Because of escalating tensions in the South China Sea, the Washington Post publishes a weekly article that describes the recent developments in the region.
This week’s developments include the United States lifting its arms embargo on Vietnam, in an effort to extend relations with the country. China has not officially commented, but it’s undoubtedly perceived as an attempt to encircle China. Large U.S. arms stockpiles appear planned for Cambodia and Vietnam.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did say that “we hope those normal and friendly relationships are conducive to regional stability and development”.
Also, the U.S. has accused China of an unsafe intercept of aircraft in the air. Specifically, “the Pentagon said two Chinese J-11 fighters flew within about 15 meters the U.S. EP-3 Aries aircraft on Tuesday, forcing the U.S. pilot to descend sharply to avoid a collision.”
These type of occurrences are bound to increase as the U.S. continues to challege China’s claim to the new, artificially created islands in the South China Sea. China is attempting to line up other country’s support for their newly claimed territory, and Afghanistan is the latest country to support China’s claim to the new islands. This attempt to collect support is likely a response to the Philippine’s challenge of China’s jurisdiction at the United Nations.
This Washington Post article is one every debater should turn to for uniqueness updates in the region throughout the year. You can see the article in its entirety here.