An Empirical Study of the U.S. Approach to Chinese Trade Practices, Military Modernization and Territorial Disputes in


The U.S.-China relationship is undeniably one of the most important economic and security relationships of the 21st century. Since Barack Obama took office in 2009, increasing emphasis has been put on ending the two wars in the Middle East and to redirect focus towards the increasingly important Asia Pacific region. The U.S. relationship with China has proven difficult to manage, and major differing opinions on economics, politics and security have contributed to tensions between the two powers. By employing mainly securitization theory and theories of hegemony, this thesis aims to illustrate how the U.S. approach to China’s military modernization and economic development, in some cases, has led to the securitization of important strategic parts of China’s rise. Through empirical analysis focusing on the cases of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, China’s anti-access capabilities, and currency and trade practices, I argue that the unique historical context has created conditions that have put the United States in a vulnerable position, which has, in turn, facilitated the securitization of China’

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