China just asserted its hold over the South China Sea. Will ASEAN nations push back?


By Daniel C. O'Neill
The Washington Post
October 15

Dramatic U.S. Navy pictures recently showed a Chinese navy ship maneuvering within 45 yards of the USS Decatur. The U.S. destroyer was conducting a FONOP, or freedom of navigation operation, in the South China Sea near reefs that China has converted into artificial islands.

China claims “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands and the adjacent waters.” Rival claimants include Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. All but Taiwan are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), an organization that promotes “peace, security and stability” in the region. . . .

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Daniel C. O’Neill (left), author of Dividing ASEAN and Conquering the South China Sea: China’s Financial Power Projection