June 05, 2015

"China currently has no permanent, defensible security resources in the Spratly area."

Forbes The South China Sea–through which the virtual lifeblood of China’s economy flows–is as vital to China’s “core security interests” is [sic] the Eastern Seaboard or Caribbean is for the United States. by Stephen Harner

'As analysts like [Bonnie] Glaser have acknowledged China is a “latecomer”–behind Vietnam and the Philippines, which acted when China was weak and distracted in the 1960s and 1970s–to staking out, securing, and reinforcing strategically vital platforms from which to ensure the freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce on which its security depends.

'That China is pursuing this imperative objective through reclaiming shoals and reefs that hitherto have not and under most circumstances would not be actively contested by rival claimants evidences the care taken to avoid conflict, intimidation, and the threat of force of which Carter and others–most vocally President Aquino of the Philippines–are in the habit of accusing China.

'The Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” has been since its announcement in major policy statements by Obama and Hillary Clinton is the fall of 2011 a thinly disguised strategy to restrain, constrain, and in the main to thwart China’s rising power.'

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