The Pragmatic Dragon
372 pages, 6 x 9
18 maps
Release Date:01 Jul 2015
Release Date:15 Jan 2015
Release Date:15 Jan 2015

The Pragmatic Dragon

China’s Grand Strategy and Boundary Settlements

UBC Press
China shares borders and asserts vast maritime claims with over a dozen countries, and it has had boundary disputes with nearly all of them – often rejecting the location of boundary lines or arguing they weren’t legally established by treaties or historical documents. 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 uncovers a legacy not in keeping with the fearful image of China on the world stage. Rather, he finds the country’s territorial negotiations have been pragmatic and strategic, with China demonstrating willingness to compromise and even forgo historical claims in order to establish legitimate boundaries. 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. As China’s presence in world politics continues to grow, this book provides important insights and new perspectives on its foreign policy.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations and contemporary Chinese studies.

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
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
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
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.

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

Find what you’re looking for...

Free shipping on online orders over $40

Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters

Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.