US gropes for response to China's moves in South China Sea

A file photo of Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy, Ma
A file photo of Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy, May 21, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

It shows a lack of strategy even as China militarises and ratchets up actual control, say observers

The United States has no real strategy for the South China Sea, US-based analysts said just days after China revealed it had for the first time landed heavy bombers on islands in the South China Sea.

The timing of the air operations was impeccable.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline 'US gropes for response to China's moves in S. China Sea'. Print Edition | Subscribe