The American Hegemonic Responses to the U.S.-China Mid-air Plane Collision

Dexin Tian, Chin-Chung Chao


This paper examines the major documents of the American side concerning the U.S.-China mid-air plane collision incident, which occurred April 1, 2001. Through the hegemonic theoretical lens of Robert Cox’s frame of action and via the research method of hermeneutics of the selected rhetorical artifacts, we aim to shed light on the understanding of the incident and provide insightful implications for handling similar international conflicts in the future. Our findings indicate that the United States has preserved the most resourceful material capabilities and established all the necessary human institutions to implement its shared notion of American hegemony all over the world. Seeing China as a strategic competitor, the Bush administration considers it its mission to gather Chinese military and government information via military surveillance planes and obligation to guard against the rise of China in the Asia Pacific in the name of maintaining world peace and regional stability. Should the United States continue with its current grand strategy of hegemonic primacy, similar crises may occur again in Asia Pacific and potential conflicts of the same nature may arise elsewhere in the other parts of the world.

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