The previous issue of the Monitor assessed whether, to what extent, and in what manner Beijing is becoming more assertive in promoting the concept of “core interests.” This essay complements that analysis by examining Chinese statements and actions with regard to China’s entire maritime periphery, from the Yellow Sea to the South China Sea, with regard to both disputed and undisputed maritime territories. It assesses whether, to what degree, and in what ways the PRC has become more assertive along its maritime periphery in recent years. It also assesses the external and domestic forces motivating Beijing to become more or less assertive over time and the prospects for Chinese assertiveness with regard to maritime sovereignty issues in the future.

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