South Korea is feeling the heat, not only from the heat waves of summer but also from the heated debates surrounding President Park Geun-hye’s July 8 announcement of the decision to deploy THAAD. The nation has been polarized between those saying “nay” and “aye.”
The arbitration proceedings that the Philippines initiated against China more than three years ago regarding issues in the South China Sea should soon reach its end, and the arbitral tribunal is expected to rule shortly.
The fundamental guarantee of the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is not the US or its military presence, but China, the coastal states, and regional countries’ commitment to peace, stability, prosperity, and development.
A significant cut in oil supplies to North Korea will not invite its collapse unlike what conventional views hold. Instead it will coerce the regime to come out of isolation and give up nuclear weapons in order to keep the regime alive.
China has toughened its stance on Pyongyang’s nuclear program. I look to China for leadership in addressing the problem of potential nuclear proliferation. It can provide this first of all by getting North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
From November 2015 to February 2016, China officially launched the long-expected military overhaul to move the PLA away from its Soviet-style command structures towards an American-style joint operation command of the army, navy, air force, etc.
According to the Pentagon, on May 17, 2016, two Chinese J-11 fighter jets intercepted a US Navy EP-3 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance plane on a “routine patrol” in “international air space” about 100 nautical miles south of China’s mainland coast and 50 nm east of Hainan.
Three years after it was launched, the curtain is coming down on the Philippines’ South China Sea arbitration case. Now is the time to take a step back from all the hustle and bustle to see through the past few years’ misrepresentations and distractions and get a clear understanding of the South China Sea issue.
Japan has common interests with China in stopping nuclear proliferation in Northeast Asia. The H-bomb test may then end up as a common rallying point that can bring Japan, China, and South Korea together facing a common threat.