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Fishing Militia, the Securitization of Fishery and the South China Sea Dispute

Fishing Militia, the Securitization of Fishery and the South China Sea Dispute Abstract: With fishery incidents emerging as a major threat to peace and stability in the South China Sea, a better understanding of the underlying causes of these incidents becomes important. Mainstream media, and a substantial body of academic literature, attribute these fishing incidents, and the growing presence of Chinese fishermen in the South China Sea, to China's strategic and political motives, claiming that these fishermen are actually fishing militia. Through revisiting the prevailing fishing militia narrative, this article argues that much wider economic and social factors are at work domestically in China, and that the international and regional scenes are more complex than the picture painted by purely viewing developments with China's fishing militia in isolation. This article also makes the case that fishing disputes in the South China Sea have been heavily securitized with profound implications for the ongoing territorial and jurisdictional disputes in those waters. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Fishing Militia, the Securitization of Fishery and the South China Sea Dispute

Fishing Militia, the Securitization of Fishery and the South China Sea Dispute


Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 39, No. 2 (2017), pp. 288–314 DOI: 10.1355/cs39-2b © 2017 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic Fishing Militia, the Securitization of Fishery and the South China Sea Dispute HONGZHOU ZHANG and SAM BATEMAN With fishery incidents emerging as a major threat to peace and stability in the South China Sea, a better understanding of the underlying causes of these incidents becomes important. Mainstream media, and a substantial body of academic literature, attribute these fishing incidents, and the growing presence of Chinese fishermen in the South China Sea, to China’s strategic and political motives, claiming that these fishermen are actually fishing militia. Through revisiting the prevailing fishing militia narrative, this article argues that much wider economic and social factors are at work domestically in China, and that the international and regional scenes are more complex than the picture painted by purely viewing developments with China’s fishing militia in isolation. This article also makes the case that fishing disputes in Hongzhou Zhang is a Research Fellow with the China Programme, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Postal address: Block S4, Level B4, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798; email: ishzzhang@ntu.edu.sg. Sam Bateman is a Professorial Research Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong, and Advisor to the Maritime Security Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Postal address: 20 Coorumbong Close, Mooloolaba, Queensland 4557, Australia; email: sbateman@uow.edu.au. 02 Zhang-3P.indd 288 24/7/17 5:18 pm Fishing Militia, the Securitization of Fishery and the SCS Dispute...
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Publisher
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Copyright
Copyright © The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
ISSN
1793-284X
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: With fishery incidents emerging as a major threat to peace and stability in the South China Sea, a better understanding of the underlying causes of these incidents becomes important. Mainstream media, and a substantial body of academic literature, attribute these fishing incidents, and the growing presence of Chinese fishermen in the South China Sea, to China's strategic and political motives, claiming that these fishermen are actually fishing militia. Through revisiting the prevailing fishing militia narrative, this article argues that much wider economic and social factors are at work domestically in China, and that the international and regional scenes are more complex than the picture painted by purely viewing developments with China's fishing militia in isolation. This article also makes the case that fishing disputes in the South China Sea have been heavily securitized with profound implications for the ongoing territorial and jurisdictional disputes in those waters.

Journal

Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic AffairsInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: Aug 23, 2017

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