China Criticized as Too ‘Assertive,’ as US Expands Military in Asia-Pacific

US security deals and ubiquitous naval presence have heightened tensions in the region

China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and beyond consist of “conflicting mandates” and “lack of coordination” which has stoked tensions with its neighbors, according to a new report from the International Crisis Group.

The report comes as Philippine and Chinese vessels remain locked in a two-week stand-off just outside Filipino waters. Both countries claim rights to the waters which contain potential oil and gas reserves.

Increased U.S. military expansion throughout Asia-Pacific, and specifically a deal facilitating greater U.S. military and naval access to the Philippines, has heightened tensions with China.

While its critical of China, the report doesn’t mention the multitude of U.S. security arrangements with various states throughout the Asia-Pacific region which undoubtedly complicate territorial claims and stoke tensions among the neighboring countries.

Washington holds that it can patrol China’s two-hundred-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with naval warships without China’s permission, an opinion China disagrees with. Of course, the U.S. would certainly object to Chinese naval vessels patrolling the western seaboard along Californian shores. But such rules are only considered to apply to states other than America

The Obama administration has explicitly initiated a ‘pivot’ in strategy to reemphasize a focus on military domination of the Asia-Pacific region, in a broader imperial plan to counter China’s regional influence and unnecessarily provoke China and increase tensions with its neighbors.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.