Alternative Strategies in the South China Sea

As part of the United States’ objective to stop China from engaging in island-building in the South China Sea, U.S. leaders have attempted to impose higher costs on China by sending warships and troops to the region and pursuing more substantial relationships with leaders in Southeast Asia. Writing for Cato at Liberty, Eric Gomez argues that U.S. policymakers should reconsider these strategies for dealing with China in the competition over the South China Seas.

So far, the United States has failed to deter China, a result which Gomez attributes to China placing a very high strategic value on the South China Sea. If this is the case, the United States would be forced to impose much higher costs to convince China to abandon its efforts.

Gomez further maintains that the United States should instead consider alternative strategies, such as a mutual agreement whereby the United States would not expand its military bases in particular locations in return for China not moving forward with island building. This would help ensure that Chinese leaders do not, as Gomez writes, “have more to gain from conflict than cooperation.”

When possible, the United States should look for diplomatic ways to resolve challenges instead of relying on the military as its primary tool of foreign policy.

More Blog Posts

01-11-2019 10:01am

Polling Shows Americans Support the Removal of Troops from Both Syria and Afghanistan

Americans remain unconvinced that the United States has a clear purpose in Afghanistan and would support a presidential decision to remove troops from both Afghanistan and Syria within the year.

Read more

10-16-2018 02:10pm

Sensitizing Stories: Rob Wallace

Rob Wallace, an award-winning producer and senior producer for ABC News and CBS News and an adjunct faculty member for the Media and Journalism Fellowship, recounts his career in film and television.

Read more

10-08-2018 08:10am

Occupational Licensing Reforms Remove Roadblocks

New Mexico’s occupational licensing reform shows how making changes at the state level removes barriers to opportunity, especially for low- and moderate income Americans.

Read more

Sign up for updates