India has no claim in the South China Sea but hopes to stop China from consolidating its own. The well-armed Western ally that disputes two border regions with China established an “Act East” policy in 2014 to improve ties with fast growing Southeast Asian nations. Supposedly it would act economically, but maybe there’s more.
Acting as China’s balance-of-power counterweight in Asia, Japan gave Vietnam six ships in 2014 and last year agreed to lease five military aircraft to the Philippines. Those are just just two examples of how it has supplied nations with South China Sea claims that overlap those of Beijing.
3. United States
U.S. President Donald Trump looked the other way at China’s maritime expansion through April as he hoped his Chinese counterpart would help rein in North Korea’s ballistic missile development. But as that cooperation shows signs of thinning, since late May the U.S. Navy has passed two vessels through the South China Sea to refute Beijing’s idea that the whole sea is theirs. China objected to both passages.
The United States doesn’t claim any of the sea, but Beijing frets because of the well-armed U.S. government’s ease in forming military alliances with Asian countries that do. The prime example is joint U.S. naval patrols with the Philippines since 2014.
This is the only country with a competing South China Sea claim that is likely to go against China’s maritime expansion, which includes land reclamation at some of the sea’s bigger features and infrastructure for military use. Like other states in Southeast Asia, the Vietnamese value their trade relationship with China, which totaled $95.8 billion in 2015.
US accuses Beijing of using coronavirus as cover for South China Sea activity
- Following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat, Washington calls on Beijing to ‘stop exploiting’ the pandemic to pursue its claims in the region
- State department spokesman says US is ‘seriously concerned’ by reports of the incident
US warns China not to ‘exploit’ coronavirus for sea disputes
Categories: Asia Countries