The U.S. Dilemma: To Act Or Not To Act
The South China Sea conflict has put the United States in an uncomfortable position, despite the country not being a claimant in the row, owing to its diplomatic and strategic alliances with countries involved in the dispute.
On the one hand, Washington must reassure its allies that it continues to stand behind them and will not forsake them or their interests during their time of need.
And yet, on the other hand, Washington is not keen to antagonize Beijing by taking military action in the region or issuing China an official warning on the matter. While the U.S. has been in talks with China over various aspects of the South China Sea issue, most notably Beijing’s decisions to build artificial islands in the sea to bolster its territorial claims, the Obama administration is yet to make a decisive decision regarding active action in the South China Sea. Until then, the government continues to explore options for diplomatic and political solutions instead.