China's grip over South China Sea compels US to speed up coalition efforts

·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

Washington [US], August 22 (ANI): China's baseless claims over the South China Sea has compelled the US to speed up the formation of a coalition of claimants to challenge the communist regime in the region, a media report said.

Washington is planning to follow the 2016 verdict by the International Court of Justice that thwarted Beijing's claims over much of the South China Sea. However, Beijing had denied to follow the ICJ ruling.

The Biden administration is following the path of the Trump administration over the South China Sea as the current administration stands behind ICJ's 2016 ruling that rejected Beijing's claims over much of the South China Sea. The current administration has also continued the US naval operations in the region that were implemented during the Trump administration, Foreign Affairs said.

Washington's attempt to counter China at the South China Sea without a collaboration of claimants would be a waste. Recently, the Biden administration's Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited the Philippine capital Manila opening the gate to speed up Washington's policy on the South China Sea.

The Philippines and Vietnam, elites and the broader public judge Washington's commitment to the region based in part on whether it defends their maritime rights., Foreign Affairs said.

Washington and Manila's ties were lowered under former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte as his regime was more inclined towards Beijing. But the recent visit of the defence secretary will certainly strengthen their relations to counter Beijing at the South China Sea.

The US administration should lay the foundation for a coalition to counter China in the region and back the rule-based claims. By planning for increased support for Philippine military modernization and the rotational deployment of U.S. military assets, including missile platforms, in the Philippines, it can strengthen short-term deterrence. And by increasing long-term diplomatic and economic pressure on Beijing, it can help pave the way for a peaceful, equitable resolution of maritime disputes before the window for compromise disappears altogether, reported Foreign Affairs.

Vietnam, a claimant over the South China Sea, has taken strong stances to strengthen its claims over the region in the last five years.

The country has been continuously denouncing China's claims of sovereignty via diplomatic notes and occasional press statements and has quietly upgraded its defensive capabilities in the Spratly Islands, an expanse of contested reefs and islets claimed in whole or in part by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Brunei. Hanoi has slowly deepened security relations with the United States and continues to insist on its offshore oil and gas rights despite increasingly effective Chinese operations to block exploration, said Foreign Affairs.

At a time when Beijing's control over disputed South China is growing and the path to resolution is narrowing, by acting now Washington and its regional partners can work together to bolster the rules-based order in the South China Sea, Foreign Policy added. (ANI)

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