The US could protect its legal position by declaring it and recording its objections in diplomatic statements and communiqués, rather than resorting to provocative freedom of navigation operations. Illustration: Craig Stephens

US ‘freedom’ patrols in the South China Sea are risky, and may backfire if China is pushed too far

Mark J. Valencia says US gunboat diplomacy in the South China Sea has so far failed to have the desired effect on Beijing, and ‘routine’ freedom of navigation patrols risk dangerous misunderstandings

Topic |   South China Sea

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The US could protect its legal position by declaring it and recording its objections in diplomatic statements and communiqués, rather than resorting to provocative freedom of navigation operations. Illustration: Craig Stephens
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