Tropical Geography ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (7): 1201-1213.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003510

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Political Interpretation of Building a Maritime Power: An Analysis Based on Attention Allocation

Chao Ma()   

  1. Maritime Silk Road Research Institute, HaiNan Normal University, Haikou 571158, China
  • Received:2022-03-29 Revised:2022-05-04 Online:2022-07-05 Published:2022-07-23


In 2012, with the claimant countries of the South China Sea dispute stepping up their occupation of marine resources and the deep involvement of foreign powers in the South China Sea issue, the surrounding maritime situation became increasingly complex and there were multiple conflicts of interest caused by the continuous erosion of China's maritime rights. In order to effectively exercise sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the exclusive economic zones and continental shelf in various sea areas, including the South China Sea, and shape a peaceful and stable maritime security environment, China has launched a national maritime strategy with the theme of "building maritime power." Current research on the building of maritime power has paid greater attention to the concept analysis, development goals, and implementation path of maritime power, mainly focusing on the "ought" aspect of maritime power, with little attention to the "actual" aspect. Based on the attention analysis framework of leaders in attention politics, this study analyzes the launch and implementation of the national marine strategy of building maritime power after 2012 and explains the mechanism of building maritime power. Given this background, this research shows the following: (1) The limited attention of leaders and governments is the mediating variable between changes in the international system structure and the generation of state behavior. (2) Changes in the international situation, local government competition, emergency stimulation, and previous political experience are the trigger factors for building maritime power, causing the attention of leaders and governments to shift. (3) Leaders promote policy implementation through speeches, instructions, inspections, and other activities, which are the basis for measuring the attention of leaders and governments for building a maritime power. Research on the mechanism of building a maritime power shows: (1) Following the reconfiguration of the national maritime strategy, the attention of the leaders and governments continues to play a role in the implementation process of the new maritime strategy. (2) Leaders accelerate the operation of maritime strategies through their own activities such as inspections and instructions. (3) Building maritime power has been promoted to a high level through the establishment of high-level institutions. (4) Public and social attention should be fixed through the continuous agenda-setting of maritime affairs by the state media. This mechanism has effectively guided and locked the focus of China's attention on maritime affairs, thus effectively reshaping the traditional strategic culture and social cognition that China values land over the sea.

Key words: maritime power, attention, national maritime strategy, attention allocation, marine affairs

CLC Number: 

  • D820