BienDong.Net

No Bigger Question: How Should the U.S. Handle the Rise of China?

Drawing on the history of the Cold War and the success of containment against the Soviet Union, the University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer and Harvard University’s Stephen Walt argue that the United States will have no choice but to adopt the strategy of containment against China.

Preventing the rise of a peer competitor, in Mearsheimer’s view, is a vital strategic interest. He believes it would be wise for the United States to hem in China now, while the balance of power is so greatly in America’s favor. [READ MORE]

As Philippines' Duterte visits Vietnam, U.S. jibes hang over new partnership

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte met Vietnam's top leadership on Thursday, aiming to advance a burgeoning alliance that could become increasingly uncertain amid his defiance of the United States and overtures towards China.

Vietnam and the Philippines have drawn closer as China asserts more vigorously its claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea, but Duterte's almost daily jibes against the United States and his positive rhetoric about China may not sit well with Vietnam's leaders and their quieter, more calibrated diplomacy.

France Unveils Its Defense Strategy in the South China Sea and Beyond

In less than two weeks, the situation in the South China Sea has deteriorated at an accelerated pace: a joint Sino-Russian naval exercise; plans for Japan-U.S. joint patrols in the same area; Taiwan building anti-craft gun towers on Itu Aba; Jakarta trying to get U.S. help to upgrade its naval bases.

In all of these activities, the diplomatic waltz can make one dizzy. Even if nations caught in the territorial disputes share strong economic relations with China there is no doubt that, at the most opportune time, Beijing will take what it already considers as its territory, despite the disagreement of ASEAN members. [READ MORE]

Prospect of Philippine Thaw Slows China’s Plans in South China Sea

BEIJING — China’s next big target for construction of an artificial island in the South China Sea has long been assumed to be a cluster of rocks poking above sapphire waters near the Philippines.

For several years, Chinese Coast Guard vessels and fishing trawlers have hovered around the reef, known as Scarborough Shoal. Giant dredges, suitable for building a military base, were recently rumored to be on their way there. [READ MORE]

Barack Obama’s ‘Asian pivot’ failed. China is in the ascendancy

This dilemma – how to work constructively with a powerful, assertive China without compromising or surrendering national interests – grows steadily more acute.

It is shared by states across the east and southeast Asian region. From Indonesia and the Philippines to Vietnam, Japan, Seoul, Malaysia and Singapore, the quandary is the same.

Geographer: China’s Claim to South China Sea Not Rooted in History

A British geographer and journalist described China’s claims to large swaths of seas and land formations off its coast are based on 20th-century events — from the Boxer Rebellion to the defeat of Japan in World War II — and not deeply rooted in its history.

Bill Hayton, an associate fellow at London’s Chatham House and the author of South China Sea, The Struggle for Power in Asia, said in response to a question that Beijing’s claims are valid “because [these territories] are ours” historically, said “a hundred years ago you [Chinese citizens] wouldn’t feel” the same way. [READ MORE]

Strategic Perceptions and Misperceptions in the South China Sea

In recent years, the South China Sea (SCS) has become a defining feature of East Asia’s security complex and regional order.

In the pioneering book Perception and Misperception in International Politics (1976), Robert Jervis exhaustively explored the causes and consequences of misperception, the kinds of perceptual errors (psychological forces) in decision-making, and the importance of image (belief) formation in relation to intentions or inferences arising from information assimilation. [READ MORE]

Japan and China’s maritime tensions in the South China Sea are resurfacing World War II-era wounds

Last month, Japan’s defense ministry requested a record budget of about $51 billion for fiscal 2017. At the top of its security worries: China’s maritime aggression.

Japan has reason to worry. In both the East China Sea and South China Sea, Tokyo faces an increasingly assertive China that looks determined to become an unfettered maritime powerhouse—and is beefing up its naval capabilities accordingly. [READ MORE]

Making a US-Sino War ‘Thinkable’?

A recently published study of four ways that the U.S. and China may engage in war seems at first to warn against the high human and economic costs of all four kinds of engagement.

The study by RAND Corporation, sponsored by the U.S. Army, does state that it “reinforce[s] the widely held view that a Sino-U.S. war would be so harmful that both states should place a very high priority on avoiding one.” [READ MORE]

What's Behind the Sino-Russian Exercises in the South China Sea?

Recent Sino–Russian naval drills in the South China Sea were touted by both states as an example of an alignment in each side’s interests.

But the reality is more modest, as the two powers carefully balance the strategic advantages and liabilities of their relationship. [READ MORE]

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