• Chinese officials stated on Wed. that the US is a "security risk creator for the South China Sea" after the People's Liberation Army declared it had to warn and drive the destroyer USS Benfold away from its territorial waters near the Paracel Islands.
  • This comes as US Navy 7th Fleet carried out its third "freedom of navigation operation" so far this year with an intent to curb perceived PRC "excessive" claims and violations of international law in the South China Sea.
  • The Paracel Islands have been under Beijing's control since 1974, but Taiwan and Vietnam also claim sovereignty over the archipelago.
  • Tensions have been mounting in the South China Sea as Beijing stands by its geographic claims despite an international ruling on the matter in 2016. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam also have competing claims to the area.
  • On Tues., the US vowed to protect Philippine vessels if China were to attack them in the South China Sea, reaffirming this would be covered by the two nations' Mutual Defense Treaty.


Pro-China narrative

Once again, the US has violated Chinese sovereignty and international law, exposing its hegemonic and militarized approach to the South China Sea. Despite urging dialogue with Beijing, American forces undermine the stability of the region and create risks to peace.

Anti-China narrative

Beijing's claims to the South China Sea pose a severe threat to freedom of navigation, overflight, and free trade. To ensure these rights, the US has been carrying out navigation in full accordance with international law, which allows passage through these waters.

Nerd narrative

There's a 3% chance that there will be a deadly clash involving gunfire or explosives between the US and China before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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