- Dissertation Title: Uncovering the True Intention Behind Events Associated with the Rise of China in East Asia
- Description:The ﬁrst two research topics for my dissertation are about the regional stability in the shadow of the rising China. For the first chapter, I discuss about how China signals its people owing to their disappointment to the CCP governance. The diversionary theory states that state leaders have incentives to divert domestic attention to external conflicts when facing domestic problems. Leaders can increase its probability to survive. Compared to the convention diversionary arguments, the paper argues that there is other option for authoritarian leaders when facing domestic problem. With the model on China’s choices between domestic repression and external diversionary, we argue the complimentary relations between these options on China initiated maritime disputes. For the latter issue, we turn to answer the question on how China’s neighbor signal its true intention to China. While Mainland China has significantly increased military spending since the mid-1990s, Taiwan has been cutting defense spending. The chapter puts forth an original theory to explain this puzzle. It argues that the significantly expanded cross-strait trade makes Taiwan more willing to cut defense spending to signal Mainland China that Taiwan is not an independence type. Furthermore, the paper takes an innovative approach to empirically test our theory. By investigating the determinants of Taiwanese legislators’ pro- or anti-defense spending preferences, this study identifies the causal mechanism directly based on the actors who make decisions on the defense budget.The third topic of my dissertation is about why China continued to commit to this instrumental policy unofficially for its political goals. As an economic power, In East Asia, China has pressured Japan on territorial issues regarding to the Senkaku Islands by the export limitation on rare earth elements (REEs) to Japan since 2009. Similar implications can be found in Sino-Korean and Cross-Strait relations, such as issues on the THADD and the 1992 Consensus respectively. Of course, China did not successfully change the behavior of Japan, South Korea or Taiwan in all cases illustrated above. In this project, I contend that these sanctions are not the united will of the Beijing government but resulting from the competition between those agents within governments.
- Committee: Jun Xiang (Chair), Kusum Mundra, Carlos Seiglie, and T.Y. Wang
- Curriculum Vitae
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