Crispin Rovere, National Interest: How the U.S. Should Respond in the South China Sea: Build Its Own Islands
The Permanent Court of Arbitration's decision places more pressure on the U.S. than China, as Washington must now act to support this emphatic judgement. Failure to do so will further weaken America's credibility, and undermine the rules-based order it seeks to preserve.
In order to determine how the US may effectively respond, China's strategy must be understood.
In recent years a number of high profile strategists have described China's South China Sea (SCS) encroachment as 'salami tactics'. In The Interpreter, Derek Lundy eloquently explained what is meant by this (though none will eclipse this gem from Yes Prime Minister). Indeed, the depiction of China's approach in the SCS as 'salami tactics' is now a widely accepted norm.
Nevertheless, this is contestable. In my view China is not employing salami tactics at all, but rather a wholly different strategy. This challenges a consensus, and requires a substantive explanation.
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WNU Editor: I doubt that such a plan will be put in motion. But in the event that is is .... it will definitely raise tensions in the region. In addition .... with everyone in the region now building and/or planning to build a permanent presence in the South China Sea, I cannot help but feel that a U.S. island would only end up (in the long run) antagonising everyone else involved in this dispute.