China maintains that it has “undisputable sovereignty” over the region, and that this had been the case “since ancient times.”
Allies in the region – including Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Indonesia – would beg to differ.
The United States’ chief concern is that Chinese expansion in the region will be militaristic. But my take is somewhat different.
Look at the Long Term
An important thing to remember when analyzing China is that it always takes a long-term view. Forget next year. China is focused on five and 10 years from now.
For instance, where will China get enough energy to power its huge nation in the decades ahead?
One possible answer is the methane hydrate deposite at the bottom of the South China Sea. Methane hydrates are a form of crystalline ice that has methane (natural gas) trapped inside. In effect, it is burnable ice.