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Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 15 Dec 2017
US pressure, both public and private, is forcing each prospective member as well as other players to face some very tough decisions regarding their future relations with China. To the chagrin of the US, their decisions are neither easy nor clear cut.
By Mark J. Valencia - 29 Nov 2017
In the wake of China’s spectacular advances on many fronts, economic, technological, military, diplomatic and others, haters are grasping at straws of hope for its failure. The rising chorus of whistling by the graveyard comes on the heels of Trump’s first visit to Asia.
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.