China's Crisis Behavior: Political Survival and Foreign Policy after the Cold War

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He, Kai
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2016
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Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, China has experienced several notable interstate crises: the 1999 'embassy bombing' incident, the 2001 EP-3 mid-air collision with a United States aircraft, and the Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute with Japan. China's response to each incident, however, has varied considerably. Drawing from a wealth of primary sources and interviews, this book offers a systematic analysis of China's crisis behavior in order to identify the factors which determine when Chinese leaders decide to escalate or scale down their response to crises. Inspired by prospect theory - a Nobel Prize-winning behavioral psychology theory - Kai He proposes a 'political survival prospect' model as a means to understand the disparities in China's behavior. He argues that China's response depends on a combination of three factors that shape leaders' views on the prospects for their 'political survival status', including the severity of the crisis, leaders' domestic authority, and international pressure.

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International relations

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