Monday, July 23, 2012

confrontation in the South China Sea

There's discouraging news about efforts to manage disputed claims in the South China Sea by diplomacy instead of armed conflict. The Chinese military has announced plans to build a military garrison in the Paracel Islands.  Meanwhile, the recent ASEAN conference in Pnom Penh broke up without agreement even on a final communique because of this dispute; Japan has recalled its ambassador from Beijing; and enough Republican Senators have announced opposition to ratifying the Law of the Sea convention that it would be defeated if brought to a vote.

I'm no expert on these issues, but I think smart diplomacy must be tried and might work. I like the analysis and suggestions in this Council on Foreign Relations paper.

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