U.S. policy in the South China Sea under the Donald Trump administration

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U.S. policy in the South China Sea under the Donald Trump administration
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2020. No 1(58). P. 46-62

DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2020-1-46-62

Igor Mishin is a junior researcher at the Centre for North American Studies, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Moscow

Abstract. This article analyzes the U.S. policy in the South China Sea (SCS) under the administration of Donald Trump and examines American strategic interests, objectives, and tasks in the SCS. The U.S. policy in the SCS is addressed the context of the Indo-Pacific Strategy that has become the main doctrinal basis of the Trump administration’s policy for the Asia-Pacific. A new level of the U.S. confrontation with China is noted that in recent years has become a serious challenge for American military dominance in the South China Sea and the Asia-Pacific. The author argues that in the recent years the United States has significantly increased the scale and intensity of its naval maneuvers in the SCS. It was under the Donald Trump administration that the United States increasingly engaged its allies, including non-regional ones, in joint operations in the SCS. Special attention is paid to the impact of Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP), conducted by the United States Navy in the contested maritime areas. FONOP have a dual character. On the one hand, they are framed as peacekeeping operations aimed solely at protecting freedom of navigation. On the other hand, these naval raids are the U.S. key tool to contain China's military ambitions and lead to aggravating tensions in the region.

Keywords: Asia-Pacific, South China Sea, U.S. foreign policy, China, Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP), Anti-Access and Area Denial (A2/AD)


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For citation:
Mishin I. U.S. policy in the South China Sea under the Donald Trump administration. Pathways to Peace and Security, 2020, No 1(58), pp. 46-62. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2020-1-46-62



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