HOW FAR WILL THE DRAGON SWIM?
Today we bring you a link to a great background essay on China's sea expansion by the think tank Stratfor. As we have been following the growth and increasing aggressiveness of the Chinese Navy in our "How Far Will The Dragon Swim" series of opinion blogs and news service features we've provided little background beyond the 1980s. Our coverage in the series opened with the murderous attack of the Chinese Navy on Vietnamese naval personnel in waters very close to Vietnam and very far from China. The linked Stratfor article takes us back to ancient times and brings us forward to the present and helps explain the stubborn apparent illogical Chinese position and why it is so difficult for the Chinese national leadership to abandon this unproductive policy. The first paragraph appears below, to read the full article click on the link and that will take you to the Stratfor website and the full article.
The Paradox of China's Naval Strategy
Over the past decade, the South China Sea has become one of the most volatile flashpoints in East Asia. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan each assert sovereignty over part or all of the sea, and these overlapping claims have led to diplomatic and even military standoffs in recent years.Because the sea hosts numerous island chains, is rich in mineral and energy resources and has nearly a third of the world's maritime shipping pass through its waters, its strategic value to these countries is obvious. For China, however, control over the South China Sea is more than just a practical matter and goes to the center of Beijing's foreign policy dilemma: how to assert its historical maritime claims while maintaining the nonconfrontational foreign policy established by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1980.
Read more: The Paradox of China's Naval Strategy | Stratfor
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