South China Sea scuffle may be more than just sabre rattling

On the surface, one might construe the actions of China against a US surveillance plane in flying over international waters as a weak attempt at sabre rattling. After all, they threatened the aircraft eight times without taking action. Despite this, there’s a good chance that this is more serious than most people want to admit.

China is persistent with their claims that the reefs and small islands in the water around their country are sovereign and not party to international travel. The United States has been publicly testing this sentiment by sending war ships and aircraft into the disputed areas. So far, no conflict has occurred, but scholars and analysts are warning that the US may be boxing in China to the point that they will have to act.

According to the LA Times:

Some senior Chinese officials fear that the U.S. military “has effectively ‘boxed in’ China,” Jeff Smith, director of Asia security programs at the American Foreign Policy Council, a Philadelphia think tank, wrote in this month’s Foreign Affairs magazine.

Do you think that China will act more forcefully soon?

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