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South China Sea: military agreements and maritime disputes

Grant number: 17/23629-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2018
Effective date (End): December 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - International Politics
Principal researcher:Sérgio Luiz Cruz Aguilar
Grantee:Renato Matheus Mendes Fakhoury
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências (FFC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Marília. Marília , SP, Brazil


The South China Sea represents one of the most important trade routes in the contemporary world, and its geostrategic importance goes beyond the regional scope. An important stage in maritime, territorial and aerial disputes originated at the end of World War II, this territory represents the clash between the projection of power of some of the world's major powers and has an active relevance in global politics. Although all the states surrounding the sea have some form of claim over the region, the disputes by two complexes of islands, the Spratly and the Paracels, stand out. The southernmost Spratley are claimed by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, while the Paracels, located further north, are disputed mainly by China and Vietnam. Given the Chinese power, one can observe change in the relations of the other contestant countries, that have been establishing military alliances with the intention to increase their military power. In this way, the research aims to analyze the relationships between the main countries involved in the dispute, especially the search for support in states outside the region and the establishment of alliances in order to increase their capacities. The research will follow the method of Process Tracing, used in order to have a greater understanding about the motivations, intentions and actions of the States involved related to the increase of capacities (causal dynamics), and that produced the current scenario of tension. (AU)

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