lørdag 14. august 2021

US-led joint naval effort to contain China in contested waterway is being diluted by the participants' own national agendas

The UK, Germany, France and India have deployed warships that have transited or will transit the South China Sea. Many say this convergence is intended to demonstrate their collective and coordinated will and capability to defend the existing “international order” against China’s illegal claims and bullying. But while Washington may have thought – or wanted the world and Americans to think – that these countries were in united support of its crusade to contain China, they each had their own motives and their messages were mixed.

But before analyzing the details of the messaging, it is important to clear up some confusion regarding the purpose of these deployments. Some have implied that they are freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) challenging China’s claims. They are not.