China’s Non-Peaceful Rise Already in Play?

China is not content with being second place in economic or military prowess, and a divisive election in the United States may open a window of opportunity for Chinese moves toward hegemony, especially in the South China Sea, suggests Harry Kazianis, director of Defense Studies for the Center of the National Interest in Washington. News reports claimed that Beijing had dispatched vessels near Scarborough Shoal, a high-tide feature claimed by China, the Philippines and Taiwan. In July the international Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China in favor of the Philippines over maritime claims and the status of such features. Opportunity could soon turn to crisis, and Kazianis notes that “any attempt to seize Scarborough would constitute a challenge to the peace and stability of Asia and would force Washington to rethink many areas of cooperation with Beijing.” He urges US leaders to swiftly craft a strategy on China’s reclamation work while reinforcing alliances and strategic partnerships to ensure that the South China Sea remains part of the global commons. – YaleGlobal