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Global Geopolitical Series: U.S. likely to assert presence in South China Sea

Under the leadership of President Trump, the United States is ready to toughen its stance against China, not just economically but with military presence. According to an administration official, who wish not to be named, the United States’ military is ready to take up maritime exercises that would make its presence felt in the hotly contested waters of South China Sea.

Over the past couple of years, there has been friction between regional countries and China, over the control of maritime borders in the South China Sea. Several countries like Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei, and Taiwan - all have overlapping claims over the mineral and the energy-rich South China Sea. However, China has claimed the entire maritime region under its own sovereignty; thus creating friction and even called on the United States to not to poke in China’s affairs in the South China Sea during the Obama administration.

However, under the new administration, the United States is ready to pursue a more aggressive South China Sea policy. In this regard, the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s remark explains all - “The South China Sea doesn’t belong to any one nation, and you can be sure: The United States will continue to sail and fly wherever international law allows and our national interests demand"

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