In 2010 and 2012, there were two disputes occurring in the Diaoyutai Islands (aka Diaoyu Islands in China and Senkaku Islands in Japan) which profoundly impacted on the diplomatic relations between People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Japan. In 2010, one Chinese fishing boat collided against one Japan Coast Guard vessel, and in 2012, Japanese government purchased some parts of the Diaoyutai Islands and make them “nationalization.”In response, China conducted a series of diplomatic and economic measures to pressure Japan and condemned Japan which broke the unspoken agreements in putting these disputes aside.
However, China did not use military forces to resolve the disputes. Rather than that, it adopted the tactic of dispatching the maritime enforcement to patrol Diaoyutai waters, breaking the status quo of Japan’s exclusive administrative power in the past. The development affected the regional security situation with very huge consequence. Why China adopted non-military means to counter Japan other than took the islands by military forces is an issue worthy of study.
In order to understand the mode of action in dealing with China’s maritime sovereignty dispute, this dissertation attempts to examine the view of French strategists General Andre Beaufre’s “Action Strategy” theory and to analyze of China’s policy on Diaoyutai disputes, including China’s thorough political actions, the overall strategic directions, and the strategic actions. In addition, through the reaction of Japan, the United States and other countries in the region, this study analyzes whether or not China really achieves its goals.
This dissertation hopes to study Chinese action on the Diaoyutai disputes, to understand China’s handling of the disputes, actions over sovereignty disputes and predicts the future trends of China’s sovereignty disputes with neighboring countries.
This study argues that China adopts “non-military means as its core, military means as its assistances” which matches the “Total strategy action in the indirect ‘mode’” with the Strategy of Action.China tried to use “non-military means” to erode and consume Japan’s patience and would like to change Japan''s policies on disputes. Nevertheless, China may “worth the candle” because of the opposite effects and interference caused by the third parties.