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(Opinion) The Case for a Bolder US South China Sea Policy

2015-05-14 08:50:52       source:The Diplomat

By Prashanth Parameswaran

May 14, 2015

"Yesterday, media reports surfaced that the U.S. military is considering using aircraft and ships to directly contest Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea. The reports come amid a broader conversation that has been taking place in Washington over the inadequacies of the current U.S. response to China's growing assertiveness in the South China Sea, and what a more robust approach might look like.

Why does the United States need such an approach? As more proposals begin to surface publicly in the future, it is important to articulate the case for a bolder U.S. South China Sea policy in the first place. Without a clear idea of why such a policy is needed, there is a risk of becoming too bogged down in the merits of individual proposals without understanding their broader significance and relation to U.S. interests. Such a case should address four points: the extent of U.S. interests in the South China Sea; the inadequacies of the current policy; what a more robust approach would involve; and how to respond to arguments against this course of action."

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