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Scarborough Shoal

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The PRC is in a pretty solid position, legality-wise in occupying Scarborough Shoal. And that means it’s pretty much free to build on it. Even island-build it. The United States and the Philippines know that. Losing Scarborough Shoal was the price of the pivot. It’s just hard to admit it. Back in May 2012, a... Read More
...With Its Own Floating Nuclear Power Station!
I’ve been a somewhat skeptical concerning Western handwringing about perceived PRC intentions to islandbuild Scarborough Shoal, seeing them as perhaps pivot-promoting alarmism. But, as Freud said, sometimes a cigar is a cigar and sometimes a threat to build the shoal is…a threat to build the shoal. My rethink was prompted by the appearance on a... Read More
In this post I’m developing at length several themes that I touched upon in my most recent article up exclusively at Asia Times on the current pivot hot button: South China Sea Dispute: Rewriting the History of Scarborough Shoal. There is currently a great deal of handwringing as to whether the PRC will island-build the... Read More
As I predicted a while back, the United States has quietly ditched its old, underperforming pretext for confrontation in the South China Sea and is sidestepping into a new justification. I do not care deeply about America’s stake in the South China Sea. So I have little interest in slogging through recent US & PRC... Read More
... or “Goodbye Honest Broker”
Whoever is rolling out the new US maritime strategy for East Asia apparently regards the Financial Times as his or her chosen instrument. The FT, for its part, appears to believe that it completes its journalistic mission by reporting the US position, and sees no need to examine the US claims in detail, a shortcoming... Read More
Failure of engagement to deliver ideal outcomes do not mean that deterrence will be more successful, or even more desirable.
I try to eschew dramatic, click-baiting headlines, but I think current developments in Asia are a big deal.   President Obama is visiting Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea. He’s not visiting the People’s Republic of China.  He never planned to, because this trip is meant as an exercise in pivot-love, the bromance of... Read More
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