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Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 21 May 2018
In a recent posting in The Diplomat, Tuan N. Pham denies that realpolitik can triumph or has triumphed over moralpolitik and urges the US not to “back down” in the South China Sea.
By Mark J. Valencia - 11 May 2018
Taiwan’s interests and role in the South China Sea disputes have essentially been officially ignored. With the election of US President Donald Trump and appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor, its influence and involvement may increase substantially.
There is a growing protest over Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to downplay the Philippines international arbitration victory over China regarding the South China Sea. Although many of his policy decisions are problematic, in this case his decision has merit.
As the Western media cacophony of assertions regarding the South China Sea imbroglio approaches a crescendo, it is a good time to pause and parse some of the more common and controversial ones.
The US is trying to organize a "coalition of the willing" to interdict US listed suspect ships carrying UN-banned cargo to or from North Korea. If it fails to win support to do this from Russia and China, the US may be willing to use necessary force without UNSC approval.
In the wake of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s pilgrimage to Washington, Australia is edging ever closer to publicly choosing between China and the US in its Asia security policy. It may well become reality and with the choice comes consequences.
Gordon Chang wrote recently in the National Interest that China is “itching for a confrontation” in response to the January 17, 2018 innocent passage of the USS Hopper near Scarborough Shoal. James Holmes argued that China does not really want confrontation.
Two recent publications by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for International and Security Studies condemn China’s policies and actions in the South China Sea while ignoring the similar transgressions of the others there.