The Newsletter 68 Summer 2014

Matches and gunpowder: the political situation in the East China Sea

Matthijs de Boer

Reviewed publications:
Bush, R.C. 2010. The Perils of Proximity: China-Japan Security Relations, Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, ISBN: 9780815704744 (hb)
Bush, R.C. 2013. Uncharted Strait: The Future of China-Taiwan Relations, Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, ISBN: 9780815723844 (hb)

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has unquestionably risen to prominence in many different ways. Over the past decades China has firmly established itself as a major actor in both regional and global aff airs, much to the discomfort of its neighbours and nemeses: Japan and Taiwan. The balance on the economic, political and military scales is shifting ever further in favour of the Middle Kingdom, which has already resulted in episodes of intense friction (e.g., the reignited Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute in 2011). Indeed, old grudges and a new division of power harness the potential to threaten regional security across the East China Sea. In his works, Richard Bush discerns the causes of contemporary and (expected) future friction through the role each actor plays, while addressing the possible scenarios for crises and solutions. As such, he provides an indispensible framework for those interested in East Asian political aff airs.