The Pragmatic Dragon

9780774826358: Hardback
Release Date: 15th January 2015

9780774826365: Paperback
Release Date: 1st July 2015

9780774826372: PDF
Release Date: 15th January 2015

18 maps

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 372

Series Contemporary Chinese Studies

UBC Press

The Pragmatic Dragon

China’s Grand Strategy and Boundary Settlements

Presenting a historical survey of China’s boundary disputes and settlements, Hyer demonstrates that its approach to territorial disputes has been pragmatic and strategic.
Hardback / £64.00
Paperback / £21.99
PDF / £27.00

China shares borders and asserts vast maritime claims with over a dozen countries, and it has had boundary disputes with nearly all of them. Yet in the 1960s, when tensions were escalating with the Soviet Union, India, and the United States, China moved to conclude boundary agreements with these neighbours peacefully. In this wide-ranging study of China’s boundary disputes and settlements, Eric Hyer finds China’s behaviour was strategic and even demonstrated willingness to compromise. This behaviour in earlier periods is pertinent to the ongoing territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. The Pragmatic Dragon analyzes these disputes and the strategic rationale behind China’s behaviour, providing important insights into the foreign policy of a nation whose presence on the world stage continues to grow.

Part 1: The Strategic and Historical Context

Introduction: Grand Strategy and Boundary Settlements

1 The Historical Legacy

Part 2: The Sino-Indian Dimension

2 Sino-Indian Relations and Boundary Disputes

3 The Sino-Burmese Boundary Settlement

4 Boundary Settlements with Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan

5 The Sino-Pakistani Boundary Settlement

6 The Sino-Afghan Boundary Settlement

Part 3: The Sino-Soviet/Russian Dimension

7 Sino-Soviet/Russian Relations and the Boundary Settlement

8 The Sino-Mongolian Boundary Settlement

9 The Sino-Japanese Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute

10 The Sino-Vietnamese Territorial and Boundary Settlements

Part 4: Contemporary Settlements and Disputes

11 Boundary Settlements with Eurasian States

12 The South China Sea Territorial Disputes

Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index

Eric Hyer is an associate professor of political science and the coordinator for Asian studies at Brigham Young University. He was a visiting scholar at the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing from 1995 to 1996.

In The Pragmatic Dragon, Hyer skillfully weaves together many complex cases of China’s territorial disputes and settlements, placing them in his realist analytic framework, to identify the causal relations between the structural variables of the international system and China’s changing behavior in these disputes and settlements. His book attests to the increasing vigor in the study of Chinese foreign and security policy, and will be a highly welcome addition.

-- Suisheng Zhao, Director of the Center for China-US Cooperation at the University of Denver, and Editor of Journal of Contemporary China

The Pragmatic Dragon’s signal strength is its comprehensive and detailed treatment of various Chinese border issues. Hyer knows the details well and his presentation of each of these negotiations is extremely valuable. Most specialists in Chinese foreign affairs, as well as advanced undergraduates or graduates in foreign relations in Asia, will want this book.

- Robert Sutter, author of Foreign Relations of the PRC: The Legacies and Constraints of China's International Politics since 1949

The Pragmatic Dragon significantly advances the reader’s knowledge of China’s reactions and counter-measures to its boundary disputes. Moreover, the case studies present an intriguing account of why and how China made compromises on its border disputes. It is a book worth reading for those with great curiosity and questions about China’s boundary settlements. This book may also interest political economists, historians, and general readers concerned with China’s response to the shift of the global balance of power.

Kai Chen, Xiamen University, China
Pacific Affairs