The China strategy of US President Donald Trump’s administration is confused and confusing, both in general and in particular vis-a-vis the South China Sea.
Ordinarily, US policy regarding some marginal sea in Asia would not be a front-burner issue. Indeed it should not be of prime importance when compared to US problems with North Korea and in the Middle East, and burgeoning front-line friction with Russia.
However, the South China Sea (SCS) has become a cockpit of contention and competition between the United States and China for military domination of the region and is now a frontier in troubled US-China relations. That is why the US needs urgently to formulate goals as well as a comprehensive strategy with objectives and tactics to reach them – and then articulate and implement that strategy.