Steering a Steady Course in the South China Sea
JOINT MILITARY OPERATTIONS DEPARTMENT, NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT United States
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The Republic of the Philippines is a long-standing US ally. Despite this, the US has not recognized Philippine claims of sovereignty over features in the South China Sea in preference to the claims of the Peoples Republic of China or other non-allies. This position raises tension in the region and poorly supports a treaty ally. However, it is the correct policy. The policy of neutrality over claims of sovereignty supports US enduring interests in rules-based international order and is still in accord with our defensive alliances. This paper explores US policy, the history of Philippine-PRC territorial claims and recent developments, and the potential impact of supporting one side or the others claim. It concludes the status quo policy is the best option to achieve US global interests but recommends minor adjustments.
- Government and Political Science