MANILA, Philippines — More than 70 analysts from various countries held debates in a bid to simulate the future of the disputed South China Sea.
In a statement earlier this week, consultancy firm Wikistrat examined “key factors” driving instability in the waters claimed by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan to come up with “master narratives” or possible scenarios that may affect the region’s future.
The factors identified are the increase and interaction of nationalistic sentiment among rival claimants, the course of international diplomacy and ability of negotiators, the desire to control offshore resources and the ongoing buildup of military assets seen in growing defense budgets.
“Examining these four factors, analysts predicted four scenarios for stability and instability in the contested waters,” the agency said.
An in-charge Beijing
The first scenario analysts “envisioned” was a more assertive and inward-looking China that causes armed conflict, with the United States stepping back from its proclaimed Asia-Pacific foreign policy rebalance.