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Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 17 Nov 2017
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.
By Mark J. Valencia - 09 Nov 2017
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?
Lawfare is “a form of asymmetric warfare, consisting of using the legal system against an enemy, such as by damaging or delegitimizing them, tying up their time or winning a public relations victory.” China and the US both use it with regard to the South China Sea.
On the heels of North Korea’s 3 September test, the US is seeking UN Security Council authorization to use military force to interdict, board, and inspect vessels on the high seas that are suspected of carrying UN-prohibited items to and from North Korea.
The Center for Security and International Studies is one of America’s most respected think tanks focused on defense and security. A recent article in The Rushford Report implies sub rosa bias in the organization of CSIS’s South China Sea conferences.
For 70 years the United States has dominated Southeast Asia with both hard and soft power. While its hard power is still dominant and may even grow, its soft power seems to have declined. This decrease is both absolute and relative to that of China.
A Chinese incursion in Australia’s EEZ has sparked a debate. Many say China is hypocritical because it is undertaking ISR missions in other countries’ EEZs while opposing those of the US in its own EEZ. But there are differences between what China and the US are doing.