Beijing warned to prepare for more US ‘provocations’ in South China Sea


Report by think tank affiliated with State Council also urges Chinese authorities to do more to win over Southeast Asian countries because it faces ‘long-term’ struggle to counter US influence

China has been warned it must do more to lure neighbouring countries away from the US orbit, according to a report that predicted the US would continue “acts of provocation” in the South China Sea.

The analysis, by a think tank affiliated to the State Council, the country’s cabinet, said the Trump administration would seek to demonstrate US power and resolve because every time China makes an economic, political or security advance in the disputed waters it would be seen as a challenge to the current US-led order.

The research noted the US was expanding its cooperation with regional allies such as Australia and Japan and predicted a “long-term struggle” to win the support of Southeast Asian countries.

It also warned that Washington was seeking to gain the moral high ground by depicting Beijing’s behaviour as irresponsible by undermining the regional order and international law.

It concluded that under such an environment, Beijing has no other choices but to make more friends with countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.