US Policy on the South China Sea: Should the US Make Adjustments Following the Permanent Court of Arbitration Ruling
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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US Policy on the South China Sea should the United States make adjustments following the Permanent Court of Arbitration Ruling In July 2016 the Permanent Court of Arbitration PCA at The Hague ruled against the Peoples Republic of China on several South China Sea SCS disputes providing the Government of the Philippines, and international community, a diplomatic tool to counter Chinese encroachment in the Philippines exclusive economic zone and more broadly in the SCS. This paper presents background on US and Philippines policy on the SCS and the key elements of the PCA award. The paper will then argue that a shift in US policy to a more pro-Philippine position is required to enable US action and better support US and Philippine interests in the region. A counterargument shows that some scholars feel the status quo US policy is adequate for strategic US interests. Finally, the paper draws conclusions and provides recommendations for US policy to support US interests in the SCS.
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