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Title: Constructing the China threat : a poststructural analysis of CNOOC's bid for Unocal
Author: Campion, Andrew Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 5849
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2014
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China’s rise has garnered a significant amount of attention within academic and policy circles over the last several decades. Many in the West have become wary of China and its growth and feel that a very real ‘China threat’ has emerged. To this group such a threat has cast a pall over China’s relations with its neighbours, the West, and most significantly with the United States. Because of its prevalence it is rarely acknowledged that the China threat is but one perception of China among many others. This thesis seeks to understand how the China threat has become established in Western views of China. The primary goal of this study is to understand how China has been positioned as an antagonist to the United States in particular. Orthodox IR approaches tend to utilize positivist notions of causality to explain why China’s rise poses a threat to the West. This thesis, however, challenges these positivist assumptions and demonstrates the utility of poststructuralism in examining how China has been constructed as a challenger to US interests rather than why its rise poses a threat. In order to eschew notions of China as posing an a priori threat to the US, rationalist assumptions of causality are dismissed in favour of postpositivist emphasis on discursive constructions. Poststructural discourse analysis is employed to examine the intertextual and discursive relationship between two basic discourses, the China Threat Discourse and the Energy Security Discourse. This thesis uses the case study of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s (CNOOC) failed 2005 bid for California’s Unocal Corp. to show how the intertextual relationship between the basic discourses helps to position China as a threat to US interests. The thesis examines official and non-official US discourse to demonstrate how poststructural discourse analysis is instrumental in exposing the construction of China as a threat to the US.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available