US-China ‘grey zone’ rivalry in South China Sea may be about to intensify

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The United States has announced a strategy to integrate its maritime forces, including its coastguard, to counter China’s growing presence in the contested South China Sea.
In the new American maritime warfare strategy for the next decade, the US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have jointly pledged to build an “integrated all-domain naval power” and called for strengthening maritime alliances. It called China “the most pressing, long-term strategic threat”.

The strategy, titled Advantage at Sea and published last month, defined the US navy’s objectives as “preserving freedom of the seas, deterring aggression and winning wars”. It stated: “China’s behaviour and accelerated military growth place it on a trajectory that will challenge our ability to continue to do so. We are at an inflection point.”

The latest tri-service maritime strategy was the first since 2015, and came at a time when China and the US have been ramping up “grey zone” activities to project power below a threshold that could prompt a conventional military response.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3116967/us-china-grey-zone-rivalry-south-china-sea-may-be-about

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