Reevaluating the Context of U.S. Strategy In the South China Sea
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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Ongoing Chinese actions within the South China Sea region continue to remain a primary focus for US foreign policy initiatives and efforts within the Asia-Pacific region. The United States has undertaken three specific initiatives in response to these actions, to include conduct of activities in the South China Sea under the Freedom of Navigation program, significant expansion of regional security cooperation agreements with allies and partners, and coordination with the Chinese military to minimize unplanned incidents at sea. However, these initiatives have been executed within a distinct military context and have predictably enabled the Chinese perspective that these efforts are a component of a larger strategy of containment that are intended to restrict Chinas natural evolution as a regional power. The challenge for the United States is to recognize that Chinas actions in the South China Sea are intertwined within a larger context of Chinese national security, and that this understanding of that context is critical for the United States to minimize both perceived and actual ambiguity over its own initiatives as well as to avoid unintentional escalation of events that would jeopardize US efforts to adhere to its strict neutrality position vis--vis sovereignty claims to ensuring stability in the region.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics