Jostle for Dominance in Indo-Pacific Region: SCMP

Military maneuvers continue in the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea and the East China Sea, as China, the United States and others manage a pandemic response. “The frequency of such tours has raised concerns among military observers and analysts that these exercises could lead to miscalculation as different countries use their militaries to jostle for greater influence or rattle the sabre amid the pandemic,” reports Minnie Chan for the South Morning Post. “The Covid-19 pandemic has plunged already strained China-US relations into a deepening rift as officials from both sides engage in a blame game about delays that have allowed the contagious disease to spread.” Each nation strives not to allow the region’s balance of power shift in the other’s favor. China accuses the United States of provocation; the US defends its actions as defending freedom of navigation. US and Australian military vessels entered contested Malaysian waters, joining a Chinese survey vessel operating near a drill ship working for the Malaysian state oil company – a move described by analysts as reassurance for nations worried about Chinese impatience for bringing Taiwan under its control. China assumes that the United States would not go to war over Taiwan, but that could be among many possible miscalculations. Analysts also express concern about how the strain threatens cooperation for global challenges like the pandemic. – YaleGlobal

Jostle for Dominance in Indo-Pacific Region: SCMP

China and the US assert influence and defiance in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, and analysts warn about the risks of errors and reduced cooperation
Minnie Chan
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Read the article from South China Morning Post about ongoing military movements in the South China Sea.

Minnie Chan is an award-winning journalist, specialising in reporting on defence and diplomacy in China. Lawrence Chung provided additional reporting.

South China Sea Trade as Percent of Trade in Goods, 2016: 	% of Trade in Goods Canada	3% US	6% France	8% Italy	8% Germany	9% UK	12% Japan	19% Brazil	23% India	31% China	40%
(Source: China Power)

Global Trade Through South China Sea, Selected Nations: 	China	Japan	S Korea Y2008	$569 	$171 	$186  	$475 	$127 	$141  Y2010	$627 	$172 	$179  	$753 	$190 	$222  Y2012	$768 	$187 	$246  	$815 	$163 	$243  Y2014	$897 	$155 	$249  	$901 	$138 	$209  Y2016	$874 	$141 	$249
The United States does not rank among the top 10 nations with exports traveling through the South China Sea (Source: China Power)

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