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By L. Buszynski

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Extra info for Asia Pacific Security - Values and Identity (Routledgecurzon Security in Asia Series, 2)

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They could also serve as bases for further expansion, but China’s weakness was insufficient air support. The other claimants, except the Philippines, could call upon ground-based air support which would hinder Chinese moves beyond the Philippine claim area. ASEAN foreign ministries have stressed the bargaining strategy approach, the assumption being that China will eventually compromise with the region over a secondary issue. According to this approach China’s real interest is in the oil and gas reserves of the South China Sea and sovereignty is used as part of an elaborate bargaining strategy to gain the lion’s share of the area’s resources before they are exploited by contiguous states.

40 While he was in charge of the navy new category vessels such as the Luhu, and the Jiangwei class frigate were produced. Soon after the 1988 clashes with Vietnam in March 1989, the PRC navy formed the South China Sea frontline HQ. 41 Vice-admiral Zhang Lianzhing also identified the need to protect China’s territorial waters and stated that the fight for “ocean rights” would become more intense in the future. 42 There were also serious discussions about the purchase or construction of an aircraft carrier to provide air support on location in the South China Sea.

Lee Teng-hui began to act as though Taiwan were already separate from the mainland, but he was still careful about its public definition. 65 In 1991 the DDP announced a policy of joining the UN as a separate entity and by 1993 the notion was being promoted by government. The application was made to the UN in 1994 and was then sent to the UN Agenda Committee where it was opposed by Beijing. Lee announced a “Go South” policy in February 1994 according to which Taiwan would expand trade and investment relations with South-East Asia while banning direct trade and investment with China.

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