In late-July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gently put China on notice regarding its increasingly aggressive claims over the near-entirety of the South China Sea by proposing a formal international legal process to resolve territorial disputes there. Naturally, the Chinese were not pleased, but the proposal was a great move by the Obama administration. Every step that China takes to build up its military power naturally triggers a strong balancing desire throughout the rest of Asia. But with none of those far-smaller economies looking to anger “rising China,” somebody needs to give voice to those fears and create vehicles for organizing the sought-after balancing.
That somebody can only be the United States.
Read the rest of the column at World Politics Review.