A recent article in The National Interest posed the question “Are [US] Freedom of Navigation Operations in East Asia enough?” If FONOPs are to demonstrate non-acquiescence to what the US views as a violation of international law, they may be unnecessary.
The underlying cause of the South China Sea dispute between the US and China is about dominance in Asia-Pacific and maintenance of the current world order. One influential factor is the abundance of natural resources in the South China Sea.
A very distinguished unofficial “task force” of US-China experts has issued a rather alarming report regarding the China threat to US security overall and in the South China Sea in particular. The group suggests that the US pressures China to comply with “global norms”.
The second Trump-Kim summit is likely the last window of opportunity for real progress in the North Korea denuclearization drama and also in establishing the basis for an incremental normalization of relations between Washington and Pyongyang.
Given the first Trump-Kim summit’s lack of details on the denuclearization process, special attention should be given to the possible compromise between two sides such as the reciprocal responses from the US if North Korea is willing to close its nuclear facilities.
The announcement of Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi as the site of the second Trump-Kim summit has truly marked the Southeast Asian nation’s coming of age. It shows that Vietnam has truly come into prominence on the global stage.
US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson met with senior Chinese military leaders in Beijing in January 2019. The discussions focused primarily on how to manage increasingly dangerous encounters between vessels and aircraft of the two navies.
Since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, Philippine relations with China have experienced a remarkable renaissance. Duterte’s accommodating policy towards the Chinese government has however caused increasing anxiety among the Filipino public.