US and Chinese interests at play in the South China Sea Conflict
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This paper explores the domestic interests that China and the United States have in the South China Sea (SCS) conflict, and why it is important to approach international conflict from this perspective. This is approached through three chapters dedicated to exploring the regional and international dimensions of the South China Sea conflict, China’s domestic interests in the SCS, and US’ domestic interests in the SCS. On a regional level matters related to SCS disputes are handled through ASEAN and ASEAN relations with China. However, due to China’s obstinate claims, ASEAN members have looked towards the West for support. This paper therefore further researches the domestic interests the US has in the South China Sea and why it offers its support to these members. The interests are threefold: economic, military, and political. In comparing US and Chinese domestic interests, this paper finds that the countries have conflicting interests which could eventually lead to further escalation of the SCS conflict.
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