Washington DC based analysts sharply criticized the policy and actions of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration regarding China’s actions in the South China Sea, reflecting the US government concern that under Duterte it is “losing” the Philippines.
The US and China are increasingly confronting each other militarily in the South China Sea. The US is deploying new undersea drones in multiple sizes and diverse payloads. China’s use of drones in the East China Sea has already raised political hackles.
The Trump administration’s concept of the “Indo-Pacific” should be placed in the context of the main strategic aims of his administration: to preserve the world primacy of the US and to prevent a strong China from displacing the US in Asia.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said: “Lagging behind on the military front is lethal to the security of the country. I have read a lot on China’s modern history, and it gives me great pain whenever I come across a time when we dropped back (in military building) and fell victim to invasions”.
A robust, binding code of conduct for the South China Sea has become a “holy grail” for analysts and decision makers alike. Many have tried to find it and failed. The Blueprint for a South China Sea Code of Conduct is likely to fail to gain wide acceptance too.
The Xiangshan Forum, one of East Asia’s premier security forums, is being held in Beijing from October 24 to 26, 2018. What has attracted the attention of international observers is Pyongyang sending a delegation led by two heavyweights.
The strategic move of restructuring China’s arm forces is aimed at building a joint battle system and strengthening joint command ensuring the People’s Liberation Army’s capability of “fighting and winning battles and effectively safeguarding China’s national security.”
The near-collision between the United States warship Decatur and a Chinese warship in September 2018 is only the most recent in a series of near misses between their warships and warplanes in and over the South China Sea.
At Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on May 9, 2018, the “Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between the defense authorities of China and Japan” was set up to prevent accidental clashes in the air and at sea.