MANILA, Philippines — China seems to be uncomfortable with the growing criticisms over its reclamation activities in the disputed South China Sea, a foreign affairs analyst said.
Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser for Asia in the Freeman Chair in China Studies, said that China’s move to establish maritime hotlines among foreign ministries is a sign that the Chinese are starting to recognize that their behavior causes great anxiety the region.
Glaser, however, also believes that the Asian power’s initiative in the regional forum is unconvincing.
“So far, however, the pushback has not been sufficient to change China’s calculus, which is that in the long term, Southeast Asian nations will be compelled to accommodate to Chinese interests in the South China Sea,” Glaser said in an analysis released by Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The analyst stressed that the efficacy of the hotlines is “dubious” since coast guards, navies and maritime militias are not administered by foreign ministries.
“Moreover, China’s foreign ministry is known to be institutionally weak and is rarely put in charge of handling crises,” the analyst said.