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Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 20 Dec 2017
In its focus on China’s actions in the South China Sea, AMTI “largely neglects the lack of self-restraint and military activities of other claimants like the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam,” as well as by the US. Its recent report continues to reflect this bias.
PacNet, published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, recently carried a debate between Stanford scholar Donald Emmerson and Harvard-affiliated scholar Andrew Taffer focusing on the US practice of “fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows.”
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?