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South China Morning Post: On the South China Sea, the US and Asean are increasingly on different pages
Mark Valencia says it’s becoming clear America’s concern for a rules-based order and freedom of navigation is not shared by a Southeast Asia more worried about the impact of a US-China power struggle on domestic stability.
Cracks between the US and Southeast Asian nations have been growing with regard to security interests in the South China Sea. These differences have remained just below the surface for some time but are now plainly visible under the strain of the burgeoning struggle between China and the US for regional dominance. Nevertheless, many analysts and US government officials continue to assume that their interests are similar or even identical. These differences should be acknowledged and policy recommendations adjusted accordingly before the cracks become crevasses.
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WNU Editor: The South Asian nations do not want to upset the status quo .... but the problem is that China is not accepting the status quo, and have made it very clear that they have territorial ambitions that show no signs of ending. Where will this end .... I do not know. But at the moment .... these Southeast Asian nations have been neutered by China.