The Game Shifts in South China Sea Disputes

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After a close call, two Filipino warships around Scarborough Shoal have withdrawn, citing inclement weather as the cause. China and the Philippines both claim the disputed shoal, known as Bajo de Masinloc in the Philippines and Huangyan Island in China. The area is part of a larger dispute over territory, water space and navigational routes ongoing in the South China Sea between the Philippines, China and, ultimately, Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia as well. The withdrawal should ease tensions in the highly militarized zone, but can also be seen as a sign of the rise in China’s influence and power. The Philippines, an ally of the United States, wouldn’t likely win a war against China without support, and it is doubtful that the United States risk a war with China at all.

So far, the Chinese have concerned themselves with improving upon their regional strength and preserving their territorial integrity. However, it is possible that they’ll, one day, move their attentions to a more global reach as their strength grows and the West’s diminishes.

The smartest ways the United States can keep afloat in all of this is four-fold.

The first, is to shore up our society and our well being domestically, in large part by going up and beyond the economic conservative lines that are currently in place in our government and society. These systems have failed, and it’s time that we work out something else that’s more in line with human interests and human needs, rather than just the monetary interests and monetary needs of a handful of investors and executives.

The second, is to maintain our own military’s strengths and improve upon our weaknesses, so that China will be deterred from meddling in our country. This is to not the time to be foolish and drop our defensive guard.

The third, is to repair our relations with the rest of the world to the point where we’re relating to them as a genuine equal and friend with mutual respect for one another, and less like a simple, hierarchical bully. There is something to be said for strength in numbers and friendships. It’s precisely what the United States seems to have largely ignored as it has gone about its business in the world for the sake of business and economic interests that we need to address domestically.

The fourth, is to enrich and produce a long lasting, genuine and sustainable friendship with China by bringing out the similarities in each of our countries and fostering strong social and technological connections between our people. By doing this, we make war less desirable, even abhorrent on the public level, thus making it all that harder to sustain and produce on a governmental level.

This combination of policy moves would enrich both the United States and the People’s Republic of China socially and culturally, as well as bolster our own position relative to the rest of the world.