Military analysts now believe that China dominates the South China Sea militarily to the extent that it would prevail in any situation other than an all-out war with the United States, according to a report by the Manila-based country risk firm Pacific Strategies & Assessments.
“A series of reports over the past several months indicate that China has deployed new military capabilities to the contested Spratly Islands and the West Philippines Sea, including anti-ship and surface to air missiles. military capabilities to the contested Spratly Islands and the West Philippines Sea, including anti-ship and surface to air missiles,” according to the report, available on a subscriber-only basis..
Since 2009, China has been using a so-called “Nine-Dash Line” that originated with the Chinese Nationalists in the 1940s to claim virtually the entire South China Sea almost to the shores of the littoral nations despite the fact that there are countervailing claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, which have all officially protested over the use of such a line. In 2013, China extended those claims with a new “ten-dash” map that extends to the east of Taiwan, outside of the South China Sea.