The U.S. Navy announced on Tuesday that the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier strike team entered the South China Sea to conduct “routine operations” in the face of a confrontation between the Chinese maritime militia and the Philippines. As Russia surged its troops near Ukraine, provocation by China occurred. The Biden administration may be conducting an early test of whether its liberal multilateralism model can deter revisionist forces that oppose American interests.
The Philippines began issuing alarms on Chinese militia ships last month. A total of 220 militia ships occupied Whitsun Reef (Whitsun Reef) west of the archipelago. The navy is equivalent to Russia’s “little green man”, and the Chinese military̵
An analysis conducted by two researchers from the U.S. Naval War College last week found that “in these laser-focused operations, there is no evidence of any fishing activity, but there are signs that someone is trolling for territorial claims.”
For more than a decade, China has been taking active actions to establish a dominant position in the waters around the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan, build military installations and harass merchant ships of other countries. In 2016, an international court claimed that China violated the law in the South China Sea. Last summer, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on companies involved in the construction of illegal islands there.
China seems to be slowing down its military construction on these islands, but it may be recovering now. It seems determined to rule the waterways of Southeast Asia, which will make it easier for it to invade Taiwan. Slowing down or reversing this process will require coordination with the “quartet” (Japan, Australia and India) and Southeast Asian countries whose invasions directly violated their sovereignty. In condemning China’s maritime adventurism, Vietnam has always been one of the most prestigious Southeast Asian countries.