Power Shifts and Escalation: Explaining China's Use of Force in Territorial Disputes

  title={Power Shifts and Escalation: Explaining China's Use of Force in Territorial Disputes},
  author={M. Taylor Fravel},
  journal={International Security},
  • M. T. Fravel
  • Published 10 January 2008
  • Political Science
  • International Security
Although China has been involved in twenty-three territorial disputes with its neighbors since 1949, it has used force in only six of them. The strength of a state's territorial claim, defined as its bargaining power in a dispute, offers one explanation for why and when states escalate territorial disputes to high levels of violence. This bargaining power depends on the amount of contested land that each side controls and on the military power that can be projected over the entire area under… 
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