18 March 2014
Finding the missing Malaysian jetliner would be a coup for any of the more than two dozen countries out there looking. But for China and the United States, it’s a lot more than that â€” it has been a chance for the two rival powers in the Pacific to show off what they can do in a real-life humanitarian mission across one of the world’s most hotly contested regions.
The hunt has major ramifications for Beijing, which has been rapidly improving its military while aggressively challenging neighbors over territorial disputes. Washington is looking to prove it’s still the top dog to allies worried about how seriously it takes the threat China poses to the Pacific status quo.
So far, neither country has come up with anything significant. But they have been vigorously waving their flags.
… “China is strong in terms of hardware, but it lacks experience and good security ties with regional states,” said China expert Li Mingjiang at Singapore Nanyang Technological University. “The U.S. sailors have far better networking with their regional counterparts, making it more possible for the U.S. to play a leading role in the search and rescue effort.”
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Print
Last updated on