An Impeccable U.S.-China Incident at Sea

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The news coverage of the recent U.S.-China incident at sea is tendingtowards a reductionist take: portraying Chinese behavior mostly as an attemptto test the Obama administration. But the incident has more to do with a longstanding strategic chess match in the South China Sea that goes back at least to the 1990s, and that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. If the USNS Impeccable was loitering off the coast of Hainan, it was not by coincidence. The island is home to a Chinese naval base where a new class of nuclear-powered attack submarines is now stationed, providing easier access […]

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