The latest developments in the South China Sea indicate that the situation there continues to develop in an increasingly dangerous direction for regional and international security. The American-Chinese rivalry for domination in this region of the world is taking on larger and more dangerous forms.
Americans demonstrated their power first: an American aircraft carrier, the Carl Vinson, was on an official visit to the Vietnamese port of Cam Ranh, the location of the largest base of the US fleet during the years of American aggression in Indochina. This ship’s arrival to Cam Ranh was accompanied by a powerful propaganda campaign, the message of which was that now the USA, with all its might, is demonstrating its return to the region, ready to defend the countries of Southeast Asia from Chinese expansion.
To enhance the effect of the restored military presence, the Americans next sent the USS Mustin destroyer on a so-called “expeditionary voyage,” which, along a path well-tread by other American ships, was to pass along the newly constructed artificial islands and zones marked by the Chinese as “military navigation forbidden.” These islands appeared on the site of small reefs, and the Americans do not recognize the legitimacy of their transformation into unsinkable Chinese aircraft carriers, with runways, centers of radio reconnaissance and anti-aircraft defense.