011). What had been remarkable, though not necessarily from a neorealist perspective, was that the largest economy in Asia, and thus the People’s Republic of China, had not been included in these U.S.-led free trade talks in the Asia-Pacific (Calmes 2011; Johnston/Calmes 2011). Although Obama had (rather half-heartedly) invited China, the terms of accession and implied standards and norms would have been difficult to meet for the PRC, and joining would have eventually implied China’s accession to an international institutional framework that it had (once again) not co-formulated (Kissinger 2012; Calmes 2011). As a potential soft-balancing reaction, the PRC has “put forward comparable alternative arrangements. It has negotiated a trade pact with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and has broached a Northeast Asian trade pact with Japan and South Korea” (Kissinger 2012). While the hegemonic United States has favored the IMF, the World Bank, and as (Asia-Pacific) regional politico-economic institutions the wider APEC format, (partly) the Asian Development Bank (wherein it has major influence), and finally the East Asia Summit (which it acceded to in 2011), the PRC has also fostered and brought into play (alternative) (quasi-/pre-)institutions and initiatives without U.S. involvement, such as the China ASEAN Free Trade Area, the ASEAN Plus Three and the Chiang Mai (multilateral currency swap) Initiative (ASEAN members plus China, South Korea, and Japan), ASEAN Plus Six (fur-

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ther adding Australia, New Zealand, and India), the recently established BRICS New Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the “One Belt, One Road” (“Silk Road Economic Belt and 21stCentury Maritime Silk Road”) Initiative, as well as other potential (East) Asian (economic) Community/free trade models (Clinton 2011: 61; National Development and Reform Commission of the PRC et al. 2015; Bergsten et al. 2009: 220; Ikenberry 2008: 89; Christensen 2006: 98-101; Möller 2005: 4; Gill 2007: 149-151; Overholt 2008: xxxiv; Sandschneider 2007: 201; Dollar 2016: 12; Follath 2016; Tiezzi 2016a; Munter 2016; Colitt/Galvao 2014). To thwart that (soft-)balancing initiatives of the PRC might ultimately result in the U.S. loss of important (regional) strategic allies and economic partners (such as for instance South Korea) may thus inter alia be a major interest behind U.S. foreign policies (also in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue). As Christensen for instance argues, “from the view of a Sino-American power struggle, an initiative such as ASEAN plus Three looks particularly worrisome precisely because it includes U.S. allies and security partners—Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand—but excludes the United States. (…) these trends in Beijing’s multilateral and bilateral diplomacy might suggest a long-term effort to drive a wedge between the United States and its friends and allies” (Christensen 2006: 98f.; 105). Furthermore, China’s key role in creating and strengthening the multilateral Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as joint (Sino-Russian(-third party)) military maneuvers under this framework have often been neorealistically perceived as Chinese (soft-) balancing(-of-power/-threat) initiatives to impede (further) U.S. military presence and influence in Central Asia – or even to push in the middle to long term U.S. forces out of the region (Hilpert et al 2005: 25-30; Christensen 2006: 99; IISS 2010: 378; Posen 2013; Kissinger 2012; 2011: 528; Mearsheimer 2005b: 48f.; Gill 2007: 149-151; Overholt 2008: 217; 220; xxxiv; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 42; 137). All in all, (defensive) neorealists thus usually make it clear that post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations may have been characterized by strategic power politics.

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No Mature Anarchy As has become evident, defensive neorealism conceptualizes state units within international anarchy predominantly as status quo and security oriented agents that “should not as a general rule try to maximize their relative power” (Glaser 1994/1995: 72). The theory perspective thereby makes it clear that the conditions of international anarchy, and thus the severity of the security dilemma, depend on contextual variables (Buzan 1991: 174f.). Based for instance on offense-defense theory, U.S. and PRC military (nuclear second-strike) capabilities, geographic and demographic variables may significantly reduce the probability of superpower war. Overall, however, conferring defensive neorealist arguments, models and hypotheses to post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations does not necessarily reveal a bright perspective on superpower ties. As indicated, bilateral and regional (moderate) (soft-)balancing tendencies and Sino-U.S. rivalry for spheres of influence in Asia and the Asia-Pacific may recurrently elicit tensions; according to the post-Cold War structural frame conditions of Sino-U.S. ties, issue-specific (and variable) bilateral and regional (security) cooperation (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue) may hence mostly rest upon instrumental and strategic considerations. Moreover, taking Buzan’s perception of anarchy into account, which conceptualizes a spectrum of possible (immature to mature) anarchic conditions that shape the severity of the security dilemma and thus influence (inter alia) interstate behavior in the international system and within regional security complexes267, may as well hardly brighten the (defensive) neorealist picture of Sino-U.S. relations gained so far (Buzan 1991: 171-179; 187; 190-194; 207; 209; 218f.; 264; 380f.). More specifically, defensive neorealist scholars may argue that considering the (soft-)bal-

267 If the (anarchy) approach of Buzan (1991), which partly considers variables and categories also applied by neoliberalism and constructivism, can still be perceived as a defensive structural realist theory may be scholarly debated. As the thesis yet intends to (re-)construct a broad and eclectic neorealist picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular and Buzan’s conception of varying conditions of international anarchy and the security dilemma fit almost seamlessly into the here devel-oped defensive neorealist argumentation, it has been deliberately decided to take some fertile aspects of this approach into consideration (Buzan 1991).

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ancing tendencies, super-/great power economic and strategic rivalry (for spheres of influence), the still significant degree of international distrust, uncertainty, (perceived and enunciated) threats and regional (territorial) disputes and tensions inter alia in the Taiwan Strait, on the Korean Peninsula and in the East and the South China Sea, the (anarchy and security dilemma) context of Asia-Pacific and Sino-U.S. relations seems not (yet) comparable to the favorable circumstances and structural variables prevalent for instance in the more peaceful, mature anarchies268 of the EU security community, among the Nordic countries or regarding U.S.-Canada ties (Buzan 1991: 171-179; 187; 190-194; 207; 209; 218f.; 264; 380f.; Christensen 2011: 54; Holslag 2010: 13; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 136.). In other words, Sino-U.S. and Asia-Pacific (anarchic) interstate relations may not (yet) have fully undergone a bi- and multilateral maturing process (Baylis 2005: 306f.; Buzan 1991: 171-179; 187; 190-194; 207; 209; 218f.; 264; 380f.). Accordingly, post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue) may still rely on coercive (diplomacy) strategies (which though seek to avoid severe militarized conflict) if this serves the (security) interests of the superpowers. Last but not least, it promises to be fertile in the following to integrate also approaches of rise and fall neorealism269 into the here developed eclectic neorealist perspective on world politics and SinoU.S. relations, and to consider in particular (rise and fall) neorealist perceptions of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties.

268 According to Buzan, a mature anarchy is marked by international/regional (economic and security) interdependence, trust, transparency, and shared (institutionalized) norms/rules such as “mutual recognition of sovereign equality and territorial boundaries (…), non-interference in internal affairs, respect for different organizing ideologies, avoidance of force in the settlement of disputes and adherence to a variety of international institutions for dealing with problems of a multinational scale” (Buzan 1991: 176f.; 171-179; 187; 190-194; 207; 209; 218f.; 264; 380f.). 269 To name this category of approaches rise and fall neorealism was inspired by Elman/ Jensen (2013) and Elman (2007), who subdivide realism into six major streams – classical realism, neorealism, offensive structural, defensive structural, neoclassical, and last but not least rise and fall realism (Elman/Jensen 2013: 16; 20; Elman 2007: 11f.; 20; 15f.). It was decided to apply the term rise and fall neorealism in the following, as the here (re-)constructed perspective is predominantly a structural one and does not explicitly deal with classical (anthropological) realism and its focus on human nature and the biopsychological drive of humans for power (Morgenthau 1948).

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3.2.3 Rise and Fall Neorealism Approaches of rise and fall neorealism usually deal with the fundamental processes of the ascent and descent of (hegemonic) powers in the international system270 (Gilpin 1981: 42f.; 144f.; 156; Tammen et al. 2000; Modelski 1987; Kennedy 1987; Zangl/Zürn 2003: 48f.). Rise and fall neorealist scholars thereby usually point out that ascending super-/great powers often experience relatively rapid ascent, and may in certain cases – for instance after victory in a hegemonic war – reach a dominant position in the international system that brings forth a new world power phase (Gilpin 1981: 34; 146-155; 197-210; Modelski 1987: 30f.; 66f.; Münkler 2005: 109). With the establishment as the hegemon, the (new) superpower then usually builds/enforces a relatively stable world order (inter alia based on certain political and economic structures, rules, norms, rights and (institutionalized) interstate cooperation) that serves its interests (and those of its allies), and partly provides public goods (Gilpin 1981: 9f.; 30; 34-36; Tammen/Kugler 2006: 36; Tammen et al. 2000: 35; 182; Levy/ Thompson 2010: 44; Elman/Jensen 2013: 24; Feng/Ruizhuang 2006; Zangl/Zürn 2003: 48f.). Due to “power and prestige (…) of the dominant state (…) the lesser states in an international system follow (…) [this] leadership (…), in part because they accept the legitimacy and utility of the existing order” (Gilpin 1981: 30). Nevertheless, according to the marginal cost approach/the law of diminishing returns, the ascending state’s increase in power may evolve rapidly in the beginning, but eventually slow down in the world power phase (Gilpin 1981: 20-23; 71; 78-84; 106f.; 146-187; Modelski 1987: 30f.; 66f.; Schörnig 2010: 85). Other powers/hegemonic rivals may then be able to

270 Several scholars assign power transition theory and long cycle theory in the wider sense to the neorealist (rise and fall) paradigm, while others treat these theories as distinct approaches (Tammen et al. 2000: 6; Modelski 1987). Since it was deliberately decided to (re-)construct a broad and eclectic neorealist picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular, this chapter integrates, just as Elman/Jensen (2013), Schörnig (2010) and Zangl/Zürn (2003), fertile concepts and arguments of power transition theory and long cycle theory into the here developed neorealist perspective (Tammen et al. 2000; Modelski 1987; Elman/Jensen 2013: 24f.; Schörnig 2010: 84-87; Zangl/Zürn 2003: 48).

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make relative gains towards the hegemon, also since the latter provides public goods and has to bear (rising) costs for maintaining the established order/status quo; (less developed) challengers may hence be able to catch up in relative capabilities and finally surpass the so far dominant nation (Gilpin 1981: 33f.; 146-187; Tammen et al. 2000: 16-18; 182). As elaborated, (inter alia) the (economically unproductive) maintenance of large/superior (air- and naval) military capabilities and the tremendous costs of modern (high-technology) weaponry can in the middle to long term erode the economic power base and technological lead of hegemons. In the wider sense, hegemonic powers may (hence) contribute to their own decline by consuming more than they invest, especially if their (strategic) commitments (abroad) evoke (military) costs that exceed in the mid to long run their (economic) resources; respective phenomena have been scholarly termed fiscal/strategic/imperial overstretch, unipolar overreach or overextension (see also Chapter 2.2) (Lampton 2011: 116; Nye 2010a: 5; Gilpin 1981: 146-197; Layne 2011: 153; Kennedy 1987: 442; 539; Glaser 2011b: 145f.; Snyder 2004a: 55; Sandschneider 2007: 25; 229; Ferris 2010: 248; 261; Schörnig 2010: 85). Furthermore, the trans-/ international diffusion of knowledge can (especially in the post-Cold War era of globalization) be only limitedly prevented; this diffusion process thus threatens (as well) to slowly erode innovative (defense) technological and economic advantages on which hegemonic positions often rest (Subramanian 2011: 74; Schörnig 2010: 85). On the whole, as demographic, technological, political, military and economic (capability) developments, and naturally differential economic growth (at different stages of development) “redistribute (…) relative power over time” (Kirshner 2012: 54), and since hegemons may partly overstretch their power, the established (institutionalized) hegemonic world order may at some point “no longer reflect the actual distribution of capabilities” in the system (Schweller 1996: 99; Gilpin 1981: 210; 2; 9; 13; 46-48; 55-84; 93-96; 123-197; Kennedy 1987: 439; Levy/Thompson 2010: 44; Tammen et al. 2000: 1520; 37f.; 182). If the anticipated benefits outweigh the projected costs, (rising) challengers may then seek to alter the status quo/the international system accord-

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ing to their capabilities and (so far unmet) interests, thereby unleashing the danger of hegemonic war271 between the hitherto and the new superpower: “By launching a preventive war the declining power destroys or weakens the rising challenger while the military advantage is still with the declining power. (…) When the choice ahead has appeared to be to decline or fight, statesmen have most generally fought” (Gilpin 1981: 191; 915; 33; 50-55; 106; 186-210; 1988; Layne 2008: 16f.; Copeland 2000: 37; 1996: 32; Kirshner 2012: 54; Münkler 172-181; Elman/Jensen 2013: 24f.; Elman 2007: 15f.). Several scholars thereby argue that it can also be a (dissatisfied)272 challenger (and its allies/supporters) that may initiate

271 Gilpin defines hegemonic war most notably as “a war that determines which state or states will be dominant and will govern the system” (Gilpin 1981: 15). 272 Tammen et al. contend that “[w]hile parity (…) [and overtaking define; J.V.] the structural conditions where war is most likely (…) [t]he motivation driving decisions for war and peace is relative satisfaction with the rules of the global or regional hierarchy” (Tammen et al. 2000: 9; 21f.). According to these scholars, the dominant nation (such as the United States in the post-Cold War era) may usually be satisfied and status quo oriented; there may yet always exist few great powers that have been dissatisfied with their position (and influence) in the international system; a rapidly rising/developing, (more populous) dissatisfied (Chinese) super-/great power can thus evolve as a serious challenger of the dominant nation, entailing a heightened probability of war (Tammen et al 2000: 10; 9-13; 17-33; 37f.). Nevertheless, as the peaceful power transition for instance from Pax Britannica to Pax Americana may have highlighted, overtaking may not necessarily end up in (global) militarized conflict if the new superpower is satisfied and more or less integrates into the international structures established by its predecessor (Tammen et al. 2000: 9-13; 21-28; 35-37; 42f.; Tammen/Kugler 2006: 46; Tammen 2006: 571). Concerning the research topic of the thesis, however, to scholarly determine if ascending China has (in post-Cold war times) been (or will be) a satisfied (status quo) or dissatisfied (revisionist) power would be the task of another monography and remains difficult at best, since “the criteria for assessing a state’s satisfaction are unclear” (Goldstein 2007: 640f.). Next to various elements that may mirror PRC satisfaction with the U.S. established/promoted international status quo, structures and values (for instance increasing PRC integration and engagement in global international institutions such as the United Nations, the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank or the G-20), other aspects may rather reflect dissatisfaction, such as the PRC’s perception of democratic and human rights or PRC policies that have pursued a change of the status quo inter alia in the Taiwan Strait, the East and the South China Sea (Tammen/Kugler 2006: 46-48; The Economist 2013). Not surprisingly, scholars have hence arrived at different judgements on (future) PRC (dis-)satisfaction. Therefore, the (dis-)satisfaction issue will not be specifically dealt with in the thesis at hand. Tammen et al. argue that China and India have been dissatisfied, but their future disposition may still be open to change (Tammen et al. 2000: 180f.). For further conclusions on (future) Chinese (dis)satisfaction, see Tammen/Kugler (2006: 46-55), Wohlforth (2009: 55), Tammen (2006: 571-579), Brzezinski (2009: 57), Mearsheimer

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war to accelerate the arrival at the top of the (then newly adjusted) international system and reap the benefits of this position (Tammen/Kugler 2006: 39f.; Tammen et al. 2000: 7; 22; 182; 193; Copeland 1996: 32; Levy/Thompson 2010: 44-46; Elman/Jensen 2013: 24f.; 29; Elman 2007: 15). Hegemonic wars273 then either consolidate the established superpower (and may entail a restarted cycle of its hegemonic rule) or implicate a new hegemonic order/status quo led by the challenger or a third party; overall, hegemony hence seems to be temporally limited and cyclical, and especially (periods of) (potential) power transitions between superpowers may be marked by rivalry, struggles for security, capabilities, (spheres of) influence, as well as a higher probability for (global) war (Gilpin 1981: 15; 144f.; 187-210; 1988: 601f.; Münkler 2005: 106; 109126; Modelski 1987: 39-49; 67; 80-87; 93; 96; 100-102). Historic examples of hegemonic cycles may for instance be the succession of Portugal(-Spain), the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (twice) and finally the United States as the dominant powers in the international system (Modelski 1987: 39-50; 64; 69-102; 145; Gilpin 1981: 204f.; Münkler 2005: 106-109; 112; 118; Tammen et al. 2000: 49-51; 54-59; 153; 186-189). As all the others before it, the United States has thereby been a regional, and not a truly global hegemon; the latter position has remained out of reach for any state in world history (Mearsheimer 2005a: 48; 2013: 88; Tammen/Kugler 2006: 36; Levy/Thompson 2010: 36). As elaborated, (rise and fall neorealist) scholars have increasingly reflected upon an ongoing/potential Sino-U.S. power transition in the post-Cold War era, with the ascending PRC as potentially the future hegemon274 in the interna-

(2001: 402), Johnston (2003), Mastanduno (1997: 65), Khalilzad et al. (1999: 10), and Schmidt/Heilmann (2012: 165). 273 Modelski is among the few scholars that speculate about a time dimension of cycles of world power growth, expansion, and decline in the modern era. According to him, “long cycles” of “global leadership” may usually last about 100 years, with global wars thus potentially reoccurring as well (more or less) every 100 years (Modelski 1987: 39f.; 41-50; 93; 96; 100-102; Gilpin 1981: 204f.; Zangl/Zürn 2003: 48). 274 As indicated in Chapter 2.1, only India might thereafter still have the potential to overtake China in capabilities, since its demographic (and hence economic and later military) base may once grow larger than that of the PRC. Nevertheless, that India’s GDP might exceed the size of the U.S. and eventually of the Chinese economy is expected

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tional system: “China has surfaced as the new threat to U.S. dominance of world affairs” (Tammen et al. 2000: 153; 59; 154-193). Accordingly, the chapter will in the following deal more specifically with (rise and fall) neorealist perceptions of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. relations. (Rise and Fall) Neorealism and the Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations As has become evident, neorealism considers predominantly the distribution of capabilities among the (super-/great power) units to ultimately shape international politics under anarchy, and rise and fall neorealists emphasize in particular that shifts in the international distribution of resources, and thus “the dynamics of power relationships over time”, may be the main driver of change in the (structure of the) international system and international behavior (Gilpin 1981: 93; Mastanduno 1997: 50). Since the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties has been inter alia marked by a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power, this post-Cold War alteration in the bilateral (and global) distribution of capabilities may have decisively influenced not only the character of the superpower relationship and (thus) (relational) (foreign) policies of the hegemonic United States and the ascending People’s Republic of China (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue), but also freedom of action within the international system per se. With “parity (…) [and overtaking defining] the structural conditions where war is most likely” (Tammen et al. 2000: 9; 21f.), the elaborated, ongoing post-Cold War shifts in relative superpower capabilities become central for any (rise and fall) neorealist perspective on post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations. Respective scholars may for instance argue that the proceeding augmentation of Chinese (relative) resources may also entail increased

to not happen before (late in) the second half of the 21st century (Tammen et al. 2000: 176-193; 43; Kugler 2006: 39; IMF 2016a).

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PRC interests, goals and claims in various issue areas, yield Chinese demands to adjust the (institutionalized) international system according to its greater capability base and (politico-economic/strategic) relevance, and may contribute to greater assertiveness in PRC foreign policy behavior: “As a state’s capabilities grow, its leaders tend to define their interests more expansively and to seek a greater degree of influence over what is going on around them. Rising powers seek not only to secure their frontiers but to reach out beyond them, taking steps to ensure access to markets, materials, and transportation routes; to protect their citizens far from home, defend their foreign friends and allies, and promulgate their values; and, in general, to have what they consider to be their legitimate say in the affairs of their region and of the wider world” (Friedberg 2005: 19; Gilpin 1981: 22-24; 106; Layne 2011: 152; Goldstein 2007: 677; Christensen 2006; Waltz 1993: 68; Levy/Thompson 2010: 46; Kaplan 2005; Li 2009: 14; Sandschneider 2007: 6; 113). In other words, growing Chinese (economic and military) capabilities may entail greater/worldwide (economic and security) interests, thus eliciting demands for “more influence in international politics and a greater share of international spoils” (Elman/ Jensen 2013: 29; Gilpin 1981: 22-24; 106; 187). Similarly, (rise and fall) neorealist scholars usually anticipate that the more resources the PRC (or any other (super-/great) power) has at its disposal, the more may it pursue (strategic) power politics (Baumann et al. 1999: 277f.; 245-247; 257; 260; 268; Snyder 2004a: 55). The Taiwan Strait, the Korean Peninsula, and the East and the South China Sea may hence (inter alia) be hotspots where China’s demand for greater influence, growing assertiveness and potentially resulting Sino-U.S. power political interaction and frictions may be increasingly felt (USDOD/Hagel 2013a; Economy 2010; Tammen/Kugler 2006: 46f.; Kaplan 2011; The Economist 2013). From a (rise and fall) neorealist perspective, Sino-U.S. military incidents in China’s (maritime) periphery, strategic tensions, bilateral action-reaction processes in armament and security policies and hence a slightly heightened bilateral security dilemma may be further effects of underlying (ongoing) shifts in superpower capabilities (USDOD 2011: 56; IISS 2010: 378f.; Bergsten et al. 2009: 199; Fravel 2008: 136; Mastro 2011; Holslag 2010: 68; 129; Christensen 2011: 54f.; Blasko 2012: 229; 231).

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Although Sino-U.S. collaboration (at times) on fighting piracy, transnational Islamist terrorism (within the GWOT) and concerning other political and (world) economic issues/crises has to some extent generated more or less stable (issue-specific) frames for superpower cooperation in the post-Cold War era (Vogelmann 2011), a PRC that has been acquiring greater (military) anti-access/area denial, power projection and politicoeconomic capabilities that can potentially harm major U.S. (global and regional) interests, (strategic/economic) assets and allies may at the same time be perceived as a middle- to long-term challenge and potential threat in Washington (Jäger 2005a: 18; Christensen 2006: 81; Tammen/ Kugler 2006: 35f.; Holslag 2010: 72f.). Beyond that, according to a (rise and fall) neorealist perspective, recurrent (official) PRC assertions (in state publications) of a (favored and supported) trend towards a multipolar international system might already indicate to a certain extent a Chinese middle- to long-term goal of displacing “the United States as the dominant player in East Asia, and perhaps to extrude it from the region altogether” (Friedberg 2011: xv; 166; IOSCPRC 2011; Kissinger 2011: 528; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 143). Formulated more drastically, U.S. worries that China may once evolve as a regional or even global challenger of Pax Americana, and hence as a potential hegemon that “seek[s] to establish an international system under its own rules” (Tammen et al. 2000: 27) may intensify bilateral tensions and elicit a certain degree of U.S. distrust and resistance to close/long-term Sino-U.S. cooperation (Layne 2011: 152; 2008: 15f.; Caverley 2007: 611f.; Khalilzad et al. 1999: 17; Wagener 2011a: 112; Sandschneider 2007: 125). All in all, the hegemonic United States may thus take the elaborated (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties not lightly, especially not the relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as the slow to moderate Chinese relative gains in military power. From a (rise and fall) neorealist lens, the post-Cold War (grand) strategy of the United States may be to preserve its hegemonic role (also in the Asia-Pacific), and thus to retain at least military and diplomatic supe-

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riority (Layne 2011: 149; 2008: 15f.; Walt in Ikenberry/Walt 2007: 14; Walt 1998: 36; Mearsheimer 2010: 385; Huntington 1993: 49; Khalilzad et al. 1999: xvii; Mastanduno 1997: 51f.; Betts 1993: 74; Rudolf 2006: 6; 10). In line with this, the United States may (especially in the Asia-Pacific) seek to strengthen its alliance system and military partnerships (via consolidation and integration of new members) and expand its (politico-)economic reach (also via bilateral and regional economic (trade) agreements and international institutions) (Tammen et al. 2000: 37-39). The Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” may hence be neorealistically perceived as a respective power political answer to China’s post-Cold War ascent, and as an initiative to hedge U.S. (strategic, political, and economic) influence in the region: “A strategic turn to the [Asia-Pacific] (…) fits logically into our overall global effort to secure and sustain America's global leadership” (Clinton 2011: 57; 63; The White House/Obama 2011; USDOS/ Campbell 2011a). Staying “number one”, and hence preventing (in the mid to long run) China from evolving as a (regional) hegemon may also imply to keep Asia and the Asia-Pacific divided among several (super-/ great) power centers involving (inter alia) China, Russia, Japan, India and the ASEAN (Mearsheimer 2013: 88f.; 2005a: 47f.; 2001: 402; Walt in Ikenberry/Walt 2007: 14; Walt 1998: 43; Friedberg 2012). Furthermore, the United States may seek to induce and coerce the PRC to accept the (institutionalized) structure, norms, rules, and values of the U.S. established international order (Mastanduno 1997: 58f.). At the same time, continued/enhanced U.S. military presence and potentially stronger U.S. alliances and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific, even if pursued so far as “polite containment, which need not preclude decent [Sino-U.S.] relations” (Betts 1993: 54), may ultimately imply a U.S. hedge for the contingency that China may (once) actively seek to overturn Pax Americana; in that case, the United States might then seek to build a broad balancing coalition against the PRC (Betts 1993: 76; Medeiros 2005/2006: 145-153;

275 This strategic calculus may also explain post-Cold War maintenance of the U.S. arms embargo on China (that had been issued after the Tiananmen square massacre in 1989), as well as U.S. opposition to recurrently upcoming EU (member country) considerations to potentially end the respective embargo of the European Union (Caverley 2007: 612; IISS 2011: 203; Kan 2014c: 10f.; Rudolf 2006: 5).

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Rudolf 2006: 6; 11-16). Next to a certain extent of Sino-U.S. strategic tensions, (soft-)balancing behavior, struggles for security, capabilities and (spheres of) influence, (the character of) superpower relations, world politics and the world economy may also be increasingly shaped by SinoU.S. (politico-)economic competition (Tammen et al. 2000: 179). Nevertheless, slowing down China’s economic growth for instance by restricting foreign trade and (direct) investment may be only limitedly pursued by the United States, since this may prove ineffective in the end and entail tremendous negative effects for itself, U.S. allies/partners, and all other units in the international system – implying (hegemonic) costs that seem hardly justifiable given the so far only slightly heightened Sino-U.S. security dilemma (Tammen et al. 2000: 40; 158; Christensen 2006: 125). There may yet partly evolve issues and crises where limited economic (plenty) losses may be seen as collateral damage within the Sino-U.S. struggle for security and capabilities/influence in the anarchic international system: “In a self-help system, considerations of security subordinate economic gain to political interest” (Waltz 1979: 107; 1999: 700; Tammen et al. 2000: 105; 203f.; Walt 2002: 226; Overholt 2008: 122). (Long-term) cooperation and (the distribution of) resulting (relative) gains remain thus sensitive issues in post-Cold War world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular. According to (rise and fall) neorealism, the ascending PRC may in turn be partly discontent with its post-Cold War position/influence in, and the structure of the U.S. established (institutionalized) international system; besides, China may feel constrained, contained and to some extent threatened by U.S. military-strategic hegemony (in the Asia-Pacific), and in particular by the strong U.S. military presence and the large number of U.S. reconnaissance missions and military maneuvers (with U.S. allies and partners) in its (maritime) periphery (Gilpin 1981: 187; Holslag 2010: 13-15; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 137). From a (rise and fall) neorealist point of view, the PRC may thus seek to expand its political leverage (on rule-making) in the (institutionalized) international system and its (politico-)economic and strategic sphere of influence (in the Asia-Pacific), forestall and undermine (potential) strategic encirclement and contain-

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ment (by the United States and its allies/partners) as well as the (potential) formation of (regional) (soft-)balancing coalitions against it (that may be induced or promoted by the United States and/or its allies), and may resolutely (openly) oppose U.S. policies that run contrary to its interests (such as the U.S. weapons embargo, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, U.S. plans for military denuclearization and/or coercive regime change in the DPRK, and a potential U.S. dominated Pacific (free) trade zone) (Gilpin 1981: 187; Blasko 2012: 229; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 136f.). Accordingly, it may not welcome the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” (Clinton 2011: 57; 63; USDOS/Campbell 2011a; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 57). Nevertheless, China will instrumentally, issue-specifically and variably cooperate with the U.S. hegemon if this serves its (security and capability/ influence) interests. Anticipating that its resources will continue to increase relative to the United States, China may pursue its ends prudently and may (still) cover potential (regional) hegemonic ambitions to avoid severe (militarized) dispute with the United States (Snyder 2004a: 55; Mearsheimer 2013: 87). The PRC doctrine of a “peaceful rise” can thus be neorealistically perceived as a “reassurance strategy (…) to allay others’ fears of growing Chinese power and to forestall the United States from acting preventively” (Layne 2008: 16). All in all, the relatively fast Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way as well as the slow to moderate Sino-U.S. shifts in military power may to a certain extent heighten bilateral rivalry and evoke tensions not only in the (politico-)economic, but also in the strategic realm: “The suggestion that the United States and China are destined to compete vigorously with one another (…) no longer seems far-fetched; and the notion that we are already, in certain aspects, engaged in an intensifying strategic rivalry, is (…) certainly more widespread today than it was a decade ago” (Friedberg 2011: xiv; Christensen 2006: 109; Tammen/Kugler 2006: 45f.; Bergsten et al. 2009: 199; Bremmer/Roubini 2011: 4f.; Sandschneider 2007: 3; 6; 83; 114-223). Last but not least, concerning the third key element of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, (rise and fall) neorealists may be at best skeptical towards potentially appeasing and cooperation en-

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hancing effects of strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence276 (Waltz 1999: 697f.; Gilpin 1981: 220; Kirshner 2012: 59; Layne 2008: 14; Barbieri/Levy 1999: 464). First of all, these scholars may point out that the trans- and international economic sphere in general, and economic competition/politico-economic rivalry in particular, can be a significant source of (international) tensions (Waltz 1993: 74). Even more so, they may highlight that (strong) (asymmetric) international (economic) interdependence (for instance between ascending China and the hegemonic United States) can cause multifaceted frictions and conflict, and be it only “by giving states a broader agenda of issues over which their interests and circumstances will differ” (Buzan 1991: 152; Jervis 2002: 6; Waltz 1979: 139-160; Levy/Thompson 2010: 73; Barbieri/Levy 1999: 464; Roloff 2002: 101; Spindler 2010: 98). Given the greater (costly) sensitivity and vulnerability to incidences and developments within, and policies of their interdependent counterparts, state units in a self-help system may thus have at best mixed feelings towards strong international interdependence; since “mutual vulnerability” implies significant (security) risks, costs, and limited freedom of action, (super-/great) powers under anarchy may – especially in the case of a heightened international security dilemma – seek to rather decrease such dependencies, risks and constraints (Waltz 1979: 139; 143; 106f.; 154f.; Gilpin 1981: 220; Jäger 2015: 14). Besides, mostly prevalent asymmetric international interdependence implies risks in particular for the weaker (Chinese) party, as the latter’s higher (issue-specific) sensitivity and vulnerability may be politically exploited by the stronger (U.S.) actor; (a spiral of) retaliatory action can then heighten distrust, tensions and conflict, terminate cooperation and even evoke (currency or trade) war: “In a crisis between interdependent states, (…) it is unclear whether states will make concessions to avoid the opportunity costs of war or whether they will attempt to exploit their adversary’s

276 A neorealist standard critique of the economic interdependence-promotes-peace hypothesis focuses on World War I, which broke out despite a relatively high level of international economic interdependence; by contrast, “[t]he United States and the Soviet Union were not even loosely connected economically (…) [but; J.V.] coexisted [relative; J.V.] peacefully through the four-and-a-half decades of the Cold War” (Waltz 1999: 698; 693; Caverley 2007: 600; Layne 2008: 14; Jervis 2002: 6; Levy/Thompson 2010: 75; (cf.) Weede 2010: 207).

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fear of war through increased coercion. Depending on the magnitude of the increased demands, war might be more rather than less likely under conditions of interdependence” (Levy/Thompson 2010: 73-75; Caverley 2007: 604; Waltz 1979: 154-159; Jervis 2002: 6). Accordingly, (rise and fall) neorealist scholars may underline that strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence may not necessarily attenuate, but can also significantly increase (security) risks, mutual distrust, issues of conflict, frictions, superpower competition and (politico-economic/strategic) rivalry (Gilpin 1981: 220; Jäger 2015: 14). Regarding for instance the high level of Sino-U.S. trade, (state-based) financial and currency interdependence, the tremendous U.S. trade deficit, the post-Cold War U.S. loss of manufacturing jobs, and currency manipulation blames by both sides have inter alia (recurrently) been severe issues of dispute; furthermore, accusations of protectionist tendencies and unfair (trade) practices, (impeded) market access, PRC state banks’ financial support of state enterprises, struggles about PRC disregard of intellectual property rights/product piracy, espionage, forced technology transfer and a rising economic rivalry between Chinese and U.S. transnational corporations for commodity access and markets (of increasingly high-priced/high-technology products) have fueled bilateral tensions (Friedberg 2010: 37; Bremmer/Roubini 2011: 4; 6; Sandschneider 2007: 93; 184; Schnabel 2010b; USTR 2010: 2-5; Gärtner 2011a; Kaplan 2006; Li 2009: 15; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 85-87; 139-142; 149; 160f.). (Rise and fall) neorealists may thus argue that strong, slightly asymmetric SinoU.S. (economic) interdependence may (also) imply a multitude of bilateral conflicts (and disputes on the resulting costs), with some scholars even warning of a (limited) Sino-U.S. currency/financial and trade/economic war (Mastanduno 1997: 83f.; Gilpin 1981: 220). Even more drastically, Barbieri for instance warns that “[r]ather than inhibiting conflict, extensive economic interdependence increases the likelihood that dyads will engage in militarized interstate disputes” (Barbieri 1996: 29). Summing up, one may say that from a (rise and fall) neorealist perspective, the (postCold war) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties – marked by strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence, a relatively fast eco-

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nomic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power – may thus likely evoke a post-Cold War superpower relationship characterized by (politico-economic/strategic) tensions, a variety of (sub-war) disputes, instrumental, issue-specific and variable cooperation, as well as overall strategic power politics and rivalry for (future) hegemony (in the Asia-Pacific). 3.2.4 Neorealist Hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior Based on the developed eclectic neorealist picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular, distinctive hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue can ultimately be deduced. Basic neorealist thought thereby points out that the structure of the international system – and (thus) international behavior – is decisively shaped by international anarchy, self-help, and the distribution of capabilities among the (super-/ great power) units (Waltz 1979: 39f.; 72f.; 88-104; 131). Since changes in the international distribution of capabilities may usually significantly affect (perceived) security, influence and (hence) interstate behavior in the anarchic international system, the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States may take the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, and in particular the relatively fast Sino-U.S. economic power transition under way as well as the slow to moderate shifts in military power, not lightly (Waltz 1979: 96-101; 129-131; 1986: 342f.; Wohlforth 1994/1995: 96). Defensive neorealism highlights that among (potentially threatening/rival) state units in an international system without central authority, the security dilemma can under certain conditions be attenuated, but never vanishes. States may hence strive first and foremost for security and at least preservation of their relative (capability) position; relative gains in power may only be pursued if these do not contradict security ends (Waltz 1979: 126f.; Grieco 1993: 135; 127-132; Glaser 1994/1995: 71f.; Baumann et al. 1999: 52f.; Walt 1997: 932f.). Accordingly, the ascending PRC and the hegemonic United States may give priority to security enhancements,

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while (contingently) seeking increased capabilities and (spheres of) influence as well. By rejecting axiomatic worst-case assumptions and adopting a probabilistic/conditional perspective, defensive neorealists theoretically allow for a certain variation in international conditions, and thus in the severity of the (Sino-U.S.) security dilemma and the probability of conflict; (communicated) state intentions/motives, offense-defense and nuclear deterrence variables, (respective) threat perceptions and (soft-) balancing(-of-power/-threat/-interests) logics may thus significantly affect contingent PRC and U.S. (relational/regional) realpolitik (foreign) policy behavior (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue) (Brooks 1997: 446-449; 453-459; 463; 472-474; Glaser 2011a: 81-86; 89-91; 1994/ 1995: 58; 67-70; 90; Walt 1987: 25f.; 1988: 277; 280f.; 313f.; 2002: 205f.; 209; 212f.; 1997: 933f.; Jervis 1978; Buzan 1991: 174f.; Baumann et al. 1999: 267-272). More specifically, according to offense-defense theory, cost-benefit and (nuclear) deterrence calculations, defensive neorealists may anticipate a rather stable superpower relationship in the post-Cold War era; geographic, social/population, economic and (military) technological factors (such as probably appeasing effects of the U.S. and PRC nuclear (second-strike) capabilities) may render the bilateral security dilemma attenuated and large-scale Sino-U.S. military confrontation rather unlikely (Walt 1998: 31f.). On the one hand, the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States may hence – as a realpolitik strategy and “an important type of self-help” – quite bi- and multilaterally cooperate, even though this collaboration may be instrumental, issue-specific and variable (Glaser 1994/1995: 53; 58; 79; Mastanduno 1997: 72f.). Moreover, since international and reciprocal security pressures/threats concerning China and the United States have been rather low to moderate in the post-Cold War era, the superpowers may pursue power politics that often seek to increase control over (state) actors and international outcomes; this implies that they may inter alia bi- and multilaterally cooperate also via (pre-/quasi-)institutionalized formats, as these embody important arenas for potentially increased Chinese voice and co-determination opportunities towards the U.S. hegemon, and U.S. influence on

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the ascending PRC (Grieco 1996: 264; 286-289; 294; 301-305; 1995: 24; 34-40; Hirschmann 1970; 1978: 90; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 18; Baumann et al. 1999: 250f.; 259-272; 278; 282; Mearsheimer 1994/1995: 13; Evans/Wilson 1992: 330). The Six-Party Talks may hence be neorealistically perceived as such a multilateral (pre-/quasi-institutionalized) “arena of influence politics”. On the other hand, however, U.S. and PRC conventional and nuclear military (second-strike) capabilities may still be frequently applied (in a wider Clausewitzian sense) as a political instrument below the (anticipated) threshold of evoking major militarized conflict277; most obviously in the Taiwan issue, but also in the North Korea issue, (foreign) policies, struggles for (spheres of) influence and (coercive) diplomacy may hence be backed by military threat, (verbal/strategic) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers and (limited) power projection: “Overwhelming conventional power, along with nuclear weapons, makes the United States the world leader. This strength is more useful to support dissuasion and compellance than war. (…) Threats of force serve Washington more than its use” (Ferris 2007: 259; Clausewitz 1980 [1832]: 210; 990; Jäger/Beckmann 2011a: 216; 224; Beckmann 2010: 9; 33; Sheehan 2010: 62; 48f.; 55; Etzersdorfer 2011: 54; Mahnken 2010: 69-76; Jervis 2002: 7; Gilpin 1981: 24; 213f.; Gray 1999: 17f.; Baylis/Wirtz 2010: 4f.). Similarly, the ascending People’s Republic of China may as well “employ political, diplomatic, and economic means along with military force (…) to achieve its strategic objections in the twenty-first century. (…) Beijing may be expected to threaten the use of military force to deter or dissuade a political opponent” (Blasko 2006: 105). As has been elaborated, although (threatening) the application of military means has traditionally been a way to wield power, the United States and China may yet pru-

277 It naturally remains clear that any (limited) application of military capabilities, and be it only for reasons of deterrence or backing of (coercive) diplomacy via military threat, shows of force/maneuvers and (limited) power projection, bears always significant risks (of miscalculation/misperception, coincidences, and military escalation). Application of military capabilities as a political instrument below the (anticipated) threshold of evoking major militarized conflict thus actually implies that (PRC and U.S.) foreign policy makers (threaten the) use (of) military means to a (limited) extent and/or in a (prudent) way whereby they judge (ex-ante) the risk of evoking (superpower) war as clearly limited.

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dently seek to prevent large-scale militarized conflict and hegemonic (nuclear) war. Furthermore, (defensive) neorealism points out that international (soft-) balancing(-of-power/-threat/-interests) dynamics may increasingly shape superpower and interstate relations (in Asia and the Asia-Pacific). According to regional balance-of-power, soft-balancing and (international) balance-of-threat logics, for instance, the ascending PRC may have induced certain ASEAN/Asia-Pacific states, on the account of China’s proximity, its (increasing) power, potent means of conquest, and perceived intentions (also in regard to the Taiwan, the North Korea, the East and the South China Sea issue) to pursue (bi- and multilaterally coordinated) (soft-)balancing measures to counter this perceived threat, and to (economically and militarily) cooperate with and embrace a stronger regional engagement of the hegemonic United States (Walt 1987: 21-26; 1988: 308-316; 1997: 933f.; Economy 2010: 149; Goldstein 1997/1998: 63f.). The United States, in turn, may (respectively) pursue a moderate (regional) (soft-)balancing(-of-threat) approach towards the PRC to secure its established sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific and hinder the PRC from becoming a regional (or once even global) challenger; next to some internal (structural military, economic and strategy) adjustments, this implies to improve bilateral relations, consolidate existing and establish new (military) partnerships and alliances (in Asia and the Asia-Pacific). Nevertheless, as the United States may overall still profit from strong, slightly asymmetric (economic) interdependence with the PRC, and may not want to antagonize (potential) allies and partners or elicit hostile reactions from Beijing, it may deliberately seek to avoid the tremendous (politico-) economic, strategic, and influence costs/drawbacks of full-scale U.S. (internal and external) balancing against the ascending People’s Republic China; accordingly, it may so far rather follow a hedging strategy that has been also termed “gentle” or “polite” containment (Betts 2010: 192; 1993: 54f.; Möller 2002: 5; 19f.; Kissinger 2011: 526; 125; Medeiros 2005/2006: 145-153; Tammen et al. 2000: 40; 158; Christensen 2006: 122; Kirshner 2012: 70f.; Rudolf 2006: 6; 11-16). Similarly, to not threaten its continued economic rise and keep Chinese (economic) opportunity costs limited,

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the ascending PRC may (despite a certain perception of U.S. strategic encirclement/containment) pursue as well “only” moderate (soft-)balancing against the United States (Brooks 1997: 464f.). Moderate, reciprocal (soft-)balancing approaches may thereby also affect the (potential) creation of bi- and multilateral (regional) strategic and politico-economic (trade) agreements and international institutions (Kissinger 2012; Calmes 2011; Johnston/Calmes 2011). Overall, (defensive) neorealism highlights that post-Cold War Sino-U.S. and Asia-Pacific interstate relations may be interspersed with (instrumental, issue-specific and variable) cooperation, but also with super-/great power rivalry (for spheres of strategic, economic and institutional influence), (soft-)balancing tendencies, a still significant degree of international distrust, uncertainty, (perceived and enunciated) threats, and regional (territorial) disputes/tensions inter alia in the Taiwan Strait, on the Korean Peninsula, and in the East and the South China Sea – and may hence not (yet) reflect the favorable circumstances of a mature anarchy (Buzan 1991: 171-179; 187-194; 207; 209; 218f.; 264; 380f.; Christensen 2011: 54; Holslag 2010: 13; Baylis 2005: 306f.; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 136). Rise and fall neorealism argues that hegemony may be temporally limited and cyclical, and that especially (potential) power transitions between an established (regional) hegemon and a contender may be marked by (strategic) tensions, rivalry, superpower struggle for security, capabilities, (spheres of) influence (and control over international politics/the world economy), as well as a higher probability for (hegemonic) war (Gilpin 1981: 15; 24; 144f.; 187-210; 1988: 601f.; Modelski 1987: 39-49; 67; 8087; 93; 96; 100-102; Münkler 2005: 106; 109-126). Since the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties has been inter alia marked by a relatively fast economic power transition under way as well as slow to moderate shifts in military power, this post-Cold War alteration in the bilateral (and global) distribution of capabilities may have decisively influenced the character of the superpower relationship and (thus) PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue). U.S. worries that China may once evolve as a regional or even global challenger of Pax Americana, and hence as a potential

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hegemon that “seek[s] to establish an international system under its own rules” (Tammen et al. 2000: 27), may thereby partly intensify bilateral tensions and elicit a certain degree of U.S. distrust and resistance to close/ long-term Sino-U.S. cooperation (Layne 2011: 152; 2008: 15f.; Khalilzad et al. 1999: 17; Wagener 2011a: 112; Sandschneider 2007: 125; Caverley 2007: 611f.). Sino-U.S. politico-economic and strategic tensions and rivalry, military incidents in China’s (maritime) periphery, bilateral actionreaction processes in armament and security policies and hence a slightly heightened bilateral security dilemma may thus be (further) effects of underlying (ongoing) shifts in superpower capabilities (USDOD 2011: 56; IISS 2010: 378f.; Bergsten et al. 2009: 199; Fravel 2008: 136; Mastro 2011; Holslag 2010: 68; 129; Christensen 2011: 54f.; Blasko 2012: 229231). The Taiwan Strait and the Korean Peninsula may thereby (inter alia) be focal points where China’s demand for greater influence, growing assertiveness and potentially resulting Sino-U.S. power political interaction and (strategic) frictions may be increasingly felt (USDOD/Hagel 2013a; Economy 2010; Tammen/Kugler 2006: 46f.; The Economist 2013; Kaplan 2011). From a (rise and fall) neorealist perspective, the post-Cold War (grand) strategy of the United States may be to preserve its hegemonic role and position as the primary security manager (also in the Asia-Pacific) (Layne 2011: 149; 2008: 15f.; Walt in Ikenberry/Walt 2007: 14; Khalilzad et al. 1999: xii; xvii; Walt 1998: 36; Mearsheimer 2010: 385; Huntington 1993: 49; Mastanduno 1997: 51f.; Betts 1993: 74; Rudolf 2006: 6; 10). In line with this, the United States may (particularly in the Asia-Pacific) seek to strengthen its military capabilities, alliance system and partnerships (via consolidation and integration of new members), expand its (politico-) economic reach (also via bi- and multilateral (regional) economic (trade) agreements and institutions), as well as induce and coerce the PRC to accept the (institutionalized) structure, norms, rules, and values of the U.S. established international order (Tammen et al. 2000: 37-39; Medeiros 2005/2006: 154; Mastanduno 1997: 58f.). Moreover, U.S. “polite containment, which need not preclude decent [Sino-U.S.] relations” (Betts 1993: 54), may hedge for the contingency that China may (once) actively

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seek to overturn Pax Americana (Medeiros 2005/2006: 145-153; Rudolf 2006: 6; 11-16). The People’s Republic of China, in turn, may seek to expand its political leverage (on rule-making) in the (institutionalized) postCold War international system and its (politico-)economic and strategic sphere of influence (in Asia and the Asia-Pacific), undermine (potential) U.S. strategic encirclement, containment, and (potential) (regional) (soft-) balancing coalitions against it (that may be induced or promoted by the United States and its allies/partners), and may resolutely (openly) oppose U.S. policies that run contrary to its (core) interests (such as the U.S. weapons embargo, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, U.S. plans for military denuclearization and/or coercive regime change in the DPRK, and a potential U.S. dominated Pacific (free) trade zone) (Gilpin 1981: 24; 187; Blasko 2012: 229; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 136f.; Elman/Jensen 2013: 29; Medeiros 2005/2006: 154f.). Anticipating that its resources will continue to increase relative to the United States, the PRC may yet pursue its ends prudently and may (still) cover potential (regional) hegemonic ambitions to avoid severe (militarized) dispute with the United States (Snyder 2004a: 55; Mearsheimer 2013: 87). Moreover, China may in a variety of issues instrumentally and variably cooperate (bi- and multilaterally) with the U.S. hegemon if this serves its (security and capability/influence) interests and promises to create significant voice and co-determination opportunities. Finally, from a neorealist point of view, the third key element of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties – strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence – may not necessarily attenuate, but can also significantly increase (security) risks, issues of conflict/disputes on costs and dependencies, mutual distrust, and (politico-economic/strategic) tensions between the superpowers, with some scholars even warning of a (limited) Sino-U.S. currency/financial and trade/economic war (Mastanduno 1997: 83f.; Gilpin 1981: 220; Jäger 2015: 14). All in all, “the end of the Cold War (…) [may not have brought; J.V.] the end of power politics” (Walt 1998: 43). The anarchic international (selfhelp) system and the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties may thus entail a post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relationship reflecting to a

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significant extent realpolitik struggles for security, (relative) gains/capabilities and spheres of (economic, strategic and institutional) influence, as well as ultimately (a certain degree of) superpower rivalry for future regional (or potentially once even global) hegemony. Significant (structural) variables may though “render [the nuclear powers United States and China; J.V.] (…) cautious whenever crises threaten to spin out of control” (Waltz 2000: 36; Glaser 2011a: 81-86; 89-91). A moderately grim eclectic neorealist picture of Sino-U.S. ties thus evolves, where the (relational) foreign policy repertoire probably lacks both permanent (economically based) cooperation and hegemonic war. Respectively, the ascent of the People’s Republic of China may have evoked a post-Cold War relationship with the hegemonic United States characterized to a considerable extent by (here so termed) strategic power politics: below the (anticipated) threshold of evoking major (Sino-U.S.) militarized conflict and according to varying international (structural) conditions, the superpowers may apply any capabilities and pursue any (conflictive or cooperative) behavior that advances their security and, if not jeopardizing the latter, their capabilities and (spheres of economic, strategic and institutional) influence; as rising China might become a regional (or once even global) challenger to U.S. hegemony, the superpowers may thereby in particular consider (potential) effects on their mid- to long-term strategic and (politico-)economic position (in the Asia-Pacific). There may hence quite evolve Sino-U.S. contingencies (in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue) where (foreign) policies that imply limited economic (plenty) losses may be pursued due to higher ranked longer term (security/strategic) ends. Against this mid- to long-term perspective (of a potential Sino-U.S. (regional) power transition), PRC and U.S. strategic power politics may inter alia comprise (regional) (soft-)balancing(-of-power/-threat/-interests) strategies, policies that seek to use opportunities arising out of strong (slightly asymmetric) bilateral (economic) interdependence, positive and negative (politico-economic) sanctions, coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers, and (limited) power projection, but also instrumental, issue-specific and variable cooperation (within (pre-/quasi-)institutionalized “arenas of influence politics”). Based on these deductions from an eclectic neorealist picture of world

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politics and Sino-U.S. ties in particular, four distinctive hypotheses on the post-Cold War (relational) foreign policy behavior of the People’s Republic of China and the United States in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue will be derived in the following. Neorealist Hypotheses on the Post-Cold War (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior of the People’s Republic of China The Taiwan Issue Since post-Cold War ties between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States have been marked by a relatively fast economic power transition under way, slow to moderate shifts in military power (as well as strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence), and both states have had nuclear (second-strike) capabilities, according to neorealism, it seems probable that the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the PRC towards the United States in the Taiwan issue will be characterized by strategic power politics. Accordingly, the ascending PRC will (more assertively) apply a wide range of realpolitik (foreign) policies to enhance its control over actors and outcomes, affirm the one-China principle, vindicate its territorial claim over Taiwan, deter a Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) declaration of independence, and potential U.S. intervention in a PRC-ROC contingency, as well as to expand the ROC’s (economic and security) dependence on the mainland and reduce U.S. influence in the region. These foreign policies will on the one hand comprise instrumental, variable, and issuespecific cooperation with the United States (and the ROC) whenever this fosters Taiwan’s further international isolation, dependence, and integration into the PRC. On the other hand, China will oppose U.S. arms sales, security assurances and support of Taiwan, and link U.S. (and ROC) behavior to a certain (possible) extent with positive and negative politicoeconomic sanctions (within strong, bilateral (economic) interdependence). Against the mid- to long-term perspective of a potential Sino-U.S. power transition, and hence knowing that time is on its side, ascending China will likely pursue a moderate (soft-)balancing(-of-power/-threat)

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approach towards the United States (and increase in particular PLA antiaccess/area denial capabilities). Below the (anticipated) threshold of evoking major militarized conflict, it will also apply coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers, and (limited) power projection to raise its leverage over the ROC and prevent (potentially U.S. supported) formal independence of the island. As a PRC-ROC unification (and a Chinese takeover of advanced Taiwanese technological, economic and military capabilities, a then possible PLA realignment, as well as easier blue water access) would significantly increase PRC security, capabilities, (its sphere of) influence, and (hence) yield relative (strategic and economic) gains also towards the United States, Chinese realpolitik (foreign) policies and coercive diplomacy may become quite provocative, testing also U.S. resolve to defend Taiwan. China may thereby accept limited economic (plenty) losses, though not severe imperilment of its continued (economic) rise. When the United States thus responds with resolute deterrence measures, counter-maneuvers, force projection, and threatens massive politico-economic sanctions, the PRC will not pursue military escalation and return (for some time) to less provocative, non-military strategic power politics. The North Korea Issue Since post-Cold War ties between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States have been marked by a relatively fast economic power transition under way, slow to moderate shifts in military power (as well as strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence), and both states have had nuclear (second-strike) capabilities, according to neorealism, it seems probable that the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the PRC towards the United States in the North Korea issue will be characterized by strategic power politics. Accordingly, the ascending PRC will (more assertively) apply a wide range of realpolitik (foreign) policies to enhance its control over actors and outcomes, maintain its North Korean sphere of influence, and ensure regional stability to foster its continued (economic) rise. It will hence seek to prevent a collapse of, and support its only remaining ally, the DPRK. A

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demise of the Kim regime would entail hardly foreseeable risks, menace China’s privileged leverage over North Korea, and the PRC would hardly welcome a unified, significantly more powerful neighboring state on the Korean Peninsula; what is more, it will be an important Chinese (mid- to long-term) strategic interest to prevent a U.S. influenced or even U.S. allied unified Korea that could ultimately even entail the deployment of U.S. forces up to China’s northeastern (Yalu river) border. Also against the mid- to long-term perspective of a potential Sino-U.S. power transition, the PRC will selectively pursue a moderate (soft-)balancing(-of-power/ -threat) approach towards the hegemonic United States and counter U.S. policies that seek a (coercive) regime change in Pyongyang. China will (moderately) oppose coercive diplomacy of the United States and its allies towards the Kim regime that involves military threat, (verbal) deterrence, (U.S.-ROK/U.S.-Japan) maneuvers/shows of force and (limited) power projection; additionally, it will seek to block, mitigate or (tacitly) undermine harsh U.S. and (U.S. pushed) international (UN) sanctions on the DPRK, and will via trade and foreign aid provide vital energy/oil, food, other basic/relief, and partly even defense/dual use goods to its (dependent) neighboring state, even if this implies Sino-U.S./regional tensions and limited economic (plenty) losses. Nevertheless, the PRC will generally share and support U.S. interest in a denuclearization of the Kim regime, also since respective (issue-specific) superpower cooperation may improve Sino-U.S. relations and entail politico-economic (plenty) gains. Furthermore, as one (neighboring) nuclear weapons state less in the Asia-Pacific would imply moderate PRC security and strategic gains, and increase its potential freedom of (coercive) action (as a future (regional) hegemon), it will promote a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. Besides, an end of the DPRK nuclear threat towards South Korea would decrease the ROK’s (military/”nuclear umbrella”) dependency on the United States. As already South Korea’s largest trading and economic partner, China might then become able to significantly increase its leverage over the ROK (and to thereby also potentially undermine the U.S. alliance system in the Asia-Pacific and respective U.S. (soft-) balancing efforts); portraying itself as the more benevolent superpower (than the hegemonic United States), it will thus foster a peaceful denuclearization of the DPRK,

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and a certain degree of détente between two stable, but separate Korean states. Last but not least, in regard to the evolution of the Six-Party Talks as a multilateral (pre-/quasi-institutionalized) “arena of influence politics”, the PRC will instrumentally, variably, and issue-specifically support and cooperate in this format, and even seek a major (host/coordination) role therein to display regional leadership and realize significant voice and codetermination opportunities towards the hegemonic United States and the other participants. Neorealist Hypotheses on the Post-Cold War (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior of the United States The Taiwan Issue Since post-Cold War ties between the hegemonic United States and the ascending People’s Republic of China have been marked by a relatively fast economic power transition under way, slow to moderate shifts in military power (as well as strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence), and both states have had nuclear (second-strike) capabilities, according to neorealism, it seems probable that the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the United States towards the PRC in the Taiwan issue will be characterized by strategic power politics. Accordingly, the United States will apply a wide range of realpolitik (foreign) policies to preserve the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and retain its hegemonic position (as the primary security manager) (also) in the AsiaPacific. It will give the ROC vague security assurances and foster close (informal) bilateral ties, but will also use its influence on the government in Taipei to prevent evident ROC steps towards (or even a ROC declaration of) formal independence; moreover, the United States will resolutely seek to deter China from pursuing coercive/military options of cross-Strait unification, and may not promote peaceful integration of the island into the PRC. A ROC declaration of independence would most likely entail PRC-ROC war, which the United States does not want to enter on Taipei’s side due to the enormous costs/risks of large-scale military (potentially even nuclear) conflict with the PRC; furthermore, as a PRC-ROC

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unification would reduce the U.S. regional sphere of influence and would (with a Chinese takeover of advanced Taiwanese technological, economic and military capabilities, a then possible PLA realignment, as well as easier blue water access) entail significant Chinese relative (strategic and economic) gains also towards the United States, this would imply even more rapid shifts in the Sino-U.S. distribution of capabilities. Respectively, the United States will compel and induce the PRC to maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait inter alia by applying positive and negative politico-economic sanctions (within strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence) and fostering favored outcomes also via issue-specific, variable, and instrumental cooperation. Moreover, below the (anticipated) threshold of evoking major militarized conflict, the United States will as well apply coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers and (limited) power projection to deter the PRC from compelling Taiwan into unification, and the United States will resolutely react to provocative PLA actions/maneuvers inter alia with military counter-maneuvers. U.S. (mid- to long-term) strategic interests in the Taiwan issue may thus be ranked higher than limited, shortterm economic (plenty) losses elicited by Sino-U.S. tensions. The United States may hence pursue a moderate hedging and (regional) (soft-)balancing(-of-threat) approach to secure its established sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific and hinder the PRC from becoming a regional (or once even global) challenger (inter alia by strengthening the U.S. military presence and relations with (potential) allies and partners); against the midto long-term perspective of a potential Sino-U.S. power transition, it will (seek to) maintain the (Western) weapons embargo on China while recurrently selling advanced arms to Taiwan, even if this evokes tensions with the PRC. Last but not least, the United States will leave it more or less open under which circumstances and to what extent it may militarily support Taiwan in the case of a PLA attack, this way deterring bold ROC moves towards formal independence and the PRC from pursuing coercive/military options of unification278.

278 Ultimately, it may remain doubtful if the United States will in a PRC-ROC contingency risk full-scale military (and potentially even nuclear) conflict with the People’s Republic

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The North Korea Issue Since post-Cold War ties between the hegemonic United States and the ascending People’s Republic of China have been marked by a relatively fast economic power transition under way, slow to moderate shifts in military power (as well as strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence), and both states have had nuclear (second-strike) capabilities, according to neorealism, it seems probable that the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the United States towards the PRC in the North Korea issue will be characterized by strategic power politics. Accordingly, the United States will apply a wide range of realpolitik (foreign) policies to secure its hegemonic position (as the primary security manager) (also) in the Asia-Pacific, enhance its control over actors, outcomes, and its regional sphere of influence, and increase its (future) security by pursuing a denuclearization of the DPRK. Against the midto long-term perspective of a potential Sino-U.S. power transition, the United States will selectively pursue a moderate hedging and (regional) (soft-)balancing(-of-threat) approach to hinder China from becoming a regional (or once even global) challenger. While predominantly seeking a denuclearization of the DPRK (as this may more immediately reduce respective (future) security threats), the United States will (hence) also favor a demise of the Kim regime, and ultimately a unification of the Korean Peninsula under U.S. auspices. A unified Korea would likely imply an end to the PRC’s last military alliance, and decrease the so far privileged Chinese leverage over the northern part of the peninsula; moreover, it might entail an enlarged U.S. sphere of (strategic and economic) influence, and potentially a more powerful Korean ally that might (once) even enable the deployment of U.S. forces up to the (Yalu river) border with China. On the one hand, the United States will likely use the common strategic interest with the PRC in a denuclearization of the DPRK to foster improved super-

of China to defend Taiwan, which has no longer been a formal U.S. ally since January 1st, 1980 (Chou 1996: 1; 24f.; Kan 2014a: 8; Dumbaugh 2009: 3). Respective doubts may hence be significantly higher than for instance those concerning U.S. security guarantees to Japan or South Korea, which embody the major pillars of its alliance system in the Asia-Pacific.

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power relations (and resulting politico-economic (plenty) gains), and to (further) integrate China into multilateral ((pre-/quasi-)institutionalized) approaches within the international structure of Pax Americana. Instrumental, variable, and issue-specific cooperation with Beijing thereby promises to enhance U.S. influence on ascending China, the DPRK, and to significantly reduce the costs of a denuclearization of North Korea. On the other hand, the United States will induce and compel the PRC (within strong, slightly asymmetric Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence) to limit its support for the DPRK, and to tolerate a wide spectrum of U.S. and (U.S. pushed) international measures towards the Kim regime, including coercive diplomacy of military threats, (verbal) deterrence, (U.S.-ROK/U.S.Japan) shows of force/maneuvers and (limited) power projection, as well as positive and negative politico-economic (UN/U.S./international) sanctions (that inter alia imply an increasing trade/financial/political isolation of the DPRK, but also the provision of (basic/relief) goods) to reach a denuclearization of North Korea. Below the (anticipated) threshold of evoking major Sino-U.S. militarized conflict, the United States will leave military options towards North Korea on the table, and will pressure Beijing to end in particular delivery of defense/dual use goods to the Kim regime. U.S. (mid- to long-term) strategic interests in the North Korea issue may thus be ranked higher than limited economic (plenty) losses due to U.S.DPRK/U.S.-PRC and regional tensions. Last but not least, in regard to the evolution of the Six-Party Talks as a multilateral (pre-/quasi-institutionalized) “arena of influence politics”, the hegemonic United States will likely initiate the establishment of, strengthen, and instrumentally, variably, and issue-specifically cooperate within this format to enhance its regional control over actors and outcomes, most notably over the DPRK and the PRC, but also over Russia and the policies of its (Japan/ROK) allies. The United States may hence perceive the 6PT as a (near-term and potentially also mid- to long-term) platform to possibly kill four birds with one stone, namely, to pursue a denuclearization and a collapse of the North Korean regime, as well as to increase its control over ascending China and the U.S. regional sphere of (strategic, (pre-/quasi-)institutional and economic) influence.

4

Empirical Verification

4 Empirical Verification

As has become evident, the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue have been among the central “hot spots”, “flashpoints” or “triggers for confrontation” in (also post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. (and Asia-Pacific) relations (Acharya/Goh 2007: 10; Tammen et al. 2000: 167; Foot 2007: 93f.; Goldstein 2007: 674f.; Lampton 2001: 46; Chase 2005: 162; Khalilzad et al. 1999: 86; Zhao 2007: 625; Wagener 2011b: 246; 249). Formulated more drastically, Kugler argues that “Taiwan and Korea have replaced the Cold War’s Berlin as focal points for potential Great Power conflict” (Kugler 2006: 40). Having developed, based on the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, an eclectic neoliberal and an eclectic neorealist picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations in particular, and having derived four neoliberal and four neorealist hypotheses on post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue and the North Korea issue, four respective case studies will in the following empirically verify these neoliberal and neorealist deductions – and thus answer if the ascent of the People’s Republic of China has evoked a post-Cold War relationship with the hegemonic United States characterized rather by economically based cooperation or by strategic power politics. 4.1

The Taiwan Issue

4.1 The Taiwan Issue

Overview The Taiwan issue goes back to at least the end of the 19th century. After the First Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese Empire acquired Taiwan from Qing dynasty China in 1895 (in the Treaty of Shimonoseki); colonial rule lasted until Japan’s surrender in the Second Sino-Japanese War/World War II, after which the island was taken over by the Republic of China (Dumbaugh 2009: 1; Kan 2014a: 1; Kan/Morrison 2014: 3; Hoffmann © Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2021 J. Vogelmann, Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States, Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-31660-0_4

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2000: 54; 58; Weggel 2007: 44; 51-65). At the end of the Chinese Civil War, Mao Zedong’s Communists gained control over the whole of mainland China in 1949 (as well as over Hainan Island in 1950), with Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek and about two million Chinese retreating to the island of Taiwan, the last territorial part of the Republic of China (Dumbaugh 2009: I; 1; Kan 2014a: 1; Scobell 2003: 174; Ng 2005: appendix 3; Wagener 2011b: 247f.; Heilmann 2000: 69f.; Hoffmann 2000: 63). The United States expected the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) to be soon conquered by the PRC as well. Yet, during the early peak stages of the Cold War and with the onset of the Korean War, the United States regained strategic interest in the island; it hence deployed (in June 1950) units of the U.S. 7th Fleet to the Taiwan Strait to forestall a Communist invasion of Taiwan, supported (especially since 1952) the ROC with significant military (armament) and economic aid, and ultimately established the U.S.-ROC Mutual Defense Treaty in 1954/1955 (Kan 2014a: 21f.; Dumbaugh 2009: 1; Tucker 2005b: 188f.; Scobell 2003: 174; Johnston 1996: 258; Tkacik 2007: 138f.; 156; Weggel 2007: 95-97; 104f.; 122f.). Between 1949/50 and 1962, military clashes/crises between the PRC and the ROC (with more or less U.S. support for the ROC) recurred about every four years, mainly concerning strategically important islands in the Taiwan Strait such as Quemoy (Kinmen) and Matsu (Mazu) (Whiting 2001: 104; 108-112; Ng 2005: appendix 3; Weggel 2007: 100-109). Despite U.S. opposition to ROC plans in the 1960s to reconquer the mainland, at the diplomatic level, the Republic of China on Taiwan, just as the People’s Republic of China, continued to demand – as the only legitimate “one” China – exclusive representation of the Chinese people in international relations (Weggel 2007: 123f.; 161-165; Whiting 2001: 112). The international influence of the ROC though decreased dramatically in 1971, when U.S. President Richard Nixon announced a shift in U.S. China policy that implied a potential U.S. diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China and potential U.S. support for PRC membership in the United Nations and other international organizations; in the same year, the ROC lost its UN (Security Council) seat in favor of the PRC

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(Dumbaugh 2009: 2; Kan 2014a: 1; Tkacik 2007: 139f.; Weggel 2007: 167-169; Ignatius 2012). In the “Joint [also called Shanghai; J.V.] Communiqué of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China” then issued during U.S. President Richard Nixon's momentous state visit to the PRC in 1972, the United States acknowledged that “all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves” (Embassy of the PRC in the U.S. 2014c; Dumbaugh 2009: 1f.; Tkacik 2002; Phillips et al. 2016; Ignatius 2012). After issuing in December 1978 the “Joint [also called Normalization; J.V.] Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America”, Sino-U.S. diplomatic ties were finally established on January 1st, 1979 (Embassy of the PRC in the U.S. 2014b; Dumbaugh 2009: I; 3; Tkacik 2002; Friedrich 2000: 120). At the same time, this implied that the United States broke off diplomatic relations with the ROC, since it now recognized “the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China (…) [and acknowledged; J.V.] the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China” (Embassy of the PRC in the U.S. 2014b; Kan 2014a: 1). Accordingly, the Carter administration also annulled the U.S.-ROC Mutual Defense Treaty on January 1st, 1980 (Kan 2014a: 8; 2014b: I; Dumbaugh 2009: 3; Foot 2007: 103; Wagener 2011b: 248). Nevertheless, the U.S. Congress adopted (and U.S. President Jimmy Carter inked into law) the “Taiwan Relations Act” (TRA) in 1979, giving the ROC certain security guarantees279 (U.S. Government Publishing Of-

279 According to the Taiwan Relations Act, “[i]t is the policy of the United States (…) (4) to consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means (…) of grave concern to the United States; (5) to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character; and (6) to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan. (…) the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as

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fice (USGPO) 2015; Kan 2014a: 8; 22; Dumbaugh 2009: 3f.; Tkacik 2007: 142f.). Moreover, although the Reagan administration issued with the People’s Republic of China the 1982 “Joint [also called August 17; J.V.] Communiqué”, in which the U.S. government “states (…) that it intends gradually to reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution” (Embassy of the PRC in the U.S. 2014a), it had beforehand affirmed to the ROC via “Six Assurances” that it “has not agreed to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan; (…) has not altered its position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan; (…) [and] will not exert pressure on Taiwan to negotiate with the PRC” (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. 2016; Kan 2014a: I; 22; Dumbaugh 2009: 5f.; Tucker 2005b: 194; Weggel 2007: 199f.). Respectively, the United States resumed weapons (fighter) sale procedures concerning the ROC already one day after issuing the August 17 Communiqué with the PRC (Tkacik 2002). During an era of relative détente in cross-Strait relations, Taiwan began to democratize since the 1980s, yielding inter alia in 1992 the island’s first democratic legislative election, and in 1996 the first democratic (direct) presidential election (Kan 2014a: 13; 21; 51; 59; 61; Chou 1996: 1; Foot 2007: 99; Gill 2007: 141f.; Tucker 2005a: 3; Lijun 2001: 18; Weggel 2007: 175-183; 212-243; 255; 264-278; Lampton 2001: 46; Borich 1999). Nevertheless, even in post-Cold War times, “the possibility of a clash between China and the United States over Taiwan (…) [has been; J.V.] hardly remote” (Mearsheimer 2001: 2). The Taiwan issue still entails significant risks, and PRC-ROC/PRC-ROC-U.S. war “could erupt [there inter alia; J.V.] out of miscalculation, misunderstanding, or accident” (Tucker 2005a: 1). The topicality and perilousness of this “most dangerous flashpoint in U.S.-China relations” has hence persisted into the post-Cold War era (Lampton 2001: 46; Tammen et al. 2000: 167; Chase 2005: 162). Moreover, issues concerning the (political) fate of Taiwan and its ties with the PRC and the hegemonic United States have to a certain extent been

may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability” (USGPO 2014).

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intensified by the politico-economic and military rise of China in recent years – and especially against the background of a Sino-U.S. (post-Cold War) structural frame marked by a relatively fast economic power transition under way, slow to moderate shifts in military power, as well as strong, slightly asymmetric bilateral (economic) interdependence (Tammen/Kugler 2006: 46-50; Khalilzad et al. 1999: 85f.; Waltz 1993: 64). In the following, two case studies will empirically analyze the post-Cold War PRC and U.S. (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue, and hence verify if the relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States has been rather neoliberally characterized by economically based cooperation – or neorealistically by strategic power politics. 4.1.1 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the PRC in the Taiwan Issue At the beginning of the post-Cold War era, Sino-U.S. relations remained still strained due to the 1989 Tiananmen square massacre and the resulting U.S. (and U.S. pushed Western) sanctions/arms embargo(s) on the PRC, halting military-to-military contacts and U.S. weapons sales to China (USGPO/Clinton 1993a: 2023f.; Lampton 2001: 20-29; Kan 2014c: i; 1f.; 9f.; Garrison 2005: 107f.; 111-125). Moreover, the PRC feared that ongoing democratization in the ROC – or in the words of U.S. President George H. W. Bush “Taiwan’s dramatic evolution toward democracy” (USGPO/Bush 1992c: 1470) – might elicit stronger U.S. support for the ROC and generate a more widely shared perception among the island’s population, elites and leadership of a separate Taiwanese identity; accordingly, at the beginning of the 1990s, the PRC grew increasingly wary of the ROC and the United States, confirming rather neorealist expectations of low trust levels (Tkacik 2002). Sino-U.S. suspicion against the background of the Taiwan issue seemed to be also reflected in armament policy decisions: while the PRC ordered 26 Suchoi-27 fighter jets, transport aircraft and further defense goods from Russia in 1991/1992 inter alia to narrow the gap in advanced air capabilities towards the ROC, U.S. President George H. W. Bush resolutely forestalled potential shifts in the cross-Strait military balance and announced in September 1992 to sell

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Taiwan 150 F-16 fighter aircraft for about $5.8 bn. to strengthen the island’s self-defense capacity; this decision enraged PRC leaders, who perceived it as a clear non-compliance with the August 17 U.S.-China Communiqué (USGPO/Bush 1992c: 1470f.; SIPRI 2015; Scobell 2003: 175; Kan 2014b: 21; Ross 2000: 87; 92; Tucker 2005b: 195; Tkacik 2002). Nevertheless, a first direct, quasi-official PRC-ROC dialogue began in October 1992, and made some progress until mid-1993 (despite strong warnings of PRC Premier Li Peng in regard to Taiwanese independence tendencies) (Taiwan Affairs Office/IOSCPRC 1993; Kan 2014a: 51; Kan/ Morrison 2014: 6; Scobell 2003: 174f.; Lijun 2001: 20; Tkacik 2002). In August 1993, the Taiwan Affairs Office and the Information Office of the State Council of the PRC (IOSCPRC) though released a White Paper on “The Taiwan Question and Reunification of China” that evoked new tensions with the ROC and the United States. The paper reaffirmed that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China”, did not renounce the application of military force to reach unification, termed the Bush administration’s F-16 deal “a new stumbling block in the way of the development of SinoU.S. relations and settlement of the Taiwan question”, and concluded that “the U.S. Government is responsible for holding up the settlement of the Taiwan question” (Taiwan Affairs Office/IOSCPRC 1993). As a response, the ROC cancelled the dialogue with Beijing in September 1993, entailing new cross-Strait frictions (Tkacik 2002). In August 1994, for instance, the PLA held a (joint services) exercise in the Nanjing military region that evidently involved a Taiwan contingency background (Ng 2005: appendix 3). ROC President Lee Teng-hui’s request in early 1995 for a “private” visit to the United States, more precisely to his alma mater, Cornell University, was then perceived by the PRC as a further step within a ROC “travel diplomacy” approach to improve the island’s international status and leverage (Kissinger 2011: 472; Chou 1996: 1; 4; Lampton 2001: 46f.; Weggel 2007: 287f.). To the displeasure of the PRC leadership – then successor candidate to Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, called it “a hegemonic act” of the United States (Jiang, cit. in Newsweek 1995) – Lee Teng-hui finally

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received the requested U.S. entry permission in May 1995; fearing that the United States might thereby send a (further) signal of retreat from the one-China principle and indicate potential support for a ROC course towards formal independence, the PRC tried at first to thwart Lee’s journey via diplomatic channels, though could eventually not prevent him from speaking at Cornell University in June 1995 (Carter/Perry 1999: 94; Ross 2000: 90-94; Newsweek 1995). In the end, this entailed the worst PRCROC relations since the Quemoy-Matsu crisis in 1958 and “threatened to involve the United States in military confrontation with the People’s Republic of China” (Chou 1996: 1; 24; Tucker 2005b: 195; Wu 1996: 26f.; Whiting 2001: 108-111; 120-123). As the PRC leadership remained determined to forestall further Taiwanese moves towards enhanced international leverage and/or formal independence, and since diplomatic efforts, including recalling the PRC ambassador from the United States and suspending Sino-U.S. high-level (and PRC-ROC) contacts did not find attentive ears in Washington, it finally decided to openly rely on coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/ maneuvers, and (limited) power projection in the Taiwan Strait to signal its resolve towards the ROC and the United States (Yahuda 2004; Christopher 1998: 288; Kissinger 2011: 473f.; Ross 2000: 99; Blasko 2006: 144; Whiting 2001: 121-123; Lampton 2001: 52; Tucker 2005b: 195; Wu 1996: 48f.; Weggel 2007: 287). Regarding this realpolitik foreign policy behavior, it becomes clear that the PRC leadership saw the Taiwan issue as a high-value conflict that may potentially receive – contrary to a neoliberal model of action – a higher priority than certain economic considerations, and that may be also managed by threatening to apply, and to some (limited) extent applying the PRC’s growing military prowess, even if this entails limited economic (plenty) losses (Johnston 1996: 252; Mastanduno 1997: 65; Friedrich 2000: 130f.). Accordingly, in July 1995, PRC Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen pointed out to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that “the U.S. government should be clear about the point: we have no maneuver-room on the Taiwan question. We will never give up our principled position on Taiwan” (Qian, cit. in Kissinger 2011: 474).

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After ROC President Lee Teng-hui’s June 1995 speech at Cornell University, the PRC accused him of seeking to build “two Chinas”, and conducted publicized missile tests (though with dummy warheads), as well as (joint) air, naval, and ground forces military (amphibious landing) exercises in and near the Taiwan Strait in July, August and November 1995 and in March 1996; more specifically, in July 1995, the PLA launched six (nuclear-capable) surface-to-surface short-/intermediate-range ballistic missiles that hit the sea approximately 80-100 miles north of Taiwan; these missile tests implied a de-facto blockade of Taiwan’s northern ports and entailed economic, stock market and currency turbulences on the island and in the region; between August 15th and August 25th, 1995, with the latter date marking the arrival of U.S. Undersecretary of State Peter Tarnoff in Beijing, the PRC conducted a second round of missile drills and (live-fire) maneuvers, and began with force deployments to Taiwan’s opposite coast (Globalsecurity.org 2014; Kissinger 2011: 473f.; 476; Whiting 2001: 121-123; Ross 2000: 94-111; Ng 2005: appendix 3; Tkacik 2002; Chou 1996: 1f.; Foot 2007: 101; Fisher 1997: 4). Further publicly announced, large-scale PLA (amphibious landing/invasion) drills were held in the second half of (and especially in November) 1995 (Ng 2005: appendix 3; Tkacik 2002; Whiting 2001: 121-123). The extensive PLA maneuvers raised significant tensions within the Sino-U.S. relationship, also as they were pursued despite strong U.S. warnings. Repeating major aspects of the January 1995 “Eight Point Proposal” of PRC President Jiang Zemin, who had underlined that the option of applying force in the Taiwan issue remained on the table and was “directed (…) against the schemes of foreign forces to interfere with China's reunification and to bring about the ‘independence of Taiwan’” (Jiang 1995; Garver 1997: 43; Scobell 2003: 175; Wu 1996: 48), Prime Minister Li Peng reemphasized in January 1996 that “not giving up the use of force” by the PRC was to (also) counter foreign influence and interference – obviously targeting with this criticism (inter alia) the United States (Li, cit. in Cossa 1996; Ross 2000: 106; 2009: 145). China thus applied large-scale PLA (missile) drills in the Taiwan Strait area (and beyond) to underscore its claim over Taiwan, influence policies of the ROC and the United States, and to display quite plainly its determination to resort to force in case of (U.S.

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backed) Taiwanese attempts to reach formal independence (Chou 1996: 21f.). Spring 1996 was even stronger marked by Chinese coercive diplomacy (Whiting 2001: 104; 122f.; Ross 2000: 88f.; Scobell 2003: 189). In February 1996, the PRC began to muster over 100,000 soldiers in Fujian province; in March 1996, next to live-ammunition military (air and naval) maneuvers, the PLA then fired (from March 7th/8th on) several surface-tosurface ballistic missiles into the Taiwan Strait – with a target area just 18 to 35 miles off Taiwan’s two largest ports in the north and south of the island; although PRC-ROC tensions had been anticipated to rise in the run-up to the ROC’s first democratic (direct) presidential election in March 1996, “[n]o one expected, though, that Beijing would escalate its military actions to an ostensible threat of war. The world witnessed M-9 [DF-15; J.V.] missiles landing in waters near Keelung and Kaohsiung, (…) and the PLA conducting live-fire exercises dangerously close to Kinmen (Quemoy) and Matsu, the front-line islands that were the pawns in the 1958 Taiwan Strait crisis” (Wu 1996: 49; USDOD/Doubleday 1996; Ross 2000: 106-111; Carter/Perry 1999: 92; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Whiting 2001: 122; IISS 2016: 14; Kan 2014c: 55f.; Gellman 1998a; Fisher 1997: 4; Foot 2007: 101; Tkacik 2002). In this way, the PRC used coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, (missile) shows of force/maneuvers, and (limited) power projection to demonstrate its growing military capabilities and send clear signals of resolve to ROC leaders and voters – and to the United States; it hence sought to influence Taiwan’s first direct presidential election, ROC and U.S. policies, and tested the U.S. strategic commitment to the island (Blasko 2006: 144; Kissinger 2011: 473f.; Wu 1996: 49f.; Whiting 2001: 104; 122f.; Ross 2000: 88f.; Scobell 2003: 189; Weggel 2007: 287; 293). With the respective (limited) application of military force as a means of politics, “Beijing managed to force Washington to reveal its preference, and was stunned at the results” (Wu 1996: 50) – since the United States responded on March 9th, 1996, by sending the USS Independence aircraft carrier strike group from Okinawa and the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group from the Persian Gulf to waters near Taiwan (USDOD/Perry 1996; USDOD 1996; Carter/

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Perry 1999: 97-99). Ostensibly ignoring at first these resolute countermaneuvers/deterrence signals from Washington, the PRC still announced live-fire air, land, and naval exercises to be conducted from March 12th20th to the north and south of the Taiwan Strait, as well as (joint) air, land, and naval drills (among them air strike and amphibious landing exercises) from March 18th-25th partly within ten nautical miles of ROCcontrolled islands (Chou 1996: 16f.; Ross 2000: 110f.; Whiting 2001: 122f.; Globalsecurity.org 2014). Overall, the PLA may have employed about 40 vessels, 300 aircraft and 150,000 troops in the 1996 maneuvers (Scobell 2003: 176f.; Whiting 2001: 122). Furthermore, PRC Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen emphasized in March 1996 that “Taiwan is a part of China's territory and is not a protectorate of the United States” (Qian, cit. in Tyler 1996), and PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Shen Guofang added few days later that “China expresses its displeasure with the United States for grossly interfering in China's internal affairs and for the brazen show of force” (Shen, cit. in Mufson 1996). Finally, though, and probably also as a reaction to the resolute U.S. counter-maneuvers, Beijing reduced its military drills in Taiwan’s vicinity after the March 1996 ROC presidential election, and international (PRC-ROC and Sino-U.S.) tensions decreased again (Chou 1996: 22; 24). Nevertheless, PLA (joint services) maneuvers with a potential Taiwan contingency scenario continued – for instance in August 1996 in the Yellow Sea (Ng 2005: appendix 3). As indicated, China’s coercive diplomacy in 1995/1996 had thereby also taken effect as economic sanctions against the ROC, revealing Taiwan’s (economic) sensitivity and vulnerability to PRC actions: “The proximity of these [March 1996 missile] tests to the ports and the accompanying warnings for ships and aircraft to avoid the test areas resulted in the effective disruption of the ports, and of international shipping and air traffic, for the duration of the tests” (Globalsecurity.org 2014; Chou 1996: 22; Tkacik 2002; Whiting 2001: 104; 122f.; Ross 2000: 88f.; Scobell 2003: 189). The 1995/1996 crisis and de facto temporary/partial PLA sea (and air) blockade of Taiwan had thus negative economic effects on the ROC – but also on the PRC; it entailed slumps at the Taiwanese financial mar-

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kets, triggered currency devaluation and large amounts of capital leaving the island and the region, harmed PRC-ROC and Sino-U.S. (politico-) economic ties as well as China’s international image, and threatened to negatively affect the economic rise and further (beneficial) post-Cold War integration of the PRC into the Asia-Pacific and especially the U.S.-dominated international (economic) system (Lampton 2001: 53; Tkacik 2002; Ross 2000: 116-118; Möller 2005: 1; Overholt 2008: 148; xxxi). Consequently, the Chinese foreign policy behavior in 1995/1996 towards the ROC and the United States (in the Taiwan issue) seemed to be characterized rather by strategic power politics than by economically based cooperation; the PRC hence rated to a certain extent strategic (territorial) goals and the (also coercive) prevention of Taiwanese formal independence higher than unhindered flows of absolute economic (plenty) gains/ capitalist peace rents resulting from low-strain Sino-U.S. and cross-Strait relations (Layne 2008: 14; Ross 2002: 63; 2000: 88f.; Khalilzad et al. 1999: 6; Scobell 2003: 171; 189; Whiting 2001: 104; 122f.). In this respect, PRC foreign policy makers accepted in the Taiwan issue limited economic (plenty) losses, though not large-scale military escalation – confirming the deduced neorealist hypothesis. Moreover, as neorealistically derived, the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis was significantly marked by Chinese coercive diplomacy towards the ROC and the United States, involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, (missile) shows of force/ maneuvers, and (limited) power projection: “China used coercive diplomacy to threaten costs until the United States and Taiwan changed their policies. (…) The [limited; J.V.] use of force was [thereby; J.V.] a crucial element” (Ross 2000: 88f.; 94; 123f.; Scobell 2003: 189; Whiting 2001: 104; 122f.). In the following years, especially the 1997 and 1998 U.S.-China summits yielded signs of Sino-U.S. (and to some extent also cross-Strait) détente, partial superpower cooperation and new consultation mechanisms; in October 1997, Jiang Zemin arrived in the United States for the first postCold War state visit of a Chinese president, and U.S. President Bill Clinton’s return visit to the PRC took place in June/July 1998 (Ross 2000: 114f.; 123; Fisher 1997: 1; Globalsecurity.org 2014). At the same time,

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however, it became also clear that China had learned its lessons from the U.S. strategic (counter-)maneuvers in the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis; since then, the PRC has quantitatively and qualitatively enhanced its (short- and medium-range) ballistic missile buildup along the coast opposite Taiwan, and has adjusted the PLA modernization process inter alia towards “technological niches in which the US 7th fleet can supposedly be challenged” (Möller 2005: 1; IISS 1999: 171; Kan 2014b: 26; Ross 2000: 120f.). Already in 1996, the PRC for instance ordered its first two Sovremenny-class destroyers with supersonic missiles from Russia, and received from there another Kilo-class submarine as well as further antiship missiles/torpedoes in 1997; increasing PLA capabilities have hence rendered similar deterrence operations of U.S. (carrier) task forces like those of 1995/1996 potentially more risky (Federation of American Scientists 2000; SIPRI 2015; Fisher 1997: 1f.; 6-12; Goldstein 1997/1998: 47f.; Ross 2000: 121; Bailey 2007: 191f.). As also elaborated in Chapter 2.2, a Taiwan contingency with (and without) U.S. involvement thus remained a major point of reference for PLA modernization and operational planning; military reform thereby focused to a significant extent on asymmetric warfare capabilities (in the Taiwan Strait area), and sought to especially enhance PLA (missile-, brown water naval-, and air-based) anti-access/ area denial capabilities that heighten the risks for U.S. military operations in a Taiwan contingency: “The benchmark for the reforms and reorganization of the Chinese armed forces seemed to be to build a force that could prevail in a conflict in the Taiwan Strait and deter American intervention, ultimately presenting Taipei with no option but to capitulate” (Bailey 2007: 195; USDOD 2011: I; 2; 14; 23; 28; IISS 2011: 196-198; 2005: 259; Bergsten et al. 2009: 199; 205; Holslag 2010: 55; Fravel 2008: 126133; Kissinger 2012; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 57-61; Yahuda 2004; Gill 2007: 140). These strategic PRC (armament and defense) policies can though be only limitedly explained by a neoliberal picture of a Sino-U.S. relationship characterized by economically based cooperation. Strategic power politics (towards the ROC and the United States) seemed to be also reflected to a certain extent in the PRC White Papers on “China’s National Defense”, which usually deal with Taiwan aspects

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as well. The 1998 White Paper for instance exhibited critical passages (most obviously) on the U.S.(-Japanese) role in the Taiwan issue, stating that “[d]irectly or indirectly incorporating the Taiwan Straits into the security and cooperation sphere of any country or any military alliance is an infringement upon and interference in China's sovereignty. The Chinese government seeks to achieve the reunification of the country by peaceful means, but will not commit itself not to resort to force. (…) In deciding which way to deal with the issue of Taiwan, the Chinese government has no obligation to make a commitment to any country or any person attempting to split China. The Chinese government opposes any country selling arms to Taiwan, which not only violates the basic norms of international law but also threatens China's security and regional peace and stability” (IOSCPRC 1998). These critical PRC references to U.S. policies in the Taiwan issue, and especially the term “security and cooperation sphere of any country” (IOSCPRC 1998) seemed to partly reflect previously derived neorealist anticipations of a Sino-U.S. rivalry and struggle for spheres of influence in the region. In 1999, PRC-ROC and Sino-U.S. tensions then increased again280, also due to continued politicized international traveling of members of the Taiwanese leadership, ROC initiatives to reach membership in the UN and in other international institutions, and with ROC President Lee Teng-hui publicly depicting ROC-PRC ties in July 1999 as at least a “special stateto-state relationship” (Lee, cit. in Lampton 2001: 99; Lee, cit. in Borich 1999; Kan 2014a: 2; 21; 2014c: 62; Kan/Morrison 2014. 5; IISS 1999: 171; Scobell 2003: 172; 189; Ross 2000: 115f.; Nabers 2002: 67). The PRC again reacted with coercive diplomacy involving military threats, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers, and (limited) power projection, such as large-scale military (joint landing) drills on the coast opposite Taiwan in July, August and early September 1999, and repeated flights of advanced PRC warplanes across the midline of the Taiwan

280 During the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia in the Kosovo War, U.S. warplanes accidentally bombed in May 1999 the PRC embassy in Belgrade, evoking strong SinoU.S. friction and a PRC suspension of Sino-U.S. military-to-military contacts (Kissinger 2011: 477; Kan 2014c: 62; Borich 1999; Bendavid 1999).

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Strait into ROC air space (Ross 2000: 116; IISS 1999: 171; Kan 2014c: 62; Kemenade 2001: 57; Tkacik 2002). Furthermore, at the talks between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. President Bill Clinton on the margins of the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Auckland in September 1999, Jiang denoted the renewed tensions in the Taiwan Strait as the most important issue, called on the U.S. president to stop U.S. weapons sales to the ROC, and emphasized that he was “not someone who likes war, but 1.2 billion Chinese people are concerned about what has happened in Taiwan, and I believe it is very important to resolve the issue” (Jiang, cit. in Bendavid 1999; Jiang, cit. in The White House/Berger 1999). Few months later, in December 1999, the PRC President even stated in regard to the U.S. role in the Taiwan question that “[t]he civilian and military leaderships are hopeful that by 2010 the mainland’s defence muscle will have developed to the extent the US will not dare intervene in a Chinarelated conflict, for example, one arising in the Taiwan Strait” (Jiang, cit. in Bailey 2007: 191). The 1999 Taiwan Strait crisis thus reflected once more a significant extent of Sino-U.S. strategic rivalry and seems to rather corroborate the deduced neorealist hypothesis of a post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the PRC towards the United States and the ROC marked by strategic power politics. Sino-Taiwanese and Sino-U.S. relations became also strained by the candidacy, and ultimately the March 2000 election of the rather pro-independence oriented Chen Shui-bian as ROC President – and respective PRC reactions; in the run-up to the polls, China reincreased its pressure/ coercive diplomacy, and issued a new White Paper that seems to confirm a PRC perception of the Taiwan issue and the (role of the) United States that comes close to the derived neorealist predictions; China therein openly criticized that “[t]he United States has never stopped selling advanceed weapons to Taiwan”, and deplored that “[t]he newly revised Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation (…) [have failed to; J.V.] exclude Taiwan from the scope of ‘the areas surrounding Japan’ (…) that could involve military intervention” (IOSCPRC 2000). The PRC White Paper further argued that these U.S. (and Japanese) “actions have inflated the arrogance of the separatist forces in Taiwan, seriously undermined

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China's sovereignty and security and imperiled the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region” (IOSCPRC 2000). In addition, the PRC emphasized in the 2000 White Paper that “if a grave turn of events occurs leading to the separation of Taiwan from China in any name, or if Taiwan is invaded and occupied by foreign countries, or if the Taiwan authorities refuse, sine die, the peaceful settlement of cross-Straits reunification through negotiations, then the Chinese government will have no choice but to adopt all drastic measures possible, including the use of force, to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and achieve the great cause of reunification. The ‘Taiwan independence’ means provoking war again” (IOSCPRC 2000; emphasis added). The third if here – sine die refusal of the Taiwan authorities to negotiate reunification – thereby introduced a (relatively) new condition for the mainland’s application of military force (IOSCPRC 2000; Kan 2014a: 21; Goldstein 2003: 472; Tucker 2005b: 208). Accordingly, the PRC started in 2000 to even apply codified coercive diplomacy, here via written (military) threats to compel the ROC to the negotiation table (Goldstein 2003: 472). When (two days after the issuance of the 2000 PRC White Paper) the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier strike group began maneuvers east of Japan, a publicized commentary in the official gazette of the PLA (“People's Liberation Army Daily”) even threatened that in the case of U.S. intervention in a Taiwan contingency, China would possibly launch strategic counterattacks and long-distance (nuclear) strikes on the United States, and drive U.S. forces out of East Asia (Gertz 2000). Moreover, PRC Premier Zhu Rongji warned the ROC presidential candidates and electorate in March 2000 that “[t]he Chinese people are ready to shed blood and sacrifice their lives to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland” (Zhu, cit. in China Internet Information Center (CIIC) 2000; O’Hanlon 2000: 53; Tkacik 2007: 147-149; IISS 2000: 179; Kemenade 2001: 56f.). Extended (PRC White Paper) conditions for the use of force in the Taiwan issue, harsh statements and warnings by the PRC and PLA leadership also towards the United States, and resumed large-scale PLA (joint) (amphibious landing and sea blockade) exercises in July/August 2000 and August 2001 (that partly involved up to 100,000

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troops) hence definitely support the derived neorealist hypothesis of the PRC pursuing strategic power politics towards the United States (and the ROC) in the Taiwan issue (IISS 2004: 162; Ng 2005: appendix 3; Gertz 2000; Lam 2003a). To put it differently, coercive (public) diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers, and (limited) power projection does hardly belong to a neoliberal foreign policy repertoire. In April 2001, Sino-U.S. tensions mounted after the collision of a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft with a pursuing PLA fighter jet above the South China Sea, killing the Chinese military aviator and leading to an eleven day detainment of the U.S. crew after its emergency landing on Hainan Island281 (Vogelmann 2011: 398f.; USDOS/Powell 2003; Dittmer 2002: 48; Green 2008: 188; Glaser/Liang 2008: 166; Jing 2006: 92; Wortzel 2006: 273). When U.S. President George W. Bush then announced later that month the biggest arms sales package to the ROC since 1992, and indicated in a press interview potentially strong U.S. military support for Taiwan in the case of a PLA attack on the island that was not elicited by a ROC declaration of independence, Beijing protested vehemently (Compton et al. 2001; Dittmer 2002: 48; Tkacik 2002; Lin 2006: 21; CIIC 2001a; 2001b). PRC Vice Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing for instance warned that the U.S. weapons deal with Taiwan would seriously deteriorate Sino-U.S. relations, rhetorically asking “[w]here on earth is the US trying to lead Sino-US relations?” (Li, cit. in CIIC 2001a). Moreover, PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue stated that “[t]he United States made erroneous remarks after it decided to sell sophisticated arms to Taiwan (…) [and these remarks; J.V.] undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and will create further damage to SinoUS relations. (…) There is only one China (…) [and; J.V.] Taiwan is a part of China, not a protectorate of any foreign country” (Zhang, cit. in CIIC 2001b; Compton et al. 2001).

281 China returned the closely inspected, disassembled U.S. aircraft (only) three months later (Dittmer 2002: 48).

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In regard to Chinese foreign policies in the Taiwan issue that seem to confirm a neoliberal picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. relations, one may of course admit that the PRC pursued (beyond coercive diplomacy) also the promotion of increased cross-Strait and Sino-U.S. (economic) interdependence (Kemenade 2001: 57f.; 63; Goldstein 2003: 469-485). Especially during the post-9/11 improvement of Sino-U.S. relations due to partial superpower cooperation in the U.S.-led Global War on Terror (GWOT)282 (Vogelmann 2011; IISS 2002: 138; Kan 2014c: 48; 2010; Goldstein 2003: 480-485; Overholt 2008: 231; Kissinger 2011: 492f.; Tucker 2005b: 203; Jing 2006: 95; 101; Lin 2006: 21), and with the PRC’s (and Taiwan’s) accession to the WTO in 2001 (and 2002), Chinese interests in a peaceful and stable international/regional environment and a PRC focus on economic development became particularly evident; accordingly, China showed to some extent restraint towards the ROC, pressured the latter to enable “three direct links (…) across the Taiwan Strait” concerning trade, shipping/mail/communications and further transnational (business/tourism) (flight) connections, continued to promote (via trade and investment inducements) increased economic cross-Strait interdependence (thereby also accelerating the dislocation of Taiwanese industries and capital to the mainland), and tried to win the support of Taiwan’s business class (IOSCPRC 2002; Kemenade 2001: 56-58; 60-68; Foot 2007: 106f.; Goldstein 2003: 469-485; Gill 2007: 141). Chinese economic inducements for the Taiwanese business community, which have attracted high numbers of foreign direct investment and significant technology transfer to the PRC (see Chapter 2.1), may thereby have (also) followed from absolute (economic/plenty) gain seeking motives and the neoliberal anticipation that Taiwanese business actors may influence the ROC government to pursue cross-Strait rapprochement and to further enable a “cross-Strait value chain” (Goldstein 2003: 469-485). Moreover, PRC foreign policy makers may have at least partly recognized the negative

282 After 9/11, China offered (intelligence) support concerning the U.S.-led GWOT, for instance by sharing some (though apparently hardly specific) intelligence information on the Taliban, also since Uyghur separatist movements in its Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region had reportedly some ties with the latter (IISS 2002: 138; Vogelmann 2011: 399f.; Dittmer 2002: 53; 55f.; Kan 2014c: 48; Kan 2010; Tucker 2005b: 203).

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effects/costs of (previously applied) coercive diplomacy (including the application of military means) on China’s economic development and integration into the (U.S.-led) international (economic) system (Goldstein 2003: 469-485). Apparently confirming neoliberal expectations as well, the first post-9/11 PRC White Paper on “China’s National Defense”, released in December 2002, applied a remarkably moderated wording concerning the United States and the ROC (compared to previous official documents). Although China did therein “not forswear the use of force”, the White Paper positively acknowledged increased transnational exchange and the establishment of the “three” direct cross-Strait links; while it continued to animadvert armament supplies to the ROC as well as “elevating relations with the Taiwan authorities”, it did so by criticizing “a handful of countries” – most evidently implying, but this time not directly naming the United States (IOSCPRC 2002). Moreover, the Sino-U.S. anti-terrorism cooperation was explicitly appreciated (IOSCPRC 2002). Consequently, neoliberal arguments that build upon politico-economic logics and focus on Sino-U.S. and cross-Strait (economic) interdependence in a globalizing world may well have played some role in China’s foreign policy making in the Taiwan issue; especially after 9/11, PRC (relational) foreign policies showed to some extent an orientation towards Sino-U.S. economically based cooperation (Goldstein 2003: 469-485; Foot 2007: 110). All in all, however, Sino-U.S. and PRC-ROC partial cooperation after 9/11 can naturally also be perceived as instrumental, issue-specific and temporarily limited – thus matching as well neorealist anticipations of (Chinese) strategic power politics; accordingly, the PRC may have supported an increase in cross-Strait economic interdependence also due to instrumental power/influence calculations, since this may raise its politicoeconomic leverage over the ROC and augment the chances that “politics may (once) follow economics” in the Taiwan Strait (Goldstein 2003: 473; Foot 2007: 106f.). What is more, the PRC resumed large-scale PLA (joint landing and blockade) exercises with a potential Taiwan contingency scenario also in post-9/11 times (for instance in August/September 2002 and June/July 2004), and significantly stepped up the quantity of (short- and

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medium-range) ballistic missiles deployed within reach of Taiwan – from less than 50 in 1999 to about 350 in 2001/2002, and to more than 500 in 2004 (IISS 2004: 161f.; Ng 2005: appendix 3; Tkacik 2002; The Washington Times 2001; Lam 2003a; Weggel 2007: 316). U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz respectively stated already in 2001 towards Beijing that he did not “see that building up your missiles is part of a fundamental policy of peaceful resolution” (Wolfowitz, cit. in The Washington Times 2001; Tkacik 2002). Furthermore, while PRC President Jiang Zemin’s (vague) suggestion to U.S. President George W. Bush at the October 2002 U.S.-China summit in Crawford – to freeze or decrease the numer of PLA ballistic missiles deployed within range of the ROC if the United States limited its weapons sales to Taiwan – has been seen as a potential Chinese neoliberal policy shift by some scholars, the analysis here does not follow this interpretation (Goldstein 2003: 482; Kan 2014a: 25; 73; 2014b: 29f.; Overholt 2008: 149f.). The deal was unacceptable for the United States for various (strategic) reasons; it contradicted the “Six Assurances” the United States had given to the ROC, and a PLA redeployment of the missiles would have been much faster than the U.S.-ROC ability to agree on new arms sales packages and enhance the ROC missile defense capabilities (Kan 2014b: 29f.; Jing 2006: 106; 108; Overholt 2008: 149f.). Consequently, Jiang’s 2002 Crawford proposal may be more adequately seen as a tactical maneuver within a broad range of Chinese strategic power politics. PRC foreign policy direction in the Taiwan issue thereby changed not substantially with the 2002/2003 transmission of (CPC/state) power from the Jiang Zemin/Zhu Rongji administration to the “fourth generation” of leaders around Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao: “[N]either the new [post-9/11; J.V.] relationship with the United States nor the exigencies of economic modernization would trump military action with all its attendant consequences should they deem it necessary” (Goldstein 2003: 483; 464; 475485; Wacker 2003: 5-7; 18-24; Wanandi 2004). Respectively, in November 2003, PRC Vice Minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council Wang Zaixi warned in regard to ROC President Chen Shui-bian’s “private”/“transit” visits to the United States (which included highly visible

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political activities), as well as concerning Chen’s policy, referendum and constitutional changes plans towards increased ROC sovereignty or even formal independence that “if the Taiwan authorities collude with all splittist forces to openly engage in pro-independence activities and challenge the mainland and the one-China principle, the use of force may become unavoidable” (Wang, cit. in People's Daily Online 2003c; Kan 2014a: 1316; Goldstein 2007: 674; Jing 2006: 89; Lam 2003a). Shortly thereafter, PRC Premier Wen Jiabao stressed that “[t]he Chinese people will pay any price to safeguard the unity of the motherland” (Wen, cit. in The Washington Post 2003; Lam 2003a). A November 2003 opinion piece in People's Daily Online283 then made it ultimately clear that in case of a ROC declaration of independence, potential Chinese economic (plenty) losses and blows to its (further) integration into the (U.S.-led) international (economic) system would – contrary to neoliberal expectations – play a rather minor role in a PRC decision for war over Taiwan: “Once the island proclaims independence, all 1.3 billion Chinese will be forced to destroy Taiwan separatists at any cost, even if it means immense casualties, serious setbacks for national economic development and giving up the rights to host the Olympic Games and the World Expo” (People's Daily Online 2003b; Lam 2003a). In December 2003, Spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of the PRC Li Weiyi argued as well quite drastically that “we must make necessary preparations to resolutely crush Taiwan independence-splittist plots” (Li, cit. in People's Daily Online 2003a). Consequently, under the Hu-Wen administration, military options in the Taiwan issue remained clearly on the table (Lam 2003a). With the fundamentals thus offering rather “little room for substantive compromise”, even Chinese foreign policy orientation in the post-9/11 era seems hence to reflect deductions of a neoliberal picture of world politics only limitedly (Goldstein 2003: 484f.). In other words, if necessary, PRC Taiwan policy options that were predicated on the neoliberal preference for peaceful and stable, economically based Sino-U.S. and PRC-ROC coop-

283 People's Daily (Online) has been an official gazette of the PRC government and the Communist Party of China (CPC).

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eration seemed to be subordinated to strategic (territorial/power political) interests (Wanandi 2004; Friedrich 2000: 130f.). A few days prior to ROC President Chen Shui-bian’s second inauguration in May 2004, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of the PRC and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) issued a joint statement which (again) threatened that “if Taiwan leaders should move recklessly to provoke major incidents of ‘Taiwan independence’, the Chinese people will crush their schemes firmly and thoroughly at any cost” (cit. in Xinhuanet 2004; Tkacik 2007: 149; Voice of America 2004); such drastic wordings were immediately rejected by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who declared that “[t]hreats to ‘crush’ Taiwan or drown it in a ‘sea of fire’ have no place in civilized international discourse” (The White House/McClellan 2004; Tkacik 2007: 149). Parallel to China’s verbal deterrence, the PRC military posture hardened as well at the beginning of Chen Shui-bian’s second term; the quantity of (shortand medium-range) ballistic missiles deployed within reach of the ROC soon exceeded 500, and in June and July 2004, extensive PLA maneuvers on Dongshan Island (in Fujian province) dealt with scenarios of (joint) amphibious landing as well as control and blockade of the Taiwan Strait (and respective shipping lanes), involving about 18,000 troops and numerous military aircraft, submarines and surface vessels (IISS 2004: 161f.; Weggel 2007: 316). Similar to scholarly perceptions during the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, some pundits even warned once more in summer 2004 that “[n]ot since 1958, when the U.S. Seventh Fleet intervened to prevent China from taking over the islands of Kinmen and Matsu (…) have relations between China and Taiwan been so dangerously close to war” (Wanandi 2004). In December 2004, the first PRC White Paper of the Hu-Wen administration upgraded the item “[t]o stop separation and promote reunification” to the number one position among the national security tasks, once again criticized the U.S. Taiwan policy, and renewed the drastic wording concerning ROC independence tendencies that had previously been criticized by the White House: “The Chinese people are resolutely opposed

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to all separatist activities in whatever manifestation aimed at ‘Taiwan independence,’ to foreign interference of any form, and to arms sales to Taiwan or entrance to military alliance of any form with Taiwan by any country in the world. We will never allow anyone to split Taiwan from China through whatever means. Should the Taiwan authorities go so far as to make a reckless attempt that constitutes a major incident of ‘Taiwan independence,’ the Chinese people and armed forces will resolutely and thoroughly crush it at any cost” (IOSCPRC 2004; emphasis added; Blasko 2012: 81). As predicted by neorealism, resolute Chinese verbal and military deterrence and, respectively, coercive diplomacy involving military threat, shows of force/maneuvers, and (limited) power projection became hence evident in 2004. Moreover, in contrast to the 2002 PRC White Paper, the 2004 version criticized the United States again directly for continuing “to increase, quantitatively and qualitatively, its arms sales to Taiwan, sending a wrong signal to the Taiwan authorities. The US action does not serve a stable situation across the Taiwan Straits” (IOSCPRC 2004). Chinese foreign policy orientation and behavior towards the ROC and the United States in the Taiwan issue seemed thus to be once more rather characterized by strategic power politics. In March 2005, the National People’s Congress of the PRC adopted the Anti-Secession Law, which has been in force to date (Xinhuanet 2005). Most obviously concerning the U.S. role in the Taiwan issue, it emphasizes that “[s]olving the Taiwan question and achieving national reunification is China's internal affair, which subjects to no interference by any outside forces” (Xinhuanet 2005). What is more, in article eight, the statute threatens that “[i]n the event that the ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist forces should act under any name or by any means to cause the fact of Taiwan's secession from China, or that major incidents entailing Taiwan's secession from China should occur, or that possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity” (Xinhuanet 2005; emphasis added). The new law, and in particular article eight’s legal consequence “the state shall employ non-peaceful means (…)”, received widespread

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international (and especially Taiwanese and U.S.) attention, as it provides for certain cases a legal imperative of potentially violent PRC (PLA) action against the ROC (Xinhuanet 2005; emphasis added; Tkacik 2007: 149f.; Möller 2005: 2-5; Overholt 2008: 150f.). Although “[t]he ambiguity of these ‘red lines’ preserves China’s flexibility” (USDOD 2014: 54), the Anti-Secession Law hence constitutes a legal basis for the application of force as a means of politics (Blasko 2012: 81f.). The latter is still consistent with the neorealist picture of world politics and Sino-U.S. (and PRC-ROC) relations (re-)constructed in the thesis at hand; it does though hardly fit into the developed neoliberal perspective. In other words, neoliberal derivations of the PRC giving absolute (economic/plenty) gains, further integration into a globalizing world (economy), and thus economically based cooperation with the ROC and the United States priority over (potentially violently reached) strategic (territorial/power political) ends seem to be rather refuted by China’s Anti-Secession Law. Beyond that, PRC pressure on U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific (such as South Korea) not to provide support and bases for U.S. forces in a Taiwan contingency matches as well rather neorealist deductions of the two superpowers competing for spheres of influence (Lam 2003a; Möller 2005: 2f.). In July 2005, major general and dean at the PLA National Defense University Zhu Chenghu even voiced nuclear threats towards the United States concerning potential U.S. military involvement in a conflict over Taiwan: “If the Americans interfere into the conflict (…) I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons” (Zhu, cit. in Gittings 2005; Kan 2014c: 43; Tkacik 2007: 149). Public statements by leading PLA members on nuclear deterrence towards the United States – presumably with the tolerance of the PRC leadership – though reflect a Sino-U.S. relationship and a Taiwan issue in 2005 that were still marked by significant tensions and (PRC) strategic power politics (Tkacik 2007: 149). The 2006 PRC White Paper continued to list “opposing and containing the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence’ and their activities” as a key national security task, and furthermore criticized that the United States proceeded “to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan, and has strengthened its military ties with Taiwan” (IOSCPRC 2006). Evident inte-

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gration of Chinese containment worries concerning most obviously policies of the United States (and Japan) was though a rather new element in the PRC White Papers – and partly corroborates neorealist deductions: “A small number of countries have stirred up a racket about a ‘China threat’, and intensified their preventive strategy against China and strove to hold its progress in check” (IOSCPRC 2006). Joint maritime search and rescue exercises of PLA and U.S. forces in September and December 2006 near San Diego and in the South China Sea, as well as SinoU.S. participation in a multilateral search and rescue exercise in waters off Singapore in 2007 yet seemed to reflect a superpower relationship that still allowed for Sino-U.S. temporary/issue-specific cooperation even in the military area – in this respect matching neoliberal, but also (still) neorealist deductions (IOSCPRC 2006; IOSCPRC 2009; USDOD 2013: 72; 2011: 80). At the same time, however, Sino-U.S. military tensions peaked regularly. After for instance several military incidents between the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier strike group and Chinese (nuclear) submarines (such as in October 1994 or in October 2006), a new confrontation occurred in November 2007; after the PRC had on short notice denied the USS Kitty Hawk carrier strike group to port in Hong Kong284 (allegedly since U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had not informed PRC officials of planned U.S. weapons sales to the ROC during his November 2007 visit in China), the U.S. carrier group finally turned and sailed thereupon through the Taiwan Strait; it was encountered there by a Chinese destroyer and a submarine, “sparking a tense 28-hour standoff that brought both sides to a battle-ready position” (Globalresearch.ca 2008; Kan 2014c: 40; 54; 72f.; 2014b: 44; Fravel 2008: 137f.; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Mann/Pine 1994; Gertz 2006; Shanker/Cooper 2007). Recurrent, dangerous Sino-U.S. military incidents in post-Cold War times in waters and air space near Taiwan and in/above the South China, East China, and Yellow Sea (for instance in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016) though evidently impugn neoliberal deductions on Sino-U.S. interaction

284 In April 2016, the PRC again denied a U.S. aircraft carrier (strike group), more specifically the Nimitz-class carrier USS John C. Stennis, to port in Hong Kong (Zand 2016).

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and corroborate foreign policy behavior characterized by strategic power politics (USDOD 2011: 56; IISS 2010: 378f.; Kan 2014c: 28-32; 35; 40; 54; 65f.; 72-75; 81; Mastro 2011; Christensen 2011: 54f.; Fravel 2008: 137f.; Globalresearch.ca 2008; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Whitlock 2014; Gertz 2006; Mann/Pine 1994; Starr 2013; Sciutto/Ellis 2015; Perlez 2016; Zand 2016). Although the PRC did not rule out the use of force, and PLA strategic direction, modernization and operational planning continued to focus on a Taiwan contingency with and without U.S. involvement, PRC-ROC and Sino-U.S. tensions over the Taiwan issue yet eased significantly after the end of Chen Shui-bian’s presidency; in other words, the election of Ma Ying-jeou as Taiwanese president in March 2008 started a new era of rapprochement and increasing cross-Strait economic ties (IISS 2013: 273; USDOD 2014: I; 6; 53; 2011: I; 2; Dumbaugh 2009: 8; Kan 2014: I; 4; 7; Blasko 2012: 82; Holslag 2010: 12). In June 2008, for instance, PRC-ROC dialogue through semiofficial organizations was resumed after having been on hold for almost a decade (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 18). Moreover, military crisis over Taiwan seemed rather unlikely in the run-up to the August 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing (McDonell 2018). The 2008 PRC White Paper (on “China's National Defense”) expressed as well to some extent relief and hope for further improving cross-Strait ties: “The attempts of the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence’ to seek ‘de jure Taiwan independence’ have been thwarted, and the situation across the Taiwan Straits has taken a significantly positive turn” (IOSCPRC 2009). Although appreciating that “China-US military relations have made gradual progress”, the document yet still criticized the United States for carrying on “to sell arms to Taiwan (…), causing serious harm to Sino-US relations as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits” (IOSCPRC 2009). Besides, the 2008 PRC White Paper emphasized Chinese containment worries (most obviously) towards the United States (and Japan) even more explicitly than the respective publication in 2006: “China (…) faces strategic maneuvers and containment from the outside” (IOSCPRC 2009; emphasis added; IOSCPRC 2006). As this wording can be perceived as a clear reference to U.S. policies

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and military presence, and in particular to U.S. (led bi- and multilateral) military exercises as well as the strong U.S. alliance system and network of military bases in Asia and the Asia-Pacific, the 2008 PRC White Paper seems to overall still confirm a Chinese foreign policy orientation towards the hegemonic United States characterized by strategic power politics. Furthermore, respective neorealist deductions on PRC foreign policy orientation and behavior may also be supported by the fact that the PLA strategic direction and missile adjustment for a Taiwan contingency did not significantly change parallel to the détente in cross-Strait relations during the presidency of Ma Ying-jeou; similarly, the PRC military (missile) posture towards Taiwan did hardly react to U.S. (presidential) delays in arms sales (notifications) concerning the ROC (IISS 2010: 379; 2009: 364; 373; Kan 2014b: I; 43-47; 53; USDOD 2014: I; 6; 53; 2011: I; 2; Holslag 2010: 12). Accordingly, the PLA continued to pursue “the capability to deter Taiwan independence and influence Taiwan to settle the dispute on Beijing’s terms. In pursuit of this objective, Beijing (…) [was; J.V.] developing capabilities intended to deter, delay, or deny possible U.S. support for the island in the event of conflict” (USDOD 2011: I; 2). SinoU.S. (strategic) tensions over the Taiwan issue thereby became once more evident regarding Beijing’s furious reactions to the U.S. 2007/2008 and 2010/2011 (announcements of) arms deals with the ROC: each time, the PRC suspended Sino-U.S. military-to-military contacts/cooperation, and postponed Sino-U.S. military exercises in 2011 (Kan 2014b: 44; 47; 2014c: 4; 40; IISS 2009: 364; USDOD 2011: 1; Christensen 2011: 67; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 135; Holslag 2010: 67). Nevertheless, the PRC-ROC Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (inked in June 2010) marked a further milestone in cross-Strait (economic) rapprochement, and enabled tariff reductions and easier market access for (Taiwanese) products and services (USDOD 2011: 2; Wu 2010: 159f.; Kan/Morrison 2014: 7; Wagener 2011b: 248; Ramzy 2014). Respectively, the 2010 PRC White Paper acknowledged that “[s]ignificant and positive progress has been achieved in cross-Strait relations (…) [and that; J.V.] the two sides have enhanced political mutual trust, con-

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ducted consultations and dialogues, and reached a series of agreements for realizing direct and bilateral exchanges of mail, transport and trade, as well as promoting economic and financial cooperation” (IOSCPRC 2011). Despite these improvements in (economic/transnational) cross-Strait relations and PRC White Paper tone, China’s military card though remained clearly on the table: “The ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist force and its activities are still the biggest obstacle and threat to the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations. (…) The two sides of the Taiwan Strait are destined to ultimate reunification in the course of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It is the responsibility of the Chinese people on both sides of the Straits to work hand in hand to (…) avoid repeating the history of armed conflict between fellow countrymen” (IOSCPRC 2011). Moreover, referring potentially (also) to the Obama administration’s shifting regional orientation, or what became known from 2011 on as the U.S. “rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region” (USDOD 2012: 2; The White House/Obama 2011; USDOS/Campbell 2011a), the 2010 PRC White Paper once more openly broached Chinese containment worries towards the United States (and Japan) – and criticized U.S. Taiwan policy: “Profound changes are taking shape in the Asia-Pacific strategic landscape. Relevant major powers are increasing their strategic investment. The United States is reinforcing its regional military alliances, and increasing its involvement in regional security affairs. (…) Suspicion about China, interference and countering moves against China from the outside are on the increase. The United States (…) continues to sell weapons to Taiwan, severely impeding Sino-US relations and impairing the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations” (IOSCPRC 2011). As elaborated previously, such passages, and the 2010 PRC White Paper in general, seem hence to still confirm rather neorealist than neoliberal deductions on Chinese foreign policy orientation towards the hegemonic United States (and the ROC). While a certain extent of PRC-ROC rapprochement and increasing crossStrait economic and transnational (tourism) ties proceeded after the January 2012 re-election of ROC President Ma Ying-jeou, PRC foreign policy

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fundamentals in the Taiwan issue as well as the PLA strategic direction and missile posture towards the ROC altered (again) not substantially with the 2012/2013 transmission of (CPC/state) power from the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration to the “fifth generation” of leaders around Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang: “China’s overall strategy (…) [continued; J.V.] to incorporate elements of persuasion and coercion (…). Despite positive public statements about cross-Strait dynamics from top leaders in China (…), there have been no signs that China’s military disposition opposite Taiwan has changed significantly. The PLA has continued to develop and deploy military capabilities to coerce Taiwan or to attempt an invasion, if necessary” (USDOD 2014: 53; I; 6). Besides, probably (also) in regard to U.S. President Barack Obama’s “Asia pivot in American foreign policy”, the South China Sea issue, and the resurgent PRC dispute with Japan on the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands (USDOS/Campbell 2011a; Clinton 2011: 57; 63; The White House/Obama 2011; USDOD 2012: 2), an April 2013 PRC State Council (White) paper raised Chinese containment worries towards the United States (and Japan) to a new level in the post-Cold War era: “There are signs of increasing hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism. (…) Competition is intensifying in the international military field. (…) The US is adjusting its Asia-Pacific security strategy, and the regional landscape is undergoing profound changes. (…) China has an arduous task to safeguard its national unification, territorial integrity and development interests. Some country has strengthened its Asia-Pacific military alliances, expanded its military presence in the region, and frequently makes the situation there tenser” (IOSCPRC 2013). As usual, the PRC (White) paper thereby still highlighted the crucial role of the PLA in the Taiwan issue: “The ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and their activities are still the biggest threat to the peaceful development of crossStraits relations. (…) China's armed forces unswervingly (…) contain separatist forces” (IOSCPRC 2013). Accordingly, PRC foreign policy orientation and behavior towards the hegemonic United States and the ROC in 2012 and 2013 seemed once more to be rather marked by strategic power politics; this may be also supported by the PLA “Mission Action” series of large-scale joint (air,

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naval and ground forces) exercises conducted in September and October 2013 along China’s southern and southeastern coast; since the maneuvers included long-range assault and multiple amphibious landing operations under high-intensity combat scenarios, and involved up to 20,000 forces, 100 bombers, and a multitude of fighter aircraft and vessels, the drills seemed inter alia to be “designed to develop the integrated operational capabilities necessary for a cross-Strait invasion of Taiwan” (USDOD 2014: 53; I; 12; 33; Pollack/Blasko 2014). PRC President Xi Jinping’s statements to the Taiwanese delegation at the October 2013 APEC forum in Bali then evoked new ROC and U.S./international worries, as he pointed out to the ROC officials that reunification with the motherland couldn’t be indefinitely delayed: “The issue of the political divide that exists between the two sides must step by step reach a final resolution and it cannot be passed on from generation to generation” (Xi, cit. in Ng 2013; Jennings 2014). In addition, after passing in November 2013 the Taiwan Strait for the first time, the PLA Navy’s Liaoning aircraft carrier strike group exercised (until December 2013) more than 100 drills and (combat) trainings in the South China Sea (Zhao 2014; Forsythe/Buckley 2017). As a PLA vessel of that task force thereby approached and almost collided with the surveilling U.S. Aegis guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens, the military incident entailed again significant Sino-U.S. tensions – and seems to confirm a superpower relationship rather marked by strategic power politics (Starr 2013). Nevertheless, against the background of growing economic/transnational cross-Strait ties and despite open political issues, the first official PRCROC government-to-government talks since 1949 were held in February 2014 in Nanjing; PRC Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and ROC Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi thereby agreed to set up representative offices for the PRC/ROC semiofficial organizations dealing with cross-Strait relations; naturally, the PRC Vice Foreign Minister reemphasized at the meeting that “[t]he political basis for peaceful development of cross-Strait relations is to oppose Taiwan's independence” (Zhang, cit. in Blanchard 2014, Kan 2014a: 7; Kan/Morrison 2014: 8; Blanchard 2014; Ramzy 2014). Regarding superpower ties, PLA Navy

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participation from June to August 2014 (and again from June to August 2016) in the U.S.-led international (maritime) Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) around Hawaii seemed to still reflect a Sino-U.S. relationship allowing for issue-specific cooperation even in the military area – in this respect matching both neoliberal and neorealist deductions (Kan 2014c: i; 4; 14f.; Kan/Morrison 2014: 27; IISS 2017: 257; 550; 2015: 213; Zand 2016). In September 2014, notwithstanding ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, Chinese President Xi Jinping then reinforced towards a delegation of pro-reunification groups from Taiwan Deng Xiaoping’s formula of “one country, two systems” as a model still suitable (also) for crossStrait unification: “Peaceful unification and ‘one country, two systems’ are our guiding principles in solving the Taiwan issue” (Xi, cit. in Jennings 2014; Xiang 2014; Tucker 2005b: 210)285; moreover, the PRC President clarified that “[a]lthough the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have been separate since 1949, the fact that the two sides belong to one China has not changed, and will not be changed”, further warning that “[n]o secessionist act will be tolerated” (Xiang 2014). Such (in Taiwan rather critically perceived) statements of the new Chinese President in 2013/2014, and the ROC leadership’s voiced sympathy for the Hong Kong prodemocracy movement in 2014 implied to a certain extent setbacks to a further PRC-ROC rapprochement, and contributed to the failure of plans for a talk of PRC President Xi Jinping with ROC President Ma Ying-jeou at the November 2014 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing (Kan 2014a: 87; Jennings 2014). When such a historical, first-ever meeting between the acting People’s Republic of China leader (President Xi Jinping) and the acting Republic of China on Taiwan leader (President Ma Yingjeou) still took place in Singapore in November 2015 (where the two presidents addressed each other as “Mr. Xi” and “Mr. Ma”), the January 2016

285 Since the handover of Hong Kong to the PRC in 1997, a “one country, two systems” model has been applied concerning the political (and economic) systems of the mainland and the former British colony (Jennings 2014).

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286

ROC presidential/general elections were yet only two months away ; accordingly, it seemed rather doubtful if the (also U.S. supported) Xi-Ma encounter, which yielded no concrete results, would have a major longterm impact – also since (status quo oriented) ROC presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was already significantly leading in the polls over her (more PRC oriented) contender Eric Chu from the Kuomintang (Ramzy 2015; Forsythe 2015; USDOS/Kirby 2015b; Bodeen 2015). In December 2015, the PRC then protested strongly against the Obama administration’s notification of a new weapons sales package to the ROC (worth about $1.8 bn.) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC 2015; Forsythe 2015; China Daily 2015; USDOS/Kirby 2015a; Sridharan 2015). PRC Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang responded by summoning a senior U.S. diplomat, and threatened to penalize involved U.S. defense companies; accordingly, he pointed out that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. China strongly opposes the US arms sale to Taiwan (…) To safeguard our national interests, China has decided to take necessary measures, including imposing sanctions against the companies involved in the arms sale (…) No one can shake the firm will of the Chinese government and people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to oppose foreign interference (…) China urges the United States to (…) revoke the arms sale plan, and stop military contact with Taiwan, so as to avoid bringing further damage to China-US relations and bilateral cooperation in major areas” (Zheng, cit. in China Daily 2015; Zheng, cit. in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC 2015; Zheng, cit. in Forsythe 2015; Forsythe 2015; China Daily 2015; Sridharan 2015). As anticipated by neorealism, significant strategic tensions thus persisted between the United States and China in the Taiwan issue – and naturally also between the PRC and the ROC. This became also evident in January 2016, when/after DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen was elected as ROC president; PRC officials and the media issued strong warnings against a

286 After two terms, ROC President Ma Ying-jeou thus left office in May 2016 (Ramzy 2015; Bodeen 2015).

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potential ROC course towards formal independence – and Chinese state media reported about PLA live-fire and amphibious landing exercises opposite Taiwan (Ramzy 2016; Denyer 2016; Bosco 2016; Bo 2016; Page/ Hsu/Dou 2016). Moreover, at the end of January 2016, PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed once more towards U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (during the latter’s visit in Beijing) that “Taiwan is the core issue affecting the China-U.S. relationship. No matter how the situation in Taiwan will evolve, there has been and will be no change to the basic fact that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China” (Wang, cit. in USDOS/Kerry 2016b). In March 2016, after the U.S. Department of State had authorized the sale of two U.S. Navy frigates to Taiwan (as part of the Obama administration’s December 2015 arms deal with the ROC), China reaffirmed its opposition and protested again diplomatically against this U.S. policy; besides, at the March 2016 session of the National People's Congress of the PRC, Chinese President Xi Jinping strongly warned (with regard to) incoming ROC President Tsai Ing-wen that “[w]e will resolutely contain 'Taiwan independence' secessionist activities in any form” (Xi, cit. in Tian 2016; Tian 2016; Yu/Walsh 2016). In December 2016 and January 2017, Sino-U.S. tensions then reincreased significantly after U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump had taken a telephone call (on December 2nd) from ROC President Tsai Ing-wen (who offered her congratulations), implying the first (officially confirmed) direct conversation between a U.S. President or U.S. President-Elect and a ROC head of state since 1979 (Trump 2016a; 2016b; Phillips et al. 2016; Paletta et al. 2016; Collinson et al. 2016; Shepherd 2017; Nicholas et al. 2017). While the (outgoing) Obama administration quickly (and repeatedly) assured towards Beijing that this did not imply a change in longstanding U.S. policy in the Taiwan issue, PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi termed the telephone call “a shenanigan by the Taiwan side”, and warned the United States that “[t]he 'one China' policy is the cornerstone of a healthy China-U.S. relationship. I hope this political foundation won't be disrupted or damaged” (Wang, cit. in Collinson et al. 2016; Collinson et al. 2016; Phillips et al. 2016; Paletta et al. 2016; Shepherd 2017). The PRC then lodged (in December 2016) a diplomatic complaint with

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the United States, and PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang urged “the relevant side in the US to adhere to the 'one China' policy, abide by the pledges in the three joint China-US communiques, and handle issues related to Taiwan carefully and properly to avoid causing unnecessary interference to the overall China-U.S. relationship” (Geng, cit. in Collinson et al. 2016; Collinson et al. 2016; Reuters 2016). When U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump though left it open (at the end of December 2016) if he would meet ROC President Tsai Ing-wen during his tenure, and indicated in January 2017 that (inter alia) due to PRC currency and trade issues, the one-China policy was up for negotiation, PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang made it clear five days before Trump’s inauguration that “[t]here is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The government of the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing China. That is the fact acknowledged by the international community and no one can change. The one-China principle, which is the political foundation of the China-U.S. relations, is non-negotiable. In order to avoid disruption to the sound and steady development of the China-U.S. relations and bilateral cooperation in key areas, we urge relevant parties in the U.S. to fully recognize the high sensitivity of the Taiwan question, approach Taiwanrelated issues with prudence and honor the commitment made by all previous U.S. administrations of both parties on adhering to the one-China policy and the principles of the three joint communiqués” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC/Lu 2017; emphasis added; Nicholas et al. 2017; Shepherd 2017; Chung 2017; Phillips 2017; Smith/Phillips 2017). Moreover, PRC Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying warned that "[i]f anyone attempts to damage the One China principle or if they are under the illusion they can use this as a bargaining chip, they will be opposed by the Chinese government and people. (…) In the end it will be like lifting a rock to drop it on one's own feet” (Hua, cit. in Shepherd 2017). SinoU.S. and PRC-ROC tensions thereby also increased since the outgoing Obama administration and the Trump transition team had allowed ROC President Tsai Ing-wen to make stopovers in Houston and San Francisco on her way to and from January 2017 state visits in four Central American

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countries, and to even meet inter alia Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz (in Houston) and visit the headquarters of Twitter in San Francisco (Yuhas 2017; Chung 2017; Phillips 2017; Connor 2017). PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang accordingly stated that “[w]e firmly oppose leaders of the Taiwan region, on the so-called basis of a transit visit, having any form of contact with US officials and engaging in activities that interfere with and damage China-US relations” (Lu, cit. in Connor 2017; Yuhas 2017). What is more, beyond diplomatic frictions, growing Sino-U.S. and PRCROC tensions in the Taiwan issue entailed also once again significant PRC coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers and (limited) power projection. After several PLA military aircraft (including Su-30 fighter jets) had in December 2016 (once more) participated in long-range maneuvers that implied flying over waterways near, and ultimately around Taiwan (though still in international air space), the PRC sent (later that month) its Liaoning aircraft carrier strike group (including three guided-missile destroyers and two frigates) along the east and south coast of Taiwan, which then conducted live-fire drills in the South China Sea; the PLA maneuvers were thereby held partly less than 170 km south of Taiwan (Reuters 2016; Pan 2016; Voice of America 2017; EFE 2017; BBC 2017; Chung 2017; Johnson 2017; Gady 2017; Forsythe/Buckley 2017; Lockie 2017). In January 2017, the Liaoning aircraft carrier strike group then sailed through the Taiwan Strait (where it partly entered the ROC air defense identification zone) – and had finally sailed around the whole island (BBC 2017; EFE 2017; Smith/ Phillips 2017; Forsythe/Buckley 2017; Lockie 2017). The ROC reacted to the passage of the Liaoning carrier strike group by scrambling F-16 fighter jets and dispatching a frigate to the Taiwan Strait, and then holding military (anti-invasion) drills few days later (Smith/Phillips 2017; Forsythe/ Buckley 2017). The United States in turn deployed a second – the USS Carl Vinson – aircraft carrier strike group to the western Pacific in early January 2017 (in addition to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike group permanently based at Yokosuka, Japan), which arrived there

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around the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump (U.S. Navy 2017; Johnson 2017; Gady 2017; EFE 2017; Lockie 2017). Finally, the PRC strongly urged both the outgoing Obama administration and the Trump transition team not to allow a ROC delegation (of (security) officials and lawmakers headed by former Premier and DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun) to be present at the inauguration ceremony of U.S. President Donald Trump; PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying made it “very clear (…) [that; J.V.] China opposes any moves by the Taiwan authority for whatever excuses to send people to the U.S. to conduct activities that will disturb or undermine Sino-U.S. relations. We once again urge relevant parties in the U.S. to allow no delegation sent by the Taiwan authority to attend the inauguration ceremony of the president, and not to have any official contact with Taiwan” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC/Hua 2017; Haas 2017). In the end, the ROC delegation still attended Trump’s inauguration on January 20th, 2017, and Sino-U.S. tensions became again evident (Xinhuanet 2017). Overall, the strong Sino-U.S. (and PRC-ROC) tensions in the Taiwan issue in December 2016 and January 2017 clearly confirm neorealist anticipations, and China’s coercive diplomacy thereby corroborates in particular the derived neorealist hypothesis that PRC foreign policy behavior towards the United States and the ROC would be marked by strategic power politics. Summing up, China has in post-Cold War times not renounced the use of force in the Taiwan issue, and has frequently applied coercive diplomacy, involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, (missile) shows of force/ maneuvers, and (limited) power projection (Kan 2014a: 20f.). To list for instance some major post-Cold War PRC military maneuvers with a potential Taiwan contingency background or scenario, there have been PLA (joint) exercises in August 1994, ballistic missile drills (with de-facto blockade of Taiwan’s northern ports) and/or large-scale (joint) (live-fire) (amphibious landing) exercises in July, August and November 1995, ballistic missile drills (with de-facto blockade of Taiwan’s northern and southern ports) and three rounds of (joint) (live-ammunition) (amphibious landing) maneuvers in March 1996 (partly close to ROC-controlled islands),

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a further PLA (joint) exercise in August 1996, large-scale (joint) (amphibious landing/blockade) maneuvers in July, August, and September 1999, July and August 2000, August 2001, August and September 2002, June and July 2004, the PLA “Mission Action” series of (joint) (amphibious landing) drills in September and October 2013, the reported PLA live-fire and amphibious landing exercises opposite Taiwan in January 2016, and the PLA Air Force maneuvers around Taiwan as well as the Liaoning aircraft carrier strike group (live-fire) drills and passage through the Taiwan Strait in December 2016 and January 2017 (USDOD 2014: I; 12; 33; 53; USDOD/Doubleday 1996; Carter/Perry 1999: 92; IISS 2004: 162; 1999: 171; Ng 2005: appendix 3; Kissinger 2011: 473f.; 476; Whiting 2001: 121123; Ross 2000: 94-111; Pollack/Blasko 2014; Kan 2014c: 55f.; 63; Weggel 2007: 316; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Tkacik 2002; Chou 1996: 1f.; 16f.; Foot 2007: 101; Fisher 1997: 4; Wu 1996: 49; Gellman 1998a; Scobell 2003: 176f.; Kemenade 2001: 57; Lam 2003a; Denyer 2016; Bosco 2016; Reuters 2016; Pan 2016; Voice of America 2017; EFE 2017; BBC 2017; Chung 2017; Forsythe/Buckley 2017; Johnson 2017; Gady 2017; Lockie 2017; Smith/Phillips 2017). Besides, the growing number of eventually more than 1,000 PRC (shortand medium-range) (nuclear capable) cruise and ballistic missiles positioned within range of Taiwan (potentially also to deter, delay and counter U.S. intervention in a Taiwan contingency) has been a further element within post-Cold War Chinese coercive diplomacy (USDOD 2014: i; 6; 30; 36; 54; 2013: 5; Kan 2014b: 30; IISS 2007: 333; 2010: 379; Tkacik 2002; USDOS/Campbell 2011a; Bieri/Thränert 2015: 270; Taipeh Vertretung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 2008; Przystup/Saunders 2016: 176). The PRC and the ROC have thereby been engaged in “something close to an arms race”, with the major ROC arms supplier and (potentially) protecting superpower United States as the third party in the issue (Foot 2007: 93; Overholt 2008: xxxv; 148f.; 168; 302). Furthermore, PRC foreign policies have de facto involved negative and positive (politico-)economic sanctions on Taiwan, ranging from capital flight triggered by threat of war or temporary PLA (missile) blockade of ROC harbors and shipping lanes to Chinese economic inducements for the Taiwanese business

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community (to invest on the mainland) and cooperation (agreements) concerning transnational (economic) cross-Strait ties. Regarding the PRC’s quite drastic verbal deterrence towards the ROC and the United States, China has (explicitly and implicitly) warned Taiwan that it would apply force inter alia in the case of “[a] [f]ormal declaration of Taiwan independence (…) [u]ndefined moves toward Taiwan independence (…) [i]nternal unrest on Taiwan (…) Taiwan’s acquisition of nuclear weapons (…) [i]ndefinite delays in the resumption of cross-Strait dialogue on unification (…) [f]oreign intervention in Taiwan’s internal affairs; and (…) [f]oreign forces stationed on Taiwan” (USDOD 2014: 53f.; Kan 2014a: 21). This long list of PRC red lines that could in the event of (perceived) transgression entail PRC-ROC and Sino-U.S. military confrontation seems though incommensurate with the derived neoliberal hypothesis that China will predominantly focus on Sino-U.S. (and Sino-Taiwanese) economically based cooperation. In fact, post-Cold War PRC (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue, and especially China’s significant record of coercive diplomacy, has rather reflected strategic power politics. Conclusion The post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the People’s Republic of China towards the United States (and the ROC) in the Taiwan issue has been characterized by strategic power politics, and hence strongly confirms the deduced neorealist hypothesis – and a neorealist picture of Sino-U.S. relations. Although both neoliberalism and neorealism were proven right in predicting the PRC not to pursue military escalation and settle (at least in the short term) for the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, post-Cold War PRC foreign policy behavior towards the United States (and the ROC) in the Taiwan issue can overall not be neoliberally characterized as economically based cooperation. Regarding post-Cold War Chinese (relational) foreign policies that partly confirm a neoliberal picture of Sino-U.S. relations, one may well admit that a certain PRC focus on economic development has to some extent affected policies in the Taiwan issue as well; accordingly, China has (besides coercive diplomacy) also fostered an increase in Sino-U.S. and

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cross-Strait (economic) interdependence, and has at times sought to significantly improve PRC-ROC (institutionalized) communication, the climate for negotiations, and (politico-economic) interaction; furthermore, periods of rapprochement in Sino-U.S. relations (especially after 9/11), and in cross-Strait ties (particularly during the incumbency of ROC President Ma Ying-jeou) have to some extent revealed (neoliberal) elements of (economically based) cooperation. Apart from that, one may also bear in mind that military maneuvers and coercive diplomacy concerning the Taiwan issue usually attract greater media and scholarly attention than the less conspicuous increase in Sino-U.S. and cross-Strait economic interdependence. All in all, however, post-Cold War PRC (relational) foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue, involving inter alia large-scale PLA (missile) drills/shows of force with a Taiwan contingency background or scenario, military threat and (missile/verbal) deterrence towards the ROC and the United States can hardly be subsumed under a neoliberal perspective. Despite significant politico-economic risks/costs, post-Cold War China has assertively applied a wide range of realpolitik foreign policies to affirm the one-China principle, vindicate its (territorial) claim over Taiwan, (coercively) deter (potentially U.S. supported) formal ROC independence, test the U.S. strategic commitment to the island, and enhance Chinese control over actors and outcomes in the issue. Accordingly, the PRC has rated the Taiwan issue in general, and strategic (territorial/power political) ends in particular, higher than unhindered flows of (absolute) economic (plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents depending on low-strain cross-Strait and Sino-U.S. relations. Especially the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, which involved PRC coercive (“missile”) diplomacy and U.S. carrier strike group (counter-)maneuvers, and more generally China’s ultimate reliance – in the Anti-Secession Law, (White Paper) documents, statements of (foreign) policy actors, and manifest foreign policy behavior – on force as a means of politics thus clarified that the PRC has (in the Taiwan issue) not given absolute priority to peaceful and stable, economically based cooperation with the United States and the ROC.

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Respectively, China has instrumentally, variably, and issue-specifically cooperated with the United States and the ROC if this seemed to be its (power political) interest; the PRC may thereby have also supported an increase in cross-Strait (economic) interdependence as this may raise its politico-economic leverage over Taiwan. What is more, China has in the Taiwan issue applied (de facto) politico-economic sanctions and resolute coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, (missile) shows of force/maneuvers, and (limited) power projection to reach its (power political) ends. The post-Cold War PLA strategic direction and modernization have thereby continued to focus on a Taiwan contingency (with potential U.S. military involvement), while regional Sino-U.S. military tensions and incidents have peaked and recurred quite frequently. All in all, the developed neorealist perspective on Sino-U.S. relations correctly anticipated moderate Chinese (soft-)balancing tendencies and containment worries concerning the United States (and Japan), as well as PRC criticism of U.S. arms sales, security assurances and further support of Taiwan. Moreover, PRC warnings for instance towards South Korea not to allow U.S. forces in a Taiwan contingency to use bases on the Korean Peninsula may as well confirm neorealist predictions of Sino-U.S. strategic rivalry and a struggle for spheres of influence in (the) Asia(-Pacific). Since PRC (relational) foreign policies in the Taiwan issue have accepted limited risks and economic (plenty) losses, though have not pursued military escalation, Chinese action has remained within the derived boundaries of the developed neorealist hypothesis. Consequently, the post-Cold War foreign policy behavior of the ascending People’s Republic of China towards the hegemonic United States (and the ROC) in the Taiwan issue has been characterized by strategic power politics, and strongly confirms a neorealist picture of Sino-U.S. relations.

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4.1.2 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the United States in the Taiwan Issue At the beginning of the post-Cold War era, Sino-U.S. relations remained still strained due to the 1989 Tiananmen square massacre and the resulting U.S. (and U.S. pushed Western) sanctions/arms embargo(s) on the PRC, halting military-to-military contacts and U.S. weapons sales to China (USGPO/Clinton 1993a: 2023f.; Lampton 2001: 20-29; Kan 2014c: i; 1f.; 9f.; Tucker 2005a: 8; Garrison 2005: 107f.; 111-125). In September 1992, U.S. President George H. W. Bush then positively emphasized “Taiwan’s dramatic evolution toward democracy”, and announced to sell the ROC 150 F-16 fighter jets (worth $5.8 bn.): “This sale (…) will help maintain peace and stability in an area of great concern to us, the AsiaPacific region, in conformity with our law [the TRA; J.V.]. (…) And let me say it is a great pleasure to be able to support this sale” (USGPO/Bush 1992c: 1470f.). The significant U.S. 1992 arms deals with Taiwan (which included, besides the F-16 fighter jets, also inter alia anti-submarine helicopters, air defense missiles and (Patriot) air defense system fire units worth $1.3 bn.) support the derived neorealist hypothesis – and were perceived by the PRC as a clear violation of the August 17 U.S.-China Communiqué; Sino-U.S. relations during the incumbency of U.S. President George H. W. Bush thus seemed to overall rather reflect (dis-)trust levels anticipated by neorealism (SIPRI 2015; Kan 2014b: 16; 56; Tucker 2005b: 195; Dumbaugh 2009: 7; Tucker 2005a: 8; Ross 2000: 92). The early years of the Clinton administration then brought to some extent rapprochement in Sino-U.S. relations, eventually enabling the first formal post-Cold War bilateral heads of state meeting between U.S. President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin on the sidelines of the November 1993 APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Seattle287 (USGPO/Clinton

287 Moreover, the Clinton administration relaunched Sino-U.S. military-to-military contacts in fall 1993, and had postponed in May 1993 – and ultimately then abandoned in May 1994 – to render annual renewal of most-favored-nation (trade) status for the PRC contingent upon progress in China’s human rights record (Kissinger 2011: 465-469; Christopher 1998: 286; Kan 2014c: i; 1f.; 53; Lampton 2001: 49; Tucker 2005b: 207).

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1993a: 2022-2025; Kissinger 2011: 469; Kan 2014c: i; 1f.). On this occasion, President Clinton “reaffirmed the United States support for the three joint communiques as the bedrock of our one China policy” (USGPO/Clinton 1993a: 2022). Yet, he of course pointed out as well that this “does not preclude us from following the Taiwan Relations Act, nor does it preclude us from the strong economic relationship we enjoy with Taiwan. (…) I don’t think that will be a major stumbling block in our relationship with China” (USGPO/Clinton 1993a: 2025). Accordingly, Clinton appeared to not pursue major shifts in U.S. foreign policy orientation in the Taiwan issue (Christopher 1998: 286); at least at first glance, the so far sole U.S. Taiwan Policy Review in the post-Cold War era then seemed in September 1994 to underpin as well rather U.S. continuity; in the respective testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord reemphasized that the United States insisted on a peaceful evolution of cross-Strait relations, applauded progress in PRC-ROC dialogue, would further deliver defense goods and training to the ROC (so that it might sufficiently preserve a self-defense capacity), and supported Taiwan’s “membership in organizations where statehood is not a prerequisite” (USDOS/Lord 1994). Nevertheless, Lord made it clear at the end of the testimony that “the President has decided to enhance our unofficial ties with Taiwan”, implying inter alia a moderate upgrade of Taiwan’s protocol status – and hence also of the (possible) protocol level of (visiting) ROC officials and ROC institutions in the United States; since this enabled U.S.-ROC “sub-cabinet economic dialogue with Taiwan”, visits of “high-level officials from U.S. economic and technical agencies” to the ROC, and even a potential reception of ROC cabinet level officials in U.S. government agencies, these protocol changes by the Clinton administration raised increasing displeasure and distrust in Beijing towards Washington’s post-Cold War stance in the Taiwan issue (USDOS/Lord 1994; Foot 2007: 99; 101; Ross 2000: 87; 92; Tucker 2005a: 8; 2005b: 195; Lampton 2001: 47; 51). In view of the events to come in 1995/1996, it seems remarkable that U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord still underscored in September 1994 that “the Administration strongly opposes Congressional attempts to legislate visits by top leaders of the ‘Republic of China’ to the U.S.” (USDOS/Lord 1994).

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As indicated, the years 1995 and 1996 then yielded the worst PRC-ROC relations since the Quemoy-Matsu crisis in 1958, and even “threatened to involve the United States in military confrontation with the People’s Republic of China” (Chou 1996: 1f.; Tucker 2005b: 195; Wu 1996: 26f.). In May 1994, Washington had allowed ROC President Lee Teng-hui to refuel his aircraft and rest at an airport in Hawaii (on his way to state visits in Central America), but had still denied him an entry visa to the United States (Kissinger 2011: 473; Lampton 2001: 47; Tucker 2005b: 195; Lijun 2001: 24; Kan 2014a: 15; 55). Besides, in accordance with Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord’s September 1994 testimony, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher came still close to assuring PRC Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen in April 1995 that complying with the recent request of ROC President Lee Teng-hui for a “private” June 1995 visit to the United States to take part in (and hold a key speech at) a reunion event at his alma mater, Cornell University, would be “inconsistent with American policy” and the U.S. “only ‘unofficial’ relations with Taiwan”288 (Christopher, cit. in Kissinger 2011: 473; Christopher 1998: 286f.; Lampton 2001: 49; 393; Tucker 2005a: 8; 2005b: 195; Ross 2000: 91; 87; Lijun 2001: 24). To the surprise of a shocked PRC leadership, U.S. President Bill Clinton nevertheless approved in May 1995 (probably also due to strong congressional pressure) Lee Teng-hui’s requested (“private”/“unofficial”) visit to the United States, and U.S. Department of State Spokesman Nicolas Burns highlighted that “[t]his action follows a revision of Administration guidelines to permit occasional private visits by senior leaders of Taiwan, including President Lee. (…) Americans treasure the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of travel and believe others should enjoy these privileges as well. This sentiment clearly motivated the Congress, in its recent actions, to support overwhelmingly permitting Mr. Lee to return to Cornell” (USDOS/Burns 1995c; Christopher 1998: 286f.; Kissinger 2011: 473; Kan 2014a: 15; Ross 2000: 90f.; 87; Lampton 2001: 47-50; Tucker 2005b: 195; Lijun 2001: 24-26). Obviously,

288 The United States had blocked U.S. visits by the highest ROC representatives since 1979, and no ROC president had ever visited the United States (Christopher 1998: 286; Lijun 2001: 24f.; Tucker 2005a: 8; 2005b: 195; Ross 2000: 87).

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the Clinton administration’s 1995 policy reversal challenged earlier U.S. public statements and (“private”) reassurances to PRC leaders, and seemed once more to rather reflect Sino-U.S. trust levels (and U.S. behavior) anticipated by neorealism (Ross 2000: 87; 91; Lampton 2001: 49; 393; Tucker 2005a: 8; 2005b: 195; Chou 1996: 12; Lijun 2001: 24; Whiting 2001: 120f.; Kissinger 2011: 473). When, after Lee’s June 1995 visit in the United States, the PRC finally resorted to coercive diplomacy, involving military threat/(verbal) deterrence and most notably publicized PLA missile drills in July 1995 that hit the sea approximately 80-100 miles north of Taiwan, followed by a second round of missile drills, (live-fire) maneuvers, and force deployments to Taiwan’s opposite coast prior to the August 25 arrival of U.S. Undersecretary of State Peter Tarnoff in Beijing, a breach in superpower relations became obvious (Globalsecurity.org 2014; Whiting 2001: 104; 121; Ross 2000: 88f.; 94-97; Ng 2005: appendix 3; Kissinger 2011: 473f.; Foot 2007: 101; Tkacik 2002; Chou 1996: 1; Fisher 1997: 4). Nevertheless, to prevent military escalation and make as well sure that ROC leaders realize the costs/risks of provoking the PRC, the United States initially reacted with rather low-key (public) diplomacy and (security) policies to the PLA maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait area (Ross 2000: 103f.; Tucker 2005b: 195f.; 199; Chou 1996: 13; Wu 1996: 50; Tkacik 2002). After the first round of PLA missile tests in July 1995, U.S. Department of State Spokesman Nicholas Burns for instance commented that “[w]e don't believe that (…) [these drills; J.V.] contributed to peace and stability in the area. We've made that clear to the Chinese government” (USDOS/Burns 1995b); what is more, in a confidential letter to PRC President Jiang Zemin, U.S. President Bill Clinton outlined a so-called U.S. “Three No's policy” that would neither promote ROC independence, a watering down of the one-China principle, nor Taiwanese membership in the United Nations (Tucker 2005b: 199; Kissinger 2011: 476; Tkacik 2002). In August, September, and October 1995, insistent PRC demands for a Sino-U.S. summit inter alia on a fourth U.S.-China communiqué that would commit the United States to oppose further ROC senior leader/

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presidential visits to the U.S. as well as Taiwanese moves towards independence though kept Sino-U.S. relations strained (Ross 2000: 97101; Tucker 2005b: 199). U.S. Department of State Spokesman Nicholas Burns made it clear that the United States was “not going to negotiate a fourth communique that would ask us to take a pledge never again to issue a visa to anyone from Taiwan (…) [and] that deals in any way, shape or form with the subject of Taiwan, because our position on Taiwan is (…) abundantly clear to China and (…) is not going to change” (USDOS/Burns 1995a). The United States yet tried to positively and negatively sanction PRC behavior in the Taiwan issue by accepting or dismissing PRC wishes concerning the modality of a potential (official/ unofficial) bilateral summit; in regard to the agenda of such a meeting, the Clinton administration though withstood “Chinese pressure to make significant concessions regarding Taiwan” (Ross 2000: 99; 97-101). Despite the ongoing negotiations on Sino-U.S. summit options, it even provided in September 1995 several E-2T surveillance planes to the ROC, thus deliberately signaling in a realpolitik way its limited responsivity to PRC pressure (Ross 2000: 98f.). Eventually, an unofficial summit meeting between U.S. President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin was still held in October 1995 – though “only” on the margins of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations in New York (and not as an official state visit in Washington); moreover, as previously announced by the U.S. side, apart from reaffirming the three joint communiqués, the Sino-U.S. meeting dealt predominantly with non-Taiwan issues (Ross 2000: 99-101; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Kissinger 2011: 476). Consequently, while issuing warnings against a Chinese application of military force, the Clinton administration offered in 1995 only informal and ambiguous assurances to the PRC leadership concerning future U.S. Taiwan policy: “Chinese leaders were not satisfied (…) because the United States still had not made any commitments on the Taiwan issue since Lee's visit” (Ross 2000: 100; 96-101). In the further course of the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, U.S. reactions and counter-maneuvers to Chinese coercive diplomacy, and most notably to the large-scale PLA missile drills and military (amphibious landing/

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invasion) exercises in and near the Taiwan Strait in July, August, and November 1995, and in March 1996, grew more resolute (Tkacik 2002; Ng 2005: appendix 3; Whiting 2001: 121-123; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Ross 2000: 94-111; Kissinger 2011: 473f.; 476; Chou 1996: 1f.; Fisher 1997: 4; Foot 2007: 101). At the end of 1995, the Clinton administration already tacitly – but most likely deliberately – projected significant military power to the area: U.S. officials revealed only weeks later that on December 19-20th, 1995, the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group had sailed through the Taiwan Strait, claiming it had taken that special route due to bad weather; this, however, can hardly have been the reason, as no severe storms were recorded in the region; in fact, the first such U.S. carrier strike group passage through the Taiwan Strait since the 1970s probably already reflected an increasingly resolute U.S. military deterrence posture towards the PRC in the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis (Chou 1996: 14f.; Kissinger 2011: 476f.; Lampton 2001: 52; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Tucker 2005b: 192; 196; O’Hanlon 2000: 52; cf. Christopher 1998: 426; cf. Ross 2000: 104). When China then resumed large-scale military maneuvers and issued military threats towards the ROC, and the PLA finally “bracketed” the island in March 1996 via ballistic missile firings into waters near Taiwan’s northern and southern tips (and harbors) to – in U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry’s words – “intimidate Taiwan” in the run-up to the March 1996 ROC presidential election (USDOD/Perry 1996; USDOD 1996; Christopher 1998: 427), Washington finally decided to send a strong power political message to the PRC and convey the threat of a potential U.S. military response (Ross 2002: 68). On March 7th, 1996, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry warned PRC Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Huaqiu at a dinner in Washington that “the United States has more than enough military capability to protect its vital national security interests in the region, and is prepared to demonstrate that” (Carter/Perry 1999: 96; 92; Ross 2000: 109). Moreover, on March 10th, 1996, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher pointed out that “[t]he actions (…) [the Chinese have] taken have been reckless (…) risky (…) [a]nd (…) smack of intimidation and coercion. So that is a situation of great concern to us. (…) We must (…) make it clear to them that there will be really grave consequences if they try to resolve that problem

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through force” (USDOS/Christopher 1996; emphasis added; Chou 1996: 16f.; Gellman 1998a). The United States then displayed its hegemonic role as the primary security manager in the Asia-Pacific, and its military commitment to Taiwan not hesitantly, but resolutely (IISS 1996: 16f.; Wu 1996: 50; Khalilzad et al. 1999: xii). In fact, the Clinton administration launched the biggest deployment of U.S. troops to the region since the end of the Vietnam War, including two aircraft carrier strike groups with complete carrier air wings and, among others, destroyers, frigates, cruisers, and a Los Angelesclass submarine: “[W]ith the approval of the President, I signed the orders directing the deployment of the INDEPENDENCE battle group from Okinawa to patrolling just east of Taiwan. At the same time, I signed an order moving the deployment of the NIMITZ battle group from the Gulf of Arabia to join up with the INDEPENDENCE off of Taiwan” (U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, cit. in USDOD/Perry 1996; Carter/Perry 1999: 9799; Emmers 2010: 32; Chou 1996: 2; 17; Tucker 2005b: 196f.; Wagener 1998: 649; Globalsecurity.org 2014). The United States hence positioned the USS Independence carrier strike group just about 100 miles off the Taiwan Strait, and ordered as well a long distance deployment of the USS Nimitz carrier strike group from the Persian Gulf to the area (Carter/ Perry 1999: 97-99; Christopher 1998: 427; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Kan 2014c: 56; USDOD 1996; Lampton 2001: 46; 53; Ross 2000: 110). Furthermore, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry made it clear that “the United States has a national interest in the security and stability of the western Pacific region. We have a powerful military force there to help us carry out our national interests. And we have complete freedom to move that military force within international waters to make that point” (USDOD/ Perry 1996; Ross 2000: 110f.). Eventually, PRC missile drills and military exercises ceased some days after the ROC presidential election on March 23rd, 1996, and the United States finally withdrew the two aircraft carrier strike groups from Taiwan’s vicinity (Chou 1996: 2). The resolute military (carrier strike group) (counter-)maneuvers by the Clinton administration though evidently confirm the derived neorealist hy-

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pothesis that the hegemonic United States would pursue strategic power politics towards the PRC in the Taiwan issue. Moreover, the fact that at the height of the crisis in March 1996, the administration judged sending the aircraft carriers directly through the Taiwan Strait too provocative and risky matches as well neorealist deductions that the United States would definitely seek to prevent military escalation289 (Ross 2000: 110; 112). All in all, one has to conclude that the United States used (inter alia) significant military capabilities to convey/back political messages and enforce U.S. foreign policies goals in the Taiwan issue; it deliberately applied coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/(counter-)maneuvers, and (limited) power projection (via aircraft carrier strike groups) to deter China and prevent crisis escalation, as well as to retain/strengthen its hegemonic role as the primary security manager, display its unrivalled (strategic) power position, and reassure allies, (potential) partners and others in the Asia-Pacific and beyond (Chou 1996: 14; 12; Ross 2002: 68f.; 2000: 119f.; 122; Wu 1996: 50; Khalilzad et al. 1999: xii). Respectively, U.S. Department of Defense Spokesman Michael Doubleday made it clear that “we want to take some prudent moves that communicate to the Chinese and to ensure that there's no miscalculation on their part. The second thing we want to do is to reassure friends in the area that we have continuing interest in that part of the world (…) We want to communicate in a way that sometimes words cannot. Our interest in that area and our interest in having them resolve any differences they have with Taiwan in a peaceful way” (USDOD/Doubleday 1996; emphasis added; Ross 2000: 109f.). U.S. application of military means to “communicate in a way that sometimes words cannot” though obviously belongs to the derived neorealist repertoire of strategic power politics (USDOD/Doubleday 1996)290.

289 Neoliberalism predicted as well that the United States would seek to prevent crisis escalation; yet, deploying in March 1996 two complete U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups to Taiwan’s vicinity obviously contradicts the deduced neoliberal hypothesis that the United States would give (unhindered) economically based cooperation with the PRC clear priority over resolute/major strategic action in the Taiwan issue. 290 Similarly, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher argued that “[b]ecause Asian and Pacific nations looked to the United States to preserve stability in the region, we had to take action to calm the situation. (…) mere presence [of the two U.S. carrier

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Beyond that, the United States naturally applied pressure also on the diplomatic level, for instance by postponing a ceremonial visit of PRC Minister of National Defense General Chi Haotian to Washington – in the words of a U.S. senior defense official – since “the tensions (…) over Taiwan (…) which have been caused by the Chinese effort to carry out these provocative tests and exercises have been a blow to U.S./China relations” (USDOD 1996). Summing up, one may say that in the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, the United States reliably and resolutely provided the “realist factor” deterrence, balanced PRC strategic power politics, sought to prevent military escalation, defended its strategic reputation and demonstrated (to allies and (potential) partners) the credibility of its security commitments, while overall maintaining the status quo in the Asia-Pacific (Foot 2007: 103f.; 101; Christopher 1998: 427; Wu 1996: 50; Ross 2002: 68f.; 2000: 88; 109f.; 112; 119-122; Chou 1996: 12; 14-17). U.S. strategic power politics hence prevailed (which strongly confirms the deduced neorealist hypothesis), whereas the derived neoliberal argumentation that politico-economic logics, absolute (economic/plenty) gains/capitalist peace rents, and thus (unhindered) U.S. economically based cooperation with the PRC would be given clear priority over strategic action seemed to be only limitedly reflected. After the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, partial Sino-U.S. rapprochement and cooperation seems though to also support some neoliberal expectations (Borich 1998; 1999). Washington issued in the following years only transit visas for senior ROC officials, and in 1997, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nominee Stanley Roth even termed the 1995 U.S. visa decision for ROC President Lee Teng-hui a “serious mistake” (Roth, cit. in Ross 2000: 113; Ross 2000: 112-114). Most obviously, the 1997 and 1998 U.S.-China summits, where the United States no longer refused to talk about the Taiwan issue, reflected to some extent détente and the will of the two governments to establish new dialogue and consultation mechanisms; in October 1997, Jiang Zemin hence arrived in the United States

strike groups; J.V.] put both Taipei and Beijing on notice of our commitment to keeping the peace” (Christopher 1998: 427; Ross 2000: 109).

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for the first post-Cold War state visit of a Chinese president, and in June 1998, Bill Clinton traveled to the PRC for the first post-Cold War state visit of a U.S. president; Clinton there publicly reiterated the U.S. “Three No's policy” that he had already outlined to Jiang Zemin in the July 1995 (confidential) letter and in October 1997, emphasizing that “we don't support independence for Taiwan, or two Chinas, or one Taiwan-one China. And we don't believe that Taiwan should be a member in any organization for which statehood is a requirement” (The White House/Clinton 1998; USDOS 1997; Kissinger 2011: 470; 476; Ross 2000: 113-115; 122f.; Fisher 1997: 1; Peterson 2004: 35; Tucker 2005b: 199; Tkacik 2002; Wagener 1998: 649; Borich 1998; Globalsecurity.org 2014). Respective U.S. pressure for restraint of the ROC leadership in sovereignty/ independence issues thereby supports both the derived neoliberal and the deduced neorealist hypothesis. In July 1999, tensions in the Taiwan Strait then re-escalated when ROC President Lee Teng-hui publicly depicted ROC-PRC ties as at least a “special state-to-state relationship” (Lee, cit. in Lampton 2001: 99; Scobell 2003: 172; 189; Borich 1999; Nabers 2002: 67). The PRC again responded with military threats, extensive PLA (joint landing) drills on the coast opposite Taiwan in July, August and early September 1999, and repeated flights of advanced PRC warplanes into ROC air space across the midline of the Taiwan Strait (Kan 2014a: 2; 2014c: 62; Ross 2000: 116; IISS 1999: 171; Scobell 2003: 172; Kemenade 2001: 57; Tkacik 2002). This time, however, the United States criticized the Chinese military threats and maneuvers only moderately, and urged the ROC leadership to temper its statements/policies and resume cross-Strait dialogue (Ross 2000: 116). Moreover, after Lee’s public remarks, U.S. President Bill Clinton reaffirmed to PRC President Jiang Zemin that the United States would remain committed to a one-China policy, and Clinton even postponed (for some months) arms sales talks with Taiwan (Ross 2000: 116; The White House/Berger 1999; Kan 2014b: 58). While a certain degree of U.S. restraint towards the PRC in the Taiwan issue in the second half of 1999, and to some extent since the end of the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis may thus partly support the derived neoliberal hypothesis of the

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United States pursuing economically based cooperation with the PRC, this was of course just one side of the post-March 1996 WashingtonBeijing-Taipei triangle. In other words, besides the argument that U.S. strategic power politics towards the PRC can also include rapprochement policies and instrumental, temporary and issue-specific cooperation, there are also substantial empirical data from the late 1990s that support the derived neorealist hypothesis. The 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis had for instance significant enhancing (long-term) effects on U.S.-Taiwan military ties and cooperation, which led to growing distrust in the PRC (Kan 2014a: 24; 2014b: 2-8; 19; 23; 40; Chase 2005: 166-180; Jing 2006: 88; 92f.; Ross 2002: 48; 83f.). In the aftermath of the PLA and U.S. 1995/1996 military maneuvers in Taiwan’s vicinity, the United States overall continued and ultimately even increased its arms sales to Taiwan; moreover, the United States launched a series of “non-hardware” initiatives that have intensified U.S. military assistance and advice for the ROC (inter alia in the realm of strategy, training, logistics, and command and control); this has implied meetings between (high-ranking) U.S. and ROC defense officials and military officers, and has enabled that Taiwanese F-16 pilots have since 1997 been regularly training (together with U.S. military aviators) at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona (Kan 2014b: 2-8; 19; 23; 40; 57; 2014a: 24; Chase 2005: 166-180; Jing 2006: 88; 92f.; Ross 2002: 48; 83f.). Moreover, talks between U.S. President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin on the margins of the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Auckland in September 1999 highlighted that significant Sino-U.S. tensions (most evidently) on Taiwan still persisted; while the U.S. president reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to a one-China policy, “[h]e, however, said [once more; J.V.] that (…) if Jiang were to resort to military force [in the Taiwan issue; J.V.], there would be grave consequences” (Clinton, cit. in The White House/ Berger 1999; emphasis added; Clinton, cit. in Bendavid 1999; emphasis added). Respectively, at least since the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis and the U.S. military (carrier strike group) countermaneuvers to PLA missile drills and (amphibious landing/invasion) exercises in/near the Taiwan Strait, “planning for [potentially also nuclear; J.V.] war with China has be-

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come a Pentagon priority, with implications for budgets and weapons acquisition” (Ross 2000: 117; 2002: 48; 59; Rudolf 2006: 15). Furthermore, based on the agreement to strengthen the U.S.-Japan security alliance reached at the April 1996 Tokyo summit meeting of U.S. President Bill Clinton with Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee issued a joint statement in September 1997 that contained the new “Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation”; “[i]n view of the changes in the post-Cold War environment”, these guidelines extended for the first time “effective and credible U.S.-Japan cooperation (…) [to; J.V.] situations in areas surrounding Japan” (Japan Ministry of Defense 1997; emphasis added; IISS 1996: 16f.; 170; Wohlforth 2009: 55; Tucker 2005b: 197f.; Scobell 2003: 189); since the latter term may also include Taiwan, and the allusion to “changes in the post-Cold War environment” can be read as a clear reference to a rising China, the new “Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation” elicited strong protest from the PRC leadership (IOSCPRC 2000; Japan Ministry of Defense 1997; Wohlforth 2009: 55; Weggel 2007: 294; Overholt 2008: xxxiii). Only shortly after the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, the strengthening and extension of the U.S.-Japan alliance can thus be (neorealistically) seen as a moderate U.S. hedging and (regional) balancing(-of-threat) approach towards the rising PRC which sought at the same time to strengthen the U.S. sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific as well as regional deterrence against a “PLA solution” in the Taiwan issue. Although U.S. foreign policy behavior after the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis and in the late 1990s, respectively, partly supports the derived neoliberal hypothesis of U.S. economically based cooperation with the PRC, the empirical picture thus remains at least mixed in this period, since there exist also major facts that reflect (continued) U.S. strategic power politics towards China in the Taiwan issue. Sino-Taiwanese and Sino-U.S. relations then grew again strained in early 2000 due to the candidacy (and ultimately the March 2000 election) of rather pro-independence oriented politician Chen Shui-bian as Taiwanese president – and PRC pressure on the ROC electorate not to vote for him.

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4 Empirical Verification

Issued in the run-up to the ROC elections, a harsh PRC White Paper introduced (in February 2000) a (relatively) new condition for the mainland’s application of military force, namely also “if the Taiwan authorities refuse, sine die, the peaceful settlement of cross-Straits reunification through negotiations” (IOSCPRC 2000; Kan 2014a: 21; Goldstein 2003: 472; Tucker 2005b: 208; Tkacik 2007: 147-149); this engendered strong criticism from the Clinton administration and U.S. Congress. Having just returned from Sino-U.S. high-level security talks in Beijing, where the U.S. delegation291 had urged for Chinese restraint in the Taiwan issue, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Walter Slocombe, caught off guard by the new PRC White Paper, warned for instance that a Chinese application of force against the ROC would entail “incalculable consequences” (Slocombe, cit. in Kan 2014c: 63; Slocombe, cit. in Perlez 2000; Slocombe, cit. in Gertz 2000). Furthermore, on February 23rd, 2000, the USS Kitty Hawk carrier strike group (including two cruise-missile destroyers) began with maneuvers east of Japan, probably (also) to deter potential PRC coercive diplomacy in the run-up to the March 2000 ROC presidential election292 (Gertz 2000). Moreover, U.S. President Bill Clinton reemphasized that the United States would “continue to reject the use of force as a means to resolve the Taiwan question (…) [and would] continue to make absolutely clear that the issues between Beijing and Taiwan must be resolved peacefully and with the assent of the people of Taiwan” (The White House/Clinton 2000). As elaborated previously, U.S. (February 2000) aircraft carrier strike group maneuvers in the Asia-Pacific (inter alia) to deter the PRC from coercive diplomacy towards Taiwan though definitely corroborate the deduced neorealist hypothesis of U.S. strategic power politics. Additionally, so does U.S. President Bill Clinton’s decision in April 2000 to approve the sale of 200 AIM-120C advanced medium-

291 “The [U.S.; J.V.] delegation consisted of Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott; the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph W. Ralston; (…) [U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Walter] Slocombe; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Kurt M. Campbell; and the deputy national security adviser, James Steinberg” (Perlez 2000). 292 A publicized commentary in the official gazette of the PLA (“People's Liberation Army Daily”) even threatened thereupon PLA long-distance (nuclear) missile strikes on the United States in the case of U.S. intervention in a Taiwan contingency (Gertz 2000).

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range air-to-air missiles to the ROC (for the latter’s F-16 fighter jets); Clinton thereby also reacted to the fact that China was about to acquire similar missiles from Russia (Kan 2014b: 20; 58; SIPRI 2015). Regarding the Bush administration’s foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue, one may point out that George W. Bush initially (as a presidential candidate in 2000, and still as U.S. president in 2001) called the PRC a “strategic competitor” – a concept that differed significantly from the “constructive strategic partnership” that the Clinton administration had (at times) sought to establish with China (Vogelmann 2011: 398; USDOS/ Armitage 2003; Perlez 2000; Rudolf 2006: 13; The White House/Berger 1999; Jing 2006: 92; Lin 2006: 21; Tucker 2005b: 201f.; Dittmer 2002: 47; Overholt 2008: 231; Schaller 2002: 3; 209f.). Moreover, the Bush administration (further) enhanced U.S. military relations with, and assistance for, Taiwan: “The assumption of the George W. Bush administration (…) [was] that war in the Taiwan Strait (…) [was] sufficiently likely that the United States must strengthen its diplomatic and military ties with Taiwan, even though such ties could disrupt U.S.-China relations” (Ross 2002: 48; Kan 2014b: 5; Goldstein 2007: 670f.; Overholt 2008: 148; Möller 2002: 9; Tkacik 2002). For the first time since 1979, U.S. military personnel for instance observed in 2001 Taiwan’s largest annual military “Hankuang” exercise, and continued to do so in the following years (Jing 2006: 93; Chase 2005: 178f.; Kan 2014b: 5; 7). This, however, refutes the neoliberal prediction that the United States would subordinate strategic concerns in the Taiwan issue – and military cooperation with the ROC – to economically based cooperation with China. On April 1st, 2001, Sino-U.S. tensions increased significantly after the collision of a U.S. Navy surveillance plane with a pursuing PLA fighter jet above the South China Sea, killing the Chinese military aviator and leading to an eleven day detainment of the U.S. crew after its emergency landing on Hainan Island (Vogelmann 2011: 398f.; USDOS/Powell 2003; Dittmer 2002: 48; Green 2008: 188; Glaser/Liang 2008: 166; Jing 2006: 92; Wortzel 2006: 273). Still in April 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush then approved the sale of the biggest weapons package to the

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ROC since the 1992 (F-16 fighter aircraft) deal of his father, including inter alia eight diesel-electric submarines, four Kidd-class destroyers, twelve P-3C Orion antisubmarine warfare planes, Paladin self-propelled artillery, twelve MH-53 minesweeping helicopters, 54 AAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicles, Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles, and torpedoes; the Kidd-class destroyers would thereby “provide a credible answer to the four Sovremenny-class destroyers that China (…) [was] in the process of acquiring from Russia” (IISS 2001: 179; 173; 2009: 373; Kan 2014b: I; 8; 58; SIPRI 2015; Compton et al. 2001; CIIC 2001a; Chase 2005: 173; Tucker 2005b: 202; 260; Tkacik 2002)293. The Bush administration’s major 2001 weapons package for the ROC thereby strongly confirms the deduced neorealist hypothesis of U.S. strategic power politics towards China in the Taiwan issue – and falsifies the neoliberal prediction that the United States would in the post-Cold era slowly reduce arms sales to Taiwan to prevent recurrent tensions with the PRC (as its largest trading partner and largest foreign creditor). Furthermore, asked in an interview in April 2001 if the United States was obliged to defend Taiwan, potentially even with the full force of the U.S. military, U.S. President George W. Bush replied: “Yes, we do, and the Chinese must understand that (…) Whatever it took to help Taiwan defend herself” (Bush, cit. in Compton et al. 2001; Tkacik 2002; Kemenade 2001: 64; Tucker 2005b: 202; CIIC 2001b). This was the strongest wording a U.S. President had ever used to indicate U.S. military support for the ROC in a Taiwan contingency. In addition, while the Clinton administration had in 2000 only allowed ROC President Chen Shui-bian to transit through Los Angeles without holding public events, the Bush administration granted Chen transits through New York and Houston in 2001, and through New York and Anchorage in 2003 that explicitly enabled talks and dinner with members of the U.S. Congress; accordingly,

293 As concerning most approved U.S. arms deals with the ROC, Taiwan has though not bought the whole 2001 package. It has so far inter alia acquired the four Kidd-class destroyers, the AAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicles, the Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and P-3C Orion antisubmarine warfare aircraft (IISS 2002: 296f.; 2009: 373; SIPRI 2015; Kan 2014b: 9; 16).

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U.S. Department of State Spokesman Richard Boucher pointed out that “[w]e do believe that private meetings between Members of Congress and foreign leaders advance our national interests, so he [Chen Shuibian; J.V.] may have meetings with members of Congress” (USDOS/ Boucher 2001; Kan 2014a: 15f.; Tucker 2005b: 202)294. Naturally, the delineated U.S. (transit visa) policies, enhanced U.S. military relations and the major 2001 arms deal with the ROC, U.S. (public) diplomacy and in particular President George W. Bush’s “whatever it took” statement in April 2001 elicited fierce criticism from the PRC – and reflected Sino-U.S. trust levels rather anticipated by neorealism (Bush, cit. in Compton et al. 2001; CIIC 2001a; 2001b; Compton et al. 2001; Goldstein 2007: 674). U.S. China policy yet changed to a certain extent after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and post-9/11 Sino-U.S. relations partly improved, also since U.S. President George W. Bush wanted to have the PRC as a partner in the Global War on Terror (GWOT)295 (Vogelmann 2011; IISS 2002: 138; Kan 2014c: 48; 2010; Goldstein 2003: 480-485; Overholt 2008: 231; Kissinger 2011: 492f.; Tucker 2005b: 203; Jing 2006: 95; 101; Lin 2006: 21). Accordingly, the United States sought to gain PRC support or at least toleration of its Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns, and to foster Sino-U.S. cooperation in further GWOT and non-proliferation (North Korea) issues. The Bush administration thereby tried “to keep the Taiwan issue out of sight”, also by pressuring the ROC not to pursue policies towards (formal) independence; it hence sought for instance to influence ROC President Chen Shui-bian to abandon/attenuate referendum plans on sovereignty and cross-Strait matters (Tkacik 2007: 154;

294 Less high-profile transit visits in the United States/on U.S. territory by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian followed in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008; his successor as ROC President, Ma Ying-jeou, was as well granted stopovers in the United States in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014, and the Ma transit visits also partly involved public activities and meetings with members of Congress (Kan 2014a: 16f.). 295 The Bush administration promoted Sino-U.S. cooperation in the GWOT also by withholding criticism of PRC human rights violations in Tibet or the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and even put the separatist Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement on the terrorist watch list of the U.S. Department of State (Dittmer 2002: 53; 55f.; Vogelmann 2011: 399f.; Kan 2010).

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4 Empirical Verification

Vogelmann 2011; Kissinger 2011: 492f.; IISS 2002: 138; Kan 2014a: 12f.; 82f.; Overholt 2008: 165f.; Jing 2006: 89; 95; 101; Weggel 2007: 313). Accordingly, at the October 2003 meeting of U.S. President George W. Bush with PRC President Hu Jintao in Bangkok, Bush underlined the U.S. commitment to a one-China policy and stressed that the United States did not support the ROC moving towards independence (The White House 2003a). Overall, however, post-9/11 Sino-U.S. cooperation was still limited to few areas of common interest; it remains thus doubtful if the regular mentioning of U.S. commitment to a one-China policy and the three communiqués, U.S. efforts to restrain plans of ROC President Chen Shui-bian for referenda on sovereignty/cross-Strait issues, constitutional reform and UN application, U.S. encouragement of Taiwan for increased cross-Strait dialogue, and U.S. invitations of the PRC President and other Chinese leaders to the United States already imply significant support for the derived neoliberal hypothesis that post-Cold War U.S. interest in economically based cooperation with the PRC would prove predominant (also) in the Taiwan issue; in other words, partial post-9/11 collaboration of the United States with China can also be seen as instrumental, variable, and issue-specific U.S. cooperation within a U.S. strategic power politics approach (Kan 2014a: 2f.; 12f.; 30; 82f.; USDOS/Kelly 2004b; Möller 2002: 7; 10f.; Tucker 2005b: 203f.; Schaller 2002: 209f.; Weggel 2007: 313). For despite three summit meetings between U.S. President George W. Bush and PRC President Jiang Zemin between October 2001 and October 2002 (and an April 2002 U.S. visit of then PRC Vice President Hu Jintao), evident signs of Sino-U.S. strategic rivalry (in the Taiwan issue) never vanished – also since the Bush administration pursued a doubleedged post-9/11 strategy of closer ties both with the PRC and the ROC (Lin 2006: 21f.; Tkacik 2002). The United States thus continued to strengthen military ties with, and assistance for, the ROC – and even nuclear deterrence calculations and a nuclear strike contingency in the Taiwan issue remained on the U.S. (and the PRC) table: the (classified) U.S. 2002 Nuclear Posture Review reportedly listed “‘a military confrontation over the status of Taiwan’ as an immediate contingency for which the

4.1 The Taiwan Issue

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administration had to develop new categories of ‘nuclear strike capabilities’” (USDOD, cit. in Tucker 2005b: 203; Tucker 2005b: 203; Bleek 2002; Zhu, cit. in Gittings 2005; Kan 2014c: 43; 2014b: 5; Tkacik 2007: 149; Möller 2002: 9; 16; Ross 2002: 48). While including instrumental, issuespecific, and variable cooperation with the PRC, post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue thus seems to still rather confirm the deduced neorealist hypothesis of strategic power politics towards rising China. U.S. pressure on the ROC (after 9/11) not to provoke new cross-Strait crises by pursuing evident steps towards (formal) independence thereby matches both the derived neoliberal and the derived neorealist hypothesis; at the White House meeting with PRC Premier Wen Jiabao on December 9th, 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush for instance highlighted (inter alia) in regard to ROC President Chen Shui-bian’s referendum plans on sovereignty and cross-Strait matters that “[w]e oppose any unilateral decision by either China or Taiwan to change the status quo. And the comments and actions made by the leader of Taiwan indicate that he may be willing to make decisions unilaterally to change the status quo, which we oppose” (USGPO/Bush 2003a: 1777; Kissinger 2011: 492; Kan 2014a: 2f.; 12f.; Peterson 2004: 24-26; 36f.; Loong 2005: 74; Weggel 2007: 313). Similarly, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly warned in an April 2004 testimony before the House International Relations Committee that “[a]s Taiwan proceeds with efforts to deepen democracy, we will speak clearly and bluntly if we feel as though those efforts carry the potential to adversely impact U.S. security interests or have the potential to undermine Taiwan’s own security. There are limitations with respect to what the United States will support as Taiwan considers possible changes to its constitution. We are uncertain about the means being discussed for changing the constitution” (USDOS/Kelly 2004b; Kan 2014a: 15). Moreover, to prevent an escalation of cross-Strait tensions, the United States also opposed ROC plans for a partial change in military strategy towards the development of a potent counter-strike (medium-range) missile capability that would retaliate against China in a Taiwan contingency (Kan 2014b: 41-43; Tisdall 2007; Weggel 2007:

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316f.). When, in the run-up to the March 2004 ROC presidential election, Chen Shui-bian nevertheless pushed through a (later invalid) referendum that dealt inter alia with a potential ROC acquisition of more anti-missile weapons to counter the by then over 500 PLA ballistic missiles deployed within reach of the island, the United States called the initiative a dangerous status quo breach and influenced Taipei to at least water down the referendum questions (Kan 2014a: 3; 13-15; 2014b: 17; Lam 2003a; IISS 2004: 161; Weggel 2007: 313). In October 2004, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell made it again clear that “we do not support an independence movement in Taiwan” (Powell, cit. in Kan 2014a: 79), and the United States also expressed concern regarding the ROC’s February 2006 termination of the National Unification Council and the National Unification Guidelines (Kan 2014a: 80; Weggel 2007: 313; 315). Last but not least, the Bush administration also sharply criticized the (later invalid) Taiwanese March 2008 referendum (parallel to the ROC presidential election) on acceding to the United Nations; U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for instance pointed out that “[w]e think that Taiwan’s referendum to apply to the United Nations under the name ‘Taiwan’ is a provocative policy. It unnecessarily raises tensions in the Taiwan Strait and it promises no real benefits for the people of Taiwan on the international stage” (Rice, cit. in Shanker/Cooper 2007; Kan 2014a: 21; 82f.; 2014b: 21; Kan/Morrison 2014: 6). On the whole, the Bush administration may have seen ROC President Chen Shui-bian to some extent as a “troublemaker”, whose risky moves towards (formal) ROC independence could render a Sino-U.S. contingency over Taiwan more likely; accordingly, the United States “pressured Taiwan’s democratically elected leadership to suppress their desire to deny that Taiwan is part of China” (Tkacik 2007: 143f.; Shanker/Cooper 2007). Nevertheless, despite the delineated opposition of the Bush administration to ROC President Chen Shui-bian’s referenda plans on sovereignty and cross-Strait issues, constitutional reform and UN application, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly had in the April 2004 testimony before the House International Relations Committee also strongly criti-

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cized Chinese coercive diplomacy in the Taiwan issue, and had – as predicted by neorealism – clearly reemphasized the importance of (future) U.S. arms sales to the ROC: “The P.R.C. refuses to renounce the use of force regarding Taiwan despite our consistent representations stating they should do so. (…) the post-1999 P.R.C. program of military modernization, including deployment of a steadily growing number of short range ballistic missiles (…) targeted on Taiwan, undermines confidence in China's commitment to deal with the cross-Strait situation peacefully and requires a measured response on our part, under the TRA, to provide appropriate defensive military equipment to Taiwan” (USDOS/Kelly 2004b; Kan 2014a: 2f.; 12-15; 21; 82f.; 2014b: 21; Kan/Morrison 2014: 6; Tucker 2005b: 203f.; Shanker/Cooper 2007). Moreover, Kelly had called Taiwan “a good friend”, the TRA “a tremendous success”, and he had reiterated points of the “Six Assurances” by highlighting that “we neither seek to mediate between the P.R.C. and Taiwan, nor will we exert pressure on Taiwan to come to the bargaining table” (USDOS/Kelly 2004b; emphasis added; Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. 2016). While the derived neoliberal hypothesis anticipates the United States to support (in the long term) peaceful cross-Strait unification to ultimately remove this central obstacle to closer (economically based) cooperation with the PRC, the deduced neorealist hypothesis predicts the United States to pursue (long-term) maintenance of the status quo in the Taiwan issue, since PRC-ROC unification would reduce the U.S. regional sphere of influence and entail significant PRC relative (strategic and economic) gains towards the United States. Accordingly, Kelly’s April 2004 testimony seems to overall rather support a neorealist picture of Sino-U.S. relations. When the PRC then issued a statement a few days prior to ROC President Chen Shui-bian’s second inauguration in May 2004 that warned that “if Taiwan leaders should move recklessly to provoke major incidents of ‘Taiwan independence’, the Chinese people will crush their schemes firmly and thoroughly at any cost” (cit. in Xinhuanet 2004; Tkacik 2007: 149; Voice of America 2004), mounting cross-Strait tensions (and resumed PLA maneuvers in June and July 2004) did not leave Sino-U.S. rela-

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4 Empirical Verification

tions unaffected (IISS 2004: 162; Wanandi 2004; Weggel 2007: 316). White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan made it clear that PRC statements that convey “[t]hreats to ‘crush’ Taiwan or drown it in a ‘sea of fire’ have no place in civilized international discourse. And Beijing merely hurts its own case by using them, and such comments are especially unhelpful at this delicate time and they necessitate that we firmly restate our intention to fulfill our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act” (The White House/McClellan 2004; Tkacik 2007: 149). While cross-Strait tensions skyrocketed in 2004, U.S. verbal deterrence towards the PRC, and U.S. indication of further arms sales to Taiwan though evidently corroborate the deduced neorealist hypothesis of U.S. strategic power politics. Moreover, so does the recurrent U.S. pressure on the ROC (especially since 2001/2002) to increase its (percentage of) defense spending and commitment to self-defense; when ROC domestic politics for instance blocked for several years the acquisition of major parts of the U.S. 2001 arms package, the Bush administration strongly urged Taiwan to implement the complete deal as soon as possible – and senior U.S. officials thereby pointed to the ambitiously proceeding Chinese military modernization program (Kan 2014b: 32-40; Dumbaugh 2009: 5; Möller 2005: 2; Wortzel 2006: 280; Snyder/Wu 2004; ISS 2008: 361). U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz reportedly even warned a visiting ROC delegation in June 2004 that “if Taiwan does not treat its national defense seriously, then the Americans won't either” (Wolfowitz, cit. in Snyder/Wu 2004). Similarly, in September 2005, U.S. Department of Defense official Edward Ross made it clear towards Taiwan that “Beijing’s sustained military build-up in the Taiwan Strait adversely affects the status quo. At the same time, however, Taiwan’s steadily declining defense budgets, and the resulting erosion in its own defensive capabilities, also adversely affect the status quo. Deterrence is compromised, and this is dangerous. (…) What we do expect is that Taiwan will have the collective will to invest in a viable defense to address a growing threat and be in a position to negotiate the future of cross-strait relations from a position of strength. (…) We cannot help defend you, if you cannot defend yourself” (USDOD/ Ross 2005). U.S. “influence politics” towards Taiwan, and thus indeed

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a U.S. sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific become hence evident, and U.S. government statements that address “deterrence” of “a growing [Chinese] threat” of Taiwan strongly confirm the deduced neorealist anticipations regarding post-Cold War U.S. perceptions and foreign policy behavior in the Taiwan issue (USDOD/Ross 2005). A moderate (neorealist) U.S. hedging and (regional) balancing(-of-threat) approach towards ascending China that at the same time strengthens the U.S. sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific, U.S. deterrence, and the effectiveness of U.S. coercive diplomacy in the Taiwan issue may have also been reflected in the February 2005 joint statement of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee; after having (in September 1997) extended “U.S.-Japan cooperation (…) [to; J.V.] situations in areas surrounding Japan” (Japan Ministry of Defense 1997; emphasis added), the February 2005 joint statement then designated for the first time encouragement of “the peaceful resolution of issues concerning the Taiwan Strait through dialogue” as one of the “common strategic objectives” of the United States and Japan – and thereby indicated (again) that a Taiwan contingency might become a matter for the U.S.-Japan military alliance (Japan Ministry of Defense 2005; Kan 2014b: 49; Lam 2005; Overholt 2008: xxxiii; 133). Naturally, this U.S.-Japan reference to the Taiwan issue entailed strong protest from the PRC (Kan 2014a: 79). Beyond that, U.S. deployment of forces in Japan has to a significant extent focused on Okinawa, close to the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. network of allies and bases in the Asia-Pacific (including predominantly Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines), close security ties with further partners, and strengthened U.S. military capabilities on Guam have hence been important pillars for U.S. deterrence and coercive diplomacy also towards China in the Taiwan issue (Foot 2007: 103f.; 112; Ross 2002: 66f.; 77f.). The rather muted U.S. public reaction to the March 2005 passage of the Chinese Anti-Secession Law – “[t]he decision (…) is (…) unfortunate. (…) we believe it to be unhelpful” (USDOS/Boucher 2005; Tkacik 2007: 155; 199f.), or “[t]he anti-secession legislation (…) was an unfortunate and unhelpful step that did not contribute to cross-Strait stability” (USDOS/Hill

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4 Empirical Verification

2005) – may to some extent support the derived neoliberal hypothesis of a predominant U.S. interest in (unhindered) economically based cooperation with the PRC. In September 2005, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick though pointed again to the strategic dimension in SinoU.S. relations, underscoring that “[u]ncertainties about how China will use its power will lead the United States (…) to hedge relations with China” (USDOS/Zoellick 2005); the March 2006 U.S. National Security Strategy then stressed that “China and Taiwan must (…) resolve their differences peacefully, without coercion and without unilateral action by either China or Taiwan” – and dealt also openly with U.S. (strategic) hedging towards the ascending PRC: “Our strategy seeks to encourage China to make the right strategic choices for its people, while we hedge against other possibilities” (The White House 2006b: 42; Rudolf 2006: 6; 13-16). U.S. strategic hedging yet strongly confirms the deduced neorealist anticipations of U.S. strategic power politics towards the PRC. Moreover, so does the fact that Sino-U.S. military incidents have in postCold War times peaked regularly in waters and air space near Taiwan and in/above the South China, East China, and Yellow Sea (for instance in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016) (USDOD 2011: 56; IISS 2010: 378f.; Kan 2014c: 28-32; 35; 40; 54; 65f.; 72-75; 81; Mastro 2011; Christensen 2011: 54f.; Globalresearch.ca 2008; Fravel 2008: 137f.; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Gertz 2006; Mann/Pine 1994; Starr 2013; Whitlock 2014; Sciutto/Ellis 2015; Perlez 2016; Zand 2016). To name just one example, after previous incidents between the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier strike group and PRC (nuclear) submarines, a new confrontation occurred in November 2007; the Kitty Hawk carrier strike group had been denied a port visit to Hong Kong by the PRC, and then sailed through the Taiwan Strait, where it was involved in a tense 28-hour standoff with a Chinese destroyer and submarine; USPACOM Commander Admiral Keating later stated sharply that the United States “don’t need China’s permission to go through the Taiwan Strait. (…) We will exercise our free right of passage whenever and wherever we choose as we have done repeatedly in the past and we’ll do in the future” (Keating, cit. in Kan 2014c: 40; Kan 2014c:

4.1 The Taiwan Issue

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40; 54; 72f.; 2014b: 44; Globalresearch.ca 2008; Fravel 2008: 137f.; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Mann/Pine 1994; Gertz 2006; Shanker/Cooper 2007). Recurrent Sino-U.S. military tensions and incidents in waters and air space near Taiwan though evidently refute neoliberal deductions, and reflect superpower interaction marked by strategic power politics. The fact that shortly before the March 2008 ROC presidential election and the ROC referendum on acceding to the United Nations, the United States positioned again two aircraft carrier strike groups east of Taiwan thereby adds further empirical support (from the field of U.S. strategic behavior in the Taiwan issue) to the derived neorealist hypothesis (Kan 2014c: 74; 2014a: 21; 2014b: 21; Kan/Morrison 2014: 6). The March 2008 election of Ma Ying-jeou as Taiwanese president then entailed significant rapprochement in PRC-ROC (and to some extent also in Sino-U.S.) relations (Dumbaugh 2009: 8; Kan 2014: I; 4; Kan/Morrison 2014: I; 1f.). At times, the United States thereby seemed to promote cross-Strait and superpower détente even via some (presidential) delays in arms sales (notifications to Congress); nevertheless, also since the improving cross-Strait political climate and economic ties did not entail major reductions in the PRC military build-up and missile deployment towards the ROC, the Bush administration still authorized in October 2008 a $6.5 bn. weapons package for the ROC comprising inter alia Patriot PAC-3 air-defense systems/missiles, 30 Apache helicopters, Harpoon anti-ship and Javelin anti-tank missiles, as well as upgrades to the E-2T surveillance planes that Taiwan had purchased from the United States in Septemer 1995296 (IISS 2009: 373; 364; Kan 2014b: I; 10; 17f.; 27; 4347; 53; 59; USDOS/Campbell 2011a; Ross 2000: 98f.). Naturally, this issued fierce criticism and a suspension of Sino-U.S. military-to-military exchanges by the PRC (IISS 2009: 364; Kan 2014c: 4; 2014b: 44; Holslag 2010: 67). As predicted by neorealism, the United States thus variably pursued accommodative behavior towards the PRC if this was in its

296 As concerning most approved U.S. arms deals with the ROC, Taiwan has not bought the whole 2008 package. It has so far inter alia acquired Patriot PAC-3 air-defense systems/missiles, the Apache helicopters, and Harpoon anti-ship missiles (SIPRI 2015; Kan 2014b: 9; 16-18).

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(power political) interest, but did not reduce U.S. military support and weapons sales to the ROC. By and large, this pattern seemed to continue also under the Obama administration. At the November 2009 Sino-U.S. summit in Beijing, U.S. President Barack Obama and PRC President Hu Jintao agreed on a joint statement wherein “[t]he United States welcomes the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait and looks forward to efforts by both sides to increase dialogues and interactions in economic, political, and other fields, and develop more positive and stable cross-Strait relations” (The White House 2009; Kan 2014a: 31; 2014b: 31; 45). The U.S. 2010 National Security Strategy encouraged as well “continued reduction in tension between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan” (The White House 2010; IISS 2013: 273), and in a further Sino-U.S. joint statement issued during Hu Jintao’s state visit to Washington in January 2011, the United States “applauded the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and welcomed the new lines of communications developing between them” (The White House 2011). Nevertheless, the Obama administration continued the significant U.S. defense cooperation with Taiwan and authorized in January 2010 and September 2011 – despite strong Chinese protests – the sale of arms, equipment and training to the ROC worth more than $12 bn.; U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell accordingly testified in October 2011 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that such “a total of over $12 billion in sales (…) [has been; J.V.] more than any comparable two-year period since the passage of the TRA. (…) Our decision (…) underscores our commitment to meet the obligations spelled out in the Taiwan Relations Act. (…) With this defensive capability, Taiwan will be able to resist intimidation and coercion and engage with the mainland with continued confidence” (USDOS/Campbell 2011a; USDOS/Russel 2014b; USDOS/Moy 2014). Till the end of 2014, the Obama administration’s approved arms packages to the ROC thereby included inter alia further Patriot PAC-3 air-defense systems/missiles, four Perry-class frigates, 60

4.1 The Taiwan Issue

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UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, two Osprey-class minehunter vessels, as well as a modernization program for the ROC’s aging 145 F-16 A/B fighters297, 298 (USDOD 2014: 57; 2011: 48; SIPRI 2015; USDOS/Campbell 2011a; IISS 2016: 306; 2013: 274f.; Kan 2014b: I; 9; 24f.; 45f.; 59; Panda 2014). U.S. (issue-specific and variable) accommodative behavior towards the PRC – while continuing major arms sales and defense cooperation with the ROC – seem hence to rather reflect U.S. strategic power politics and a respective focus on preserving the status quo in the Taiwan issue. What is more, Sino-U.S. military tensions and incidents peaked recurrently also in the era of cross-Strait détente after the March 2008 election, and the January 2012 re-election, of ROC President Ma Ying-jeou (Kan/ Morrison 2014: I; 1f.; USDOD 2011: 56; IISS 2010: 378f.; Kan 2014c: 2832; 35; 74f.; 81; Mastro 2011; Christensen 2011: 54f.; Starr 2013). Besides incidents for instance in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 between PRC and U.S. (military) aircraft and vessels in China’s vicinity, one may also mention the Sino-U.S.-ROC June 2011 incident, where Taiwanese F-16 jets intercepted Chinese Su-27 fighters that had crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait when confronting a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft (Kan/Morrison 2014: I; 1f.; USDOD 2011: 56; IISS 2010: 378f.; Kan 2014c: 28-32; 35; 74f.; 81; Mastro 2011; Christensen 2011: 54f.; Starr 2013; Whitlock 2014; Sciutto/Ellis 2015; Zand 2016). As elaborated, Sino-U.S.(-ROC) military tensions and incidents though evidently support the deduced neorealist hypotheses of strategic power political interaction.

297 Probably to prevent severe tensions in the Taiwan issue (and in Sino-U.S. relations), the United States has though so far not authorized Taiwan’s request since 2006 for 66 new F-16 C/D aircraft or other advanced fighter planes (IISS 2013: 274f.; 2012: 206; 2011: 205; 2010: 380; Kan 2014b: I; 20-25; 43; 45; Kan/Morrison 2014: 26). 298 As concerning most approved U.S. arms deals with the ROC, Taiwan has not bought all the items offered in the defense packages of the Obama administration. It has so far inter alia acquired Patriot PAC-3 air-defense systems/missiles, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, the two Osprey-class minehunter vessels, as well as the modernization program for its 145 F-16 fighter jets (SIPRI 2015; Kan 2014b: 9f.; 16-18).

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Notwithstanding Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s efforts for improved cross-Strait politico-economic ties, the United States and the ROC leadership coped also with Taiwan’s potential role in the U.S. strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific; respectively, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell made it clear in October 2011 that “today, we are working to rebalance America’s foreign policy toward Asia. (…) An important part of this turn to Asia is maintaining a robust and multidimensional unofficial relationship with Taiwan and (…) strong and enduring commitment to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. (…) Building a more robust and diversified relationship with Taiwan is reflective of our broader approach to the Asia-Pacific; this relationship also advances many of our economic and security interests in the region. In particular, our management of U.S.-Taiwan relations will have a great impact on the way our partners view us across the Asia-Pacific region” (USDOS/Campbell 2011a; USDOS/Moy 2014; USDOS/Russel 2014b; Kan/Morrison 2014: I; 1f.; 14f.). Regarding the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia”, Campbell hence brought out the persistent strategic significance of Taiwan (and of the Taiwan issue) for the United States – supporting rather neorealist anticipations; at the same time, he expressed strong U.S. concern over “[t]he PRC’s unnecessary and counterproductive military [missile; J.V.] build-up across the Strait” (USDOS/Campbell 2011a; Clinton 2011: 57; 63). Similarly, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kin Moy highlighted in March 2014 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that “strengthening our long-standing friendship with the people on Taiwan remains a key element of the U.S. strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. Our enduring relationship under the Taiwan Relations Act represents a unique asset for the United States and is an important multiplier of our influence in the region” (USDOS/Moy 2014). Moy’s emphasis on Taiwan’s value within the U.S. strategic rebalance and for U.S. influence in the Asia-Pacific thereby clearly corroborates the deduced neorealist hypothesis of U.S. strategic power politics (USDOS/Moy 2014; Clinton 2011: 57; 63). Last but not least, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel made it clear in April 2014 before the Senate Subcommittee on East Asian and

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Pacific Affairs that “the United States supports and encourages improvements in cross-Strait relations, albeit at a pace acceptable to the people on both sides. Strong United States support for Taiwan autonomy also helps give our friends in Taiwan the confidence to strengthen their crossStrait relations” (USDOS/Russel 2014b; emphasis added). Additionally, pointing to China’s economic and military (expenditure) rise as well as to PLA (missile) deployments and maneuvers with a Taiwan contingency background, Russel urged the ROC (just as the George W. Bush administration had done for years) “to invest sufficiently in a professional military force that uses asymmetry, innovation, and other defensive advantages to deter potential attempts at coercion or aggression” (USDOS/ Russel 2014b). Publicly stated U.S. (probably also longer-term) support for ROC autonomy and persistent U.S. pressure on Taiwan to strengthen its defense capabilities (and budget) thereby (again) rather support the derived neorealist hypothesis of U.S. strategic power politics towards China in the Taiwan issue. The U.S. welcoming of the historic November 2015 meeting between PRC President Xi Jinping and ROC President Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore (in the run-up to the January 2016 ROC presidential/general elections) remains thereby (still) consistent with both neoliberal and neorealist anticipations; U.S. Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby pointed out that “[t]he United States has a deep and abiding interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and we encourage further progress by both sides toward building ties, reducing tensions, and promoting stability on the basis of dignity and respect” (USDOS/Kirby 2015b; Forsythe 2015; Bodeen 2015; Ramzy 2015). In December 2015 (and thus deliberately before the January 2016 ROC presidential/general elections), the Obama administration then approved a further $1.8 bn. weapons sales package to the ROC, comprising inter alia two Perry-class frigates, amphibious assault vehicles, and anti-tank/anti-aircraft missiles; although rather moderate in scale, the announced U.S.-ROC arms deal sparked strong opposition from China (which even summoned a senior U.S. diplomat and threatened sanctions against involved U.S. defense companies) (USDOS/Kirby 2015a; Sridharan 2015; Forsythe 2015; China Daily 2015;

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC 2015; Paletta et al. 2016). U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby thereby pointed out that the “notification is consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act and our support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. There’s no change to our longstanding One China policy (…) the Chinese can react to this as they see fit. This is nothing new. Again, it’s a clear-eyed, sober view of an assessment of Taiwan’s defense needs, and that’s what drove this. There’s no need for it to have any derogatory effect on our relationship with China, just like there was no need in the past for it to ever have that effect on China” (USDOS/Kirby 2015a). As anticipated by neorealism, a certain extent of U.S. strategic power politics (inter alia in the form of continued U.S. sales of advanced weapons and equipment to its still “quasi-ally” ROC) and (strategic) tensions between the United States and China seemed hence to persist in the Taiwan issue. Finally (and in line with both neoliberal and neorealist predictions), after the January 2016 election of DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen as ROC president, the United States urged for restraint by all sides; while congratulating Tsai on her election victory, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby made it at the same time clear that “[w]e share with the Taiwan people a profound interest in the continuation of cross-Strait peace and stability. (…) We hope that President Ma’s administration and the incoming administration will work constructively to ensure a smooth transition and continue to promote peace and stability in the region” (USDOS/Kirby 2016b; Page/Hsu/Dou 2016). Given strong warnings by PRC officials and state media against a Tsai Ing-wen/DDP course towards (formal) ROC independence as well as reported PLA live-fire/amphibious landing exercises opposite Taiwan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought to calm cross-Strait tensions during his January 2016 visit to Beijing; at the meeting with PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Kerry thus emphasized that since Taiwan “[has] just had an election and a new party has won, the United States does reaffirm the three communiques which have been the basis of our policy. We remain committed to a one-China policy. But we encourage cross-straits dia-

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logue for resolution of that issue” (USDOS/Kerry 2016b; Denyer 2016; Bo 2016; Ramzy 2016; Bosco 2016). The March 2016 U.S. Department of State authorization of the sale of two U.S. Navy (Perry-class) frigates to Taiwan (as part of the Obama administration’s December 2015 arms deal with the ROC) yet evoked once again harsh PRC criticism and Sino-U.S. diplomatic frictions (Tian 2016; Yu/Walsh 2016). In December 2016 and January 2017, Sino-U.S. tensions then reincreased significantly after U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump had taken a telephone call (on December 2nd) from ROC President Tsai Ing-wen; this call (where the ROC leader had offered her congratulations and the interlocutors had “noted the close economic, political, and security ties that exist between Taiwan and the United States”) thereby implied the first (officially confirmed) direct conversation between a U.S. President or U.S. President-Elect and a ROC head of state since 1979 (Trump transition team, cit. in Phillips et al. 2016; Trump 2016a; 2016b; Phillips et al. 2016; Paletta et al. 2016; Collinson et al. 2016; Nicholas et al. 2017; Yuhas 2017). While Trump rejected criticism of the telephone call by stating (via Twitter) that he found it “[i]nteresting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call”, the (outgoing) Obama administration reacted immediately (Trump 2016b; Phillips et al. 2016; Paletta et al. 2016; Nicholas et al. 2017). U.S. National Security Council Spokesperson Ned Price assured towards the PRC (which finally lodged a diplomatic complaint) that there was “no change to our longstanding policy on cross-Strait issues”, and that the U.S. remained “firmly committed to our ‘one China’ policy based on the three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act” (Price, cit. in Collinson et al. 2016; Price, cit. in Paletta et al. 2016; Collinson et al. 2016; Reuters 2016). At the end of December 2016, U.S. PresidentElect Donald Trump though left it open if he would meet ROC President Tsai Ing-wen during his tenure (“[i]t would be a little bit inappropriate, from a protocol standpoint, but we’ll see”), and then pointed out in January 2017 (one week before his inauguration) that inter alia due to PRC trade and currency issues, “[e]verything is under negotiation including One China” (Trump, cit. in Chung 2017; Trump, cit. in Nicholas et al.

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2017; Chung 2017; Nicholas et al. 2017; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC/Lu 2017; Shepherd 2017; Phillips 2017; Smith/Phillips 2017). This created new tensions with the PRC; furthermore, despite strong PRC condemnation, ROC President Tsai Ing-wen had been allowed by the outgoing Obama administration and the Trump transition team to make stopovers in Houston and San Francisco on her way to, and from, January 2017 state visits in four Central American countries; ultimately, she was thereby even able to meet inter alia Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz (in Houston), and visited the headquarters of Twitter in San Francisco (Yuhas 2017; Chung 2017; Phillips 2017; Connor 2017). What is more, beyond the diplomatic arena, growing frictions in the Taiwan issue entailed also once again significant PRC-ROC and Sino-U.S. strategic tensions – and coercive diplomacy involving military threat, (verbal) deterrence, shows of force/maneuvers and (limited) power projection. After several Chinese military aircraft had in December 2016 (again) participated in long-range maneuvers that implied flying around Taiwan, and the PLA Navy’s Liaoning aircraft carrier strike group had been sent (also in December 2016) into the South China Sea to conduct live-fire drills close to Taiwan (and then ultimately passed through the Taiwan Strait/around Taiwan), the United States decided to significantly bolster its strategic position in the Asia-Pacific: in early January 2017, in addition to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier permanently based at Yokosuka, Japan (that was though to enter selected restricted availability), the United States deployed a second – the USS Carl Vinson – aircraft carrier strike group (including Aegis guided-missile destroyers and cruisers) to the western Pacific, which arrived there around the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump (on January 20th, 2017) (Reuters 2016; Voice of America 2017; Pan 2016; EFE 2017; BBC 2017; Chung 2017; Gady 2017; Forsythe/Buckley 2017; Johnson 2017; Lockie 2017; Smith/Phillips 2017; U.S. Navy 2017). Last but not least, the U.S. invitation (and then acceptance) – despite strong PRC opposition – of a ROC delegation (of officials and lawmakers headed by former Taiwanese Premier and DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun) at the inauguration ceremony of U.S. President

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Donald Trump raised once more Sino-U.S. frictions (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC/Hua 2017; Haas 2017; Xinhuanet 2017). Evidently, U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump’s “rough diplomacy” towards China in December 2016 and January 2017 contradicts neoliberal anticipations of the United States pursuing economically based cooperation with the PRC in the Taiwan issue; significant Sino-U.S. tensions and strategic interaction, and particularly U.S. (carrier strike group) force projection to the region thereby clearly confirm the derived neorealist hypothesis that the U.S. foreign policy behavior (towards the PRC) would be marked by strategic power politics. Summing up, while maintaining the (Western) weapons embargo on the PRC, every U.S. administration in the post-Cold War era has continued the defense cooperation with the ROC, and approved significant sales of arms, equipment and training to Taiwan. Between 1992 and 2016, for instance, the United States provided weapons to the ROC worth more than $17 billion299 (SIPRI 2017a). Sino-U.S. trust levels have often been moderate to low, military-to-military contacts have been interrupted several times, and military incidents and tensions have peaked regularly in the Taiwan Strait and the South China, East China, and Yellow Sea (for instance in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) (USDOD 2011: 56; IISS 2010: 378f.; Kan 2014c: 28-32; 35; 40; 54; 65f.; 72-75; 81; Mastro 2011; Christensen 2011: 54f.; Globalresearch.ca 2008; Fravel 2008: 137f.; Mann/Pine 1994; Globalsecurity.org 2014; Gertz 2006; Starr 2013; Whitlock 2014; Perlez 2016; Sciutto/Ellis 2015; Zand 2016; Reuters 2016; Pan 2016; Voice of America 2017; EFE 2017; BBC 2017; Chung 2017; Johnson 2017; Gady 2017; Forsythe/Buckley 2017; Lockie 2017; Smith/Phillips 2017). Moreover, the United States has recurrently applied coercive diplomacy, involving military threat, shows of force/(counter-)maneuvers, and (carrier strike group) force projection to deter Chinese coercive/military action in the Taiwan issue and prevent crisis escalation. The United States thereby

299 The figure is estimated in constant (1990) prices (SIPRI 2017a).

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displayed its hegemonic role as the primary security manager in the AsiaPacific, and its military commitment to Taiwan not hesitantly, but resolutely (IISS 1996: 16f.; Wu 1996: 50; Khalilzad et al. 1999: xii). Regarding the 1995/1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, after a December 1995 U.S. aircraft carrier pa