July 7, 2011
Beijing's Power Play on South China Sea
John Metzler, Japan Times
A rhetorical conflict has roiled the waves of the South China Sea, the strategic resource-rich region bordered, and in part claimed in various parts, by six Southeast Asian states.
But while Beijing is shoving its political agenda into the disputed waters, the United States correctly fears being caught in the diplomatic crossfire as claims and counterclaims by regional states particularly Vietnam and the Philippines, threaten to spill over into scattered maritime incidents. Seen from a front row seat in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's great commercial port city on the northern edge of the South China Sea, the region resembles a great maritime basin through which thread the major sea lanes of communication to Taiwan, the Koreas, Japan and Russia.
TAGGED: United States, Philippines, Vietnam, China