How America Can Take Control in the South China Sea

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TO GO WITH Philippines-China-military-US-maritime-diplomacy,FOCUS by Cecil Morella
This photo taken on June 7, 2014 shows the Philippine Navy frigate BRP Ramon Alacraz anchored at the mouth of the South China Sea in Ulugan Bay off Puerto Princesa on Palawan island. Ulugan Bay, with a coastline partly concealed by thick mangrove forests, is at the centre of the Philippine military’s efforts to shore up the defence of contested South China Sea islands and waters. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH Philippines-China-military-US-maritime-diplomacy,FOCUS by Cecil Morella This photo taken on June 7, 2014 shows the Philippine Navy frigate BRP Ramon Alacraz anchored at the mouth of the South China Sea in Ulugan Bay off Puerto Princesa on Palawan island. Ulugan Bay, with a coastline partly concealed by thick mangrove forests, is at the centre of the Philippine military’s efforts to shore up the defence of contested South China Sea islands and waters. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil chief who just became the new U.S. secretary of state, might not be causing the same level of global disruption as his boss, President Donald Trump. But in his Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 11, he sent shockwaves through the China-watching community, vowing: “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

These remarks instantly gave rise to a global consensus that spanned hawks in China to doves in the West. An editorial in the Global Times, a prominent mouthpiece for Chinese nationalists, warned: “Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish.”

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/13/how-the-u-s-can-take-control-in-the-south-china-sea/

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