Conflict prevention in the South China Sea depends on China abiding by the existing rules

New waveIf China truly wants to coexist and compete peacefully in the Indo-Pacific, it must comply with international treaties and agreements.

This includes international accords that apply to the disputed waters of the South China Sea, where the risk of an incident is growing, not only between the US and China, but also between China and its neighbours. China’s flouting of international rules in the South China Sea may spark a future maritime incident.

Some Chinese charge that the United States is increasing the potential for a dangerous encounter by sailing navy vessels close to rocks or artificial islands controlled by China. That argument was made by Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, an official in China‘s Ministry of Defence, in a recent New York Times column.

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