Coercion in the East China Sea

by Chris Zappone

A line drawn on Chinese coercion in the East China Sea. On the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Bali, the US, Japan and Australia issued a statement opposing:

“coercive or unilateral actions” that could change the status quo in the East China Sea [home of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Island dispute] and called on claimants to maritime disputes in the South China Sea to refrain from destabilizing actions, according to the State Department website.

The anti-coercion theme also appears in Australia’s 2013 Defence White Paper. So there is something of a theme forming here.

The Chinese have warned against the US, Japan and Australia using their alliance as an excuse to intervene in the dispute.

Because the strategy from China is to deal with each country unilaterally. Basically, to leverage China’s scale in each direct relationship. The strategy of all other nation’s, including the US, is to rely on alliances.