28 October 2015
It was a short, well-flagged mission and no shots were fired. But Beijing has been pitched into uncharted waters over how to respond to Tuesday’s operation in which a US warship challenged its claims in the South China Sea.
While state media lit up with emotional appeals to nationalism on Wednesday, the official response has so far been muted.
“China’s defence ministry is strongly opposed to this act and lodges solemn representations,” was all the military could muster on Tuesday, while the foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador to lodge a complaint.
… Richard Bitzinger of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore concurs. “I don’t think the Chinese need much excuse to militarise the islands,” he says. “The escalation so far has been chiefly on their side. They will wait to see how often the US does this and for how long, and whether other countries, such as Japan, get involved.”
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 13/11/2015