Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) professor Dr. Mohan Malik had an article published in The Diplomat entitled “China and Strategic Imbalance” July 14.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“The recent Shangri-la meeting in Singapore saw some sharp exchanges between Chinese and other participants. Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig protected by more than 80 naval vessels in the South China Sea four days after President Barack Obama’s “reassurance trip” to China’s East Asian neighbors in April 2014 was widely seen as a deliberate and calculated provocation. Yet China’s move fits a pattern of advancing territorial claims on its periphery through coercion, intimidation, and the threat of force through what may be called “paramilitary operations short of war” (POSOW). China’s drilling rig is also a political statement of Beijing’s resolve and capability to control and exploit the South China Sea and deny it to others – and this message is meant as much for Washington as for Tokyo, Hanoi, Manila, Jakarta, and New Delhi. While exploring oil in the disputed waters, the $1 billion oil rig is supposedly drilling a big hole in Washington’s “pivot strategy” insofar as it undermines Washington’s credibility as regional security anchor or security guarantor. In essence, it makes a mockery of Obama’s security assurances to regional countries against Chinese coercive tactics aimed at changing facts on the ground. Beijing calculates that neither the mighty United States nor China’s weak and small neighbors would respond with force to counter Chinese incremental efforts to turn the South China Sea (SCS) into a “Chinese lake.” China is known for doing things in small steps and piecemeal, quietly, patiently, eventually bringing the pieces together “when the conditions are ripe.”

For the full article, go to:

The views in this article are those of the author and is not necessarily the view of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, U.S. Pacific Command or the U.S. Government.