Vietnam, the US, and Japan in the South China Sea

Prospects for regional security hinges heavily on how these actors relate to the South China Sea issue.

Between May and July 2014, China unilaterally deployed a giant drilling rig in waters claimed by Vietnam as its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The move led to a fierce confrontation between Chinese and Vietnamese government vessels and saw relations between the two countries deteriorate to their lowest point since 1988. The standoff also served as a litmus test to identify who will side with whom in this conflict. While most of the world remained neutral, several states came out in support of Vietnam in one form or another. Among these supporters, the United States and Japan stood out as the most powerful and staunchest.

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Comments

  1. Well let's see . . .
    1. China is building an artificial island within the Philippine Economic Control Zone West coast of Palawan Island, Philippines.
    2. China has a drilling rig exploring for oil of the Vietnamese East Coast within its ECZ.
    3. China has a huge fishing fleet that operates over a 1,000 miles from its mainland coast in the South China Sea between Vietnam and the Philippines.
    4. China has stepped up expansion and militarization of Woody Island, and other locations in the area (South China Sea, mostly off the coast of the Philippines).
    5. China is building the largest Coast Guard Cutter (10,000 ton ship) to . . . patrol its coast?!
    6. China has flown provocative and dangerous armed intercept missions against US Navy patrol aircraft flying in international airspace off the coast of Hainan Island.
    7. China's surface combatant fleet is growing at a rate that will place it on a par with the US Navy Pacific Fleet presence in the Western Pacific in about 2023, and China is building REAL guided missile frigates.
    8. China has increased its amphibious ship capability significantly and is standing up additional amphibious vehicle unit combat power (about 3 Divisions +).
    The Japanese and South Koreans are cooperating in a greater way recently: http://missilethreat.com/south-korean-aegis-destroyers-object-defense-japanese-navy/
    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been increasing their defense budgets in leaps and bounds (a significant percentage) for the last few years, and looks like more escalations in future years.
    The US is selling de-militarized P-3 aircraft to Vietnam for the first time.
    The list goes on . . .
    Do we have a 'Problem in the Pacific'?
    Little or no Proactive presence . . . HHUUUMMMMMMM?!

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