U.S. diplomatic strategy on South China Sea appears to founder | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


U.S. diplomatic strategy on South China Sea appears to founder

In the lead-up to an international court ruling on China's claims in the South China Sea this month, United States officials talked about rallying a coalition to impose "terrible" costs to Beijing's international reputation if flouted the court's decision.

But just two weeks after the July 12 announcement by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague - which at least on paper, appeared to be a humiliating defeat for China - the U.S. strategy appears to be unraveling and the court's ruling is in danger of becoming irrelevant.

China also scored a major diplomatic victory earlier this week, when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) dropped any reference to the ruling from a joint statement at the end of a meeting of the 10-country group's foreign minister in Laos. This followed objections from Cambodia, Beijing's closest ASEAN ally.

e also said it was "impossible" for the ruling to become irrelevant because it is legally binding.

But analysts said it now risks exactly that, not least because Washington has failed to press the issue effectively with its friends and allies.

"We should all be worried that this case is going to go down as nothing more than a footnote because its impact was only as strong as the international community was going to make it," said Greg Poling, a South China Sea expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank.

"And the international community has voted by not saying anything. The consensus seems to be 'We don’t care. We don’t want to hold China to these standards.'"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem here appears to be that the US government has absolutely ZERO diplomatic "strategy" for getting the court ruling respected by China, save for aggressive military maneuvers in the area, which they will be kicking off very soon, with a tour involving both Japanese and Indian naval forces, working in concert.

If the aim of such alleged "freedom of navigation" exercises is to anger the Chinese government into a military response here, the US government may well get its wish; however, a full-out shooting war against China may not go well for the US military.

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