Naval War College Review


As the frequency and scope of China’s paramilitary and military presence activities in the East and South China Seas have increased in the last few years, officials and analysts inside and outside China have worried more and more about the potential for military crises erupting between China and other actors. Given the perceived high stakes of many of these potential disputes—they touch on sovereignty, territorial integrity, national dignity, and development resources—some observers are concerned about the risks of escalation to military conflict, whether deliberate or accidental.1 Adding to the worries is uncertainty about China’s commitment to crisis management and escalation control.2