onsdag 17. februar 2021

America Can Stop Chinese Dominance in the South China Sea

The CCP is not seeking an empire in the South China Sea, strictly speaking. An empire exercises dominion over foreign territories from an imperial center. Beijing wants far more than a maritime empire. It covets ownership. It wants to make the South China Sea what Romans once called the Mediterranean Sea—namely mare liberum, or “our sea.”

It feels like 2014 again. That’s when it came to light that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had embarked on a seemingly quixotic project: manufacturing islands out of reefs and atolls in the South China Sea and then fortifying them to extend its sway vis-à-vis Southeast Asian rivals impertinent enough to insist on their maritime rights. The region was a fixture in headlines that year and into the next while Washington and Beijing traded barbs accusing each other of “militarizing” the situation.