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Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 18 Oct 2018
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.
By Mark J. Valencia - 27 Sep 2018
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative recently released a “A Blueprint for Oil and Gas Production in the South China Sea.” It is an important contribution to thinking about interim solutions to these seemingly intractable disputes.
The US has recently designated a critical habitat for the insular false killer whale, encompassing 17,500 square miles of waters around Hawaii extending well into the US EEZ, and it has placed restrictions on military activities there.
A US Navy Poseidon 8-A flew over or “near” four of China’s occupied features in the South China Sea. A radio voice identifying itself as “the Chinese military” requested the plane to “leave immediately and keep off to avoid any misunderstanding.”
The US should have a grand strategy for Asia and determine the role of the South China Sea in it. But what are the US goals in Asia and does it have a “grand strategy” to achieve them?
At the ASEAN meetings, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated an indirect but obvious warning to China that Washington was committed to the rule of law in the South China Sea. He then announced a security aid package to Southeast Asia prioritizing maritime security.
In the run up to US Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ first visit to China from June 27-28, 2018, he said: “I want to go in without poisoning the well and do a lot of listening.” Well he certainly got an earful regarding the South China Sea.
A recent poll purports to show that there is a huge domestic opposition to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “soft” approach to China supposedly gathering steam.