Reading China’s strategy in South China Sea
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China is taking a relatively cautious stance on the disputes involving the South China Sea. It is currently undertaking military reforms, and toward the end of 2016 Vice Adm. Yuan Yubai was appointed commanding officer of the Southern Theater Command, which is responsible for the South China Sea. How should we read its position? We need to consider whether this situation will continue for an extended period. The Spratly Islands are important to China, and the importance of Scarborough Shoal (known in the Philippines as Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc), in particular, must be emphasized. China is aiming to build a military base on the shoal to establish naval supremacy and air supremacy in the northeastern part of the South China Sea. It aspires to secure a route to safely bring the submarines stationed along the coast of Hainan Island to the Pacific Ocean.
Reading China’s strategy in South China Sea. (2017, June 19). The Daily Inquirer, p. A17.