05 February 2018
A bloc of four powerful, Western-allied nations, intent on keeping the South China Sea open for international use despite growing Chinese control, will probably issue stern statements, help China’s maritime rivals and hold joint naval exercises near the contested waterway this year, analysts say.
Australia, India, Japan and the United States, a group known as the quad, are most likely to take those measures rather than directly challenging Chinese claims such as its military installations among the sea’s 500 small islets.
“I think the most concrete thing they can do is to issue some statements on the South China Sea dispute, and even then I believe that China might not even be explicitly named in such a statement,” said Ben Ho, senior analyst with the Military Studies Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 06/02/2018