July 30, 2015
By Jim Talent and Lindsey R. Neas
China’s seizure of seven islets and reefs in the South China Sea, and its ongoing conversion of these features into military installations, complete with evolving port facilities and a 10,000-foot runway, makes clear that this territorial seizure is of far greater significance than media coverage and administration comments would suggest. In fact, China’s actions have military, economic, diplomatic and energy components, each of which is of great importance to the United States, its regional allies and partners, and every nation whose seaborne commerce traverses the South China Sea.
Here are the five questions that every presidential candidate should be asked about US military engagement in the region:
1) What is the significance of the South China Sea to the US, its regional allies, and to China?
It is difficult to overstate the importance of the South China Sea to all nations concerned. One of America’s vital national interests is the ability to transit and trade in international waters and the other international commons. Nowhere is that interest more at stake than in the South China Sea, which encompasses an area about twice the size of Alaska, and which is a critical transit region for all of our regional allies, trading partners, and, of course, for the US...
Read the full article at the American Enterprise Institute: 5 questions every presidential candidate should answer: South China Sea edition