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Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 05 Dec 2017
The Trump administration has re-raised the decade-old geopolitical concept of the “Indo-Pacific” region and is proposing and pushing a so-called “Quad,” a potential security arrangement among the four large democracies of India, Australia, Japan, and the US.
By Mark J. Valencia - 29 Nov 2017
In the joint statement of the US President and the Vietnamese President, the longest paragraph was the one that addressed the South China Sea issues. The joint statement with the Philippine President essentially repeated phrases from the US-Vietnam’s joint statement.
As ASEAN and its dialogue partners gather in the Philippines for their annual political and security gab-fest, the East Asian Summit, there is a grudging but growing recognition that US policy regarding the South China Sea imbroglio has failed.
Water quality will affect communications with China’s nuclear powered and armed ballistic missile submarines. These submarines are its principal deterrent to a first nuclear strike against it.
According to Bill Gertz in the Washington Free Beacon, “the Chinese government recently unveiled a new legal tactic to promote Beijing’s aggressive claim to own most of the strategic South China Sea.” Gertz calls this “new” claim the “Four Sha.”
On October 10, 2017, the US executed yet another FONOP challenging what it says are illegal Chinese claims in the South China Sea. So why does the US Navy deem it necessary to keep repeating specific kinetic challenges to the same specific claim?
Lawfare is “a form of asymmetric warfare, consisting of using the legal system against an enemy, such as by damaging or delegitimizing them, tying up their time or winning a public relations victory.” China and the US both use it with regard to the South China Sea.
On the heels of North Korea’s 3 September test, the US is seeking UN Security Council authorization to use military force to interdict, board, and inspect vessels on the high seas that are suspected of carrying UN-prohibited items to and from North Korea.