Tuesday, April 7
If history is a good indication of what to expect in the future, then Beijing is likely to double down on the Maritime Militia in virtually any scenario imaginable. That means it should be a force to be reckoned in the years to come.
Though recent allegations raise more questions than they provide answers, they should reinforce the need for greater transparency in the South China Sea.
The international community should better understand how potential aggressors can leverage the ambiguity for low-level armed attack or aggression and be prepared to clearly identify it as an internationally wrongful act.
To strengthen its position in the Philippines and thus in the first island chain, the United States must achieve two key goals: diversify its diplomatic engagement with Manila and coordinate military resources and strategy.
As it might be difficult for China and the Philippines to defend their official claims over Scarborough as their own territory before the 20th century in an international court, both countries should engage in constructive negotiations over joint development. This is still the best option to avoid deterioration of the conflict for now and the years to come.
© 2016 Maritime Issues