fredag 2. august 2019

U.S. set to push security strategy as Chinese manoeuvres rattle region

Recent incidents involving Chinese ships in Southeast Asian waters are testing regional faith in Beijing’s sincerity about maritime peace, and aiding a renewed U.S. push to build alliances with countries unnerved by China’s assertiveness.  Chinese manoeuvring in energy-rich stretches of the South China Sea, including a standoff in Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone, will figure on Friday when top diplomats of Southeast Asian bloc ASEAN attend a security gathering with world powers.

Among those is a United States that has laid out an “Indo-Pacific Strategy” challenging Chinese maritime hegemony and seeking stronger ties with nations pushing back against Beijing. Vietnam has done just that, demanding earlier this month that China remove a survey ship and escorts from its waters near an offshore oil block. Within hours, the U.S. State Department rebuked China for “bullying behaviour” and “provocative and destabilising activity”.