Assessments

Even a Pandemic Does not Stop the South China Sea Competition

Rodger Baker
Senior VP of Strategic Analysis, Stratfor
Apr 28, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
A Chinese navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military drills Jan. 2, 2017, in the South China Sea.

A Chinese navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military drills Jan. 2, 2017, in the South China Sea.

(STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Numerous reports have raised fears that China is taking advantage of U.S. distraction and the sidelining of two U.S. aircraft carriers in the Pacific due to the COVID-19 pandemic. China had made similar accusations against the United States earlier this year, claiming Washington was exploiting China's pandemic response to advance its own containment strategy. And both are correct in that the pandemic does not appear to have slowed down Chinese or U.S. activities in the region....

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