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.
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.