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America vs. China: Showdown in the South China Sea?

Michael Auslin, Ph.D

By Michael Auslin (original source The National Interest)

“Expect more.”

That is the succinct response of a senior U.S. defense official when asked informally whether the dispatch in October of a U.S. Navy ship within 12 nautical miles of one of China’s newly constructed islands in the Spratly Island chain was a one-off event. Officials in the Obama Administration seem well aware that failure to follow on with their highly publicized freedom of navigation operations will send a signal of irresolve to China and Asia. The sail-through did little to settle the issue of Sino-U.S. tussling over the South China Sea, and the question now, is how will China respond.

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