An often-heard explanation is that China is simply trying to catch up with Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines by creating a strong physical presence in the South China Sea. However, if the purpose is simply to make a point about sovereignty, it is unclear why the building projects were executed with such speed and scale.
The US has misjudged China, its intention and its role. It based its judgement on its own historical experience as an expansionistic empire and its deeply rooted great power ideology, and not on China’s diplomatic performance in the region.
The Brussels attack and last year’s terrorist attacks in Paris have the potential to sway the shocked governments of Western Europe to offer greater support for China’s ongoing struggle against Uighur jihadists in Xinjiang.
The discussion and debate on the South China Sea dispute has fallen into a deadlock between two monological contexts, generally between Chinese commenters and their counterparts from the US and its allies.
The issue of the greatest concern is Xi Jinping’s attendance at the Nuclear Security Summit which will be held from March 31 to April 1 in Washington, DC, as well as the Obama-Xi meeting on that occasion.
More than a month has passed since North Korea’s January 6 nuclear test, but no sanctions have been adopted, due largely to the differences between China and the United States over the severity, scope, and the very purpose of punitive measures.