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US Demonstrative Patrol in South China Sea Unlikely to Change Anything

29.10.2015 14:18

The US demonstrative patrol in the South China Sea has been a topic of debate amongst many analysts, with many suggesting what it could lead to; however Scott Cheney-Peters, founder and Chairman of the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC), has explained why the move is unlikely to change the situation in the area.

The USS Lassen's patrol on Tuesday has already been called "the most significant US challenge yet to the 12-nautical-mile territorial limits China claims around artificial islands it has built in the Spratly archipelago."

The move, dubbed Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS), was aimed at "upholding commonsense interpretations of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and at reassuring America's allies and partners in the region of America's commitment to doing so even-handedly," Scott Cheney-Peters, who is also a surface warfare officer in the US Navy Reserve, wrote in his article for CIMSEC website.

The expert however noted that the move is "unlikely to change the situation unless the Chinese overreact", something he doesn't expect to happen.

This doesn't mean that China will do nothing, he added, and their response may consist of one or more approaches.