By: Elena Grace Flores
David Barno and Nora Bensahel laid has urged the United States government to officially announce their stand in the South China Sea dispute – with the intention of easing China’s aggressiveness in showing their sovereignty over territories beyond their own. They believe that the U.S. Coast Guard should be more visible in the disputed region.
Unclear coast guard roles can trigger China’s undermining international policies – as displayed through their actions displaying commercial and coast guard-like vessels to strongly mark their claim. Civilian mariners are threatened by China’s
boarding civilian vessels, confiscating goods, and detaining crews just to show their ownership of the area.
These coast guard activities by China if not apprehended by the super powers could lead to its ignoring the laws of the seas – and therefore, they can freely enjoy the benefits of sovereignty in the highlighted areas regardless of its validity – despite the Philippines’ pending arbitral case with them. Therefore, the U.S.’s duty in leading its allies into resolving the issue is very crucial to preserving peace. So, let it be known to them that the super powers will be ready to defend the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.