China shares borders with many countries and is involved in border and island sovereignty disputes with a number of its neighbors. In Hu Jintao''s governing period, almost 90 percent of the border disputes can be settled. On the contrary, the dispute over sovereignty in the East China Sea and the South China Sea have increased rapidly. Before Hu got the position of the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, China has signed "the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" with the Member States of ASEAN. However, Hu didn''t promote to sign the "Code of Conduct on the South China Sea" vigorously and didn''t take act in occupying any Nansha islands.
Research motive of this thesis is to analyze Hu''s highest policy guidelines and mode of action toward the SCS dispute in order to predict Xi''s SCS policy. Based on Andre Beaufre''s Strategy of Action theory, the author''s aim is to find the significance of the SCS towards the development of China''s national strategy. Then predict possible action in the future.
As a whole, during Hu''s reign, the SCS strategy emphasized on defensive strategies while the strategic actions emphasized on the offensive strategy. Obviosly, China''s main consideration when dealing with the SCS issue is to meet and support national development.Even if it damaged China''s outh China Sea interests, it helps to achieve the highest political goals in the the period of strategic opportunities. For China, it is still a successful strategic actions to expand freedom of movement. In addition, there is a complete strategic action toward the SCS dispute for Hu which leads to the highest political goals.
According to Andre Beaufre strategic theory, China fully activates exterior manoeuvre and its internal action focuses on psychological level. Furthermore, China''s exterior counter-manoeuvre focuses on differentiation and interior counter-manoeuvre upgrade smoothly. However, the legal principle constraint of the freedom of action caused by lack of offensive power, "joint development" becoming a mere slogan, the contradiction between China and the US, and the concern over the rise of the military power which is worrying neighboring countries are the reasons that the result is less than expected.
After Xi Jinping came into power, the situation in the SCS changes and new future variables emerge, including Xi''s steadily growing power, aggressive strategic actions becoming flexible and diversify. These indicates that the SCS cooperation becoming an important bargaining chip for cross-strait issue. Xi''s South China Sea strategic action will be more unrestrained.