- Asia: A sea of troubles | The EconomistMore on the South China Sea from The Economist (from December 2010; still worth a read if you missed it).
Chinese naval influence is extending not just deeper, but farther from China’s shores. In 2010 Sri Lanka opened a Chinese-built port in the south, at Hambantota. Work proceeded on the port at Gwadar in Pakistan. And Chinese warships paid their first call on Myanmar. All of this fuelled Indian suspicions of a “string of pearls” strategy designed to choke its own maritime breathing-space. It is as part of this broader extension of influence that the South China Sea will be a focus of concern.
Time to prepare for a rainy day
That concern will be heightened by two particular aspects of China’s military modernisation. One is an unannounced aircraft-carrier programme. The other, of more immediate relevance in 2011, is China’s development of the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile, which the Chinese and some foreign newspapers have touted as a “game-changing” carrier-buster.
- The South China Sea: A sea of disputes | The EconomistWhy the South China Sea is such a thorny issue – nice overview.
- Philippines sends warplanes near disputed islands (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Report: 27 fishermen missing in South China Sea – CNN (news.google.com)