If there ever was a time to follow the always action-packed South China Sea showdown, mark your calendar for July 12th.
Why this specific date? Well, that is the date the International Court of Arbitration has set to issue its ruling in the case of China vs. the Philippines. Most experts are of the collective mind that Beijing is likely to suffer some sort of negative outcome — an outcome they are already trying to distance themselves from.
But what will China do when the verdict is handed down and they likely lose in large measure, as is widely expected?
Beijing has several options — laid out below for your reading pleasure — and most are all bad not only for Asia as a whole, but especially so for Washington, considering it is a treaty ally of Manila and the only party with the capability to reign Beijing in if a crisis occurs:
1. The least likely option – China does nothing and de
facto accepts the ruling: What if Beijing simply issues the standard
boilerplate statement, declares the South China Sea essentially its
sovereign waters, and moves on? This isn’t a bad option on the surface —
China could continue to build on its fake islands in the area, turning
them into small military bases armed to the teeth with...
Read More HERE