USS Ronald Reagan, far left, operates v Japan"s maritime Self-Defense pressure helicopter transport JS Izumo in southern China Sea in June 2019: an ext freedom of navigating patrols by not just the U.S. However other allies will be required. (Handout photograph from U.S. Navy)

Admiral James Stavridis to be 16th supreme Allied command of NATO and also 12th Dean the the Fletcher school of Law and also Diplomacy in ~ Tufts University. He invested the mass of his operational job in the Pacific, including multiple command assignments.

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For the previous two decades, China"s strategy in the southern China Sea has actually been reminiscent of old general and strategist sun Tzu, who said: "The supreme art of war is come subdue the enemy without fighting." In this unstable time, the patience is start to readjust as China, dive by the U.S."s abdication that leadership and also by a distracted world, gains in aggression.

Most recently, China has actually been using its naval forces to press the littoral nations, especially Vietnam and the Philippines. A month ago, China sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel, a maneuver the was roundly condemned by the worldwide community.

China is boosting its push against U.S. Warships, making use of aggressive signaling; dangerously nearby maneuvering; illuminating U.S. Ships through fire-control radar, which argues the unavoidable launch the weapons; and overflying at very close range.

Given China"s fairly successful containment that coronavirus and fast moves to restart its economy, the Chinese are more than likely in a place to market economic and also soft strength incentives to those states approximately the perimeter of the southern China Sea.

A Vietnamese fishing boat, left, was rammed and then sunk by Chinese vessels near the discussed ParacelIslands in might 2014. © Reuters

So what have the right to we deduce from every one of this about China"s brand-new strategy because that consolidating control here?

China claims practically the whole sea, indigenous its coast out come the "nine-dashed line" that has attracted on the map, as territorial waters. This has enormous international implications due to the fact that of the oil, herbal gas and seller trade in the region. It has actually steadfastly preserved its cases despite shedding an arbitration in an international court and facing pushback indigenous littoral countries -- especially Vietnam and also the Philippines.

The U.S. Has placed a project of "freedom the navigation" patrols to an obstacle China"s presumption of sovereignty and its building of artificial islands transparent the contested waters. But China has actually been aggressively widening its fleet the oceangoing warships, raising its stock of hypersonic "carrier killer" cruise missiles and also improving that undersea technology. Every one of this offers it an ext confidence in responding to the U.S. Patrols.

China"s nuclear-powered Jin-class ballistic missile submarine is seen during a military screen in the southern China Sea in April 2018. © Reuters

The strategy is additionally becoming much more aggressive because of China"s interior political concerns. Together President Xi Jinping attempts to consolidate his power, he demands to store the growing middle course content, but a slowing economy means another "rallying cry" is necessary. That may well manifest itself in a more nationalistic tone around the south China Sea.

For the rest of the world, the choices are difficult. No one desires to stumble right into a full-blown Cold War, or without doubt a shoot war, through China. But avoiding this if resisting China"s sweeping insurance claims in the southern China Sea will require finely tuned economic and diplomatic pressure and military deterrence as well.

That way the U.S. Have to seek come align the diplomatic condemnation by every the nations of the south China Sea add to Japan, India and Australia.

On the armed forces side, an ext freedom of navigating patrols through not just the U.S. But other allies will be forced -- consisting of leading NATO nations like the U.K. And also France, for example.

Another component of the strategy must include economic contents of both inducements and sanctions if dangerous actions continues. Finally, part of this confrontation will happen in the cyber world, and here solid defenses will certainly be necessary as China will likely use that venue to provides its displeasure known.

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Sun Tzu to be a strong advocate for patient victory, however he likewise said the "opportunities multiply as they are seized." Beijing appears to it is in doing just that in the southern China Sea.