To Ease Tensions, U.S. Must Back Up South China Sea ‘Freeze’ With Enforcement

Photo: ASEAN foreign ministers, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Aug. 9, 2014 (AP photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe).
Photo: ASEAN foreign ministers, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Aug. 9, 2014 (AP photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe).
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Last month, amid the latest round of Asian regional summits in Myanmar, the United States called for a freeze in provocative acts in disputed areas in the South China Sea. While the move signaled Washington’s willingness to counter China’s growing maritime assertiveness, U.S. policy faces several structural challenges that could undermine the effectiveness of easing tensions in the South China Sea. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put it at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Naypyitaw on Aug. 9, the freeze’s main objective is to manage competing territorial claims in the South China Sea by encouraging the six claimant […]

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