NEW DELHI: Two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups in the South China Sea. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on using all tools to support countries in the region in claims against Beijing. A Japanese defence white paper on its submarines conducting underwater intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Australia to get long-range anti-ship missiles in its increased budget of AUS$270 billion over the next 10 years. Veiled and not-so veiled Philippines and Vietnam legal pushback against China’s claims. India speeding up military and civil infrastructure on and around its Andaman and Nicobar Islands ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’. All manifestations of the “mounting costs” of “strategic mistakes Xi Jinping’s nationalism on steroids” is facing. Robert A. Manning, Senior Fellow, Brent Scowcroft Centre, Atlantic Council, former State Department official and Intelligence strategist, Bill Hayton, Author, South China Sea, Associate Fellow, Chatham House and Journalist with BBC World News TV discuss the South China Sea as a flashpoint in Talking Point with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi. Bill Hayton explains his research into a translation mistake in the 1930s that is the root of China’s ‘1000s of years of historical claims’ in the area, while Robert Manning points out there’s “freefall” as there’s no “framework to stop Beijing from doing what it wants in the South China Sea.” He also examines whether the anti-China backlash is turning from latent to potent while Bill Hayton looks at the “double-edged sword” of U.S. military presence in the South China Sea and whether that is acting as a deterrence or threatening escalation.
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