China's Maritime Strategy on the Horizon


Tuan N. Pham


The Diplomat


 November 24, 2016


Last July, I authored an article titled “America Has a Chance to Beat Back China’s South China Sea (SCS) Strategy,” highlighting an aggressive Chinese public relations (PR) campaign throughout the region and across the globe to influence world opinions and present Beijing’s legal and political positions in the SCS. I suggested that the PR shift may be part of larger Chinese recalibration of its assertive (and oftentimes unilateral) actions in the SCS to meet the mounting unfavorable geopolitical conditions and regional trends (at that time). I then asked what the PR shift reveals about Beijing’s developing maritime strategy, and, more importantly, what could Washington do to shape and influence that strategy? In this follow-on article, I further assess the evolving strategy and outline how Washington could respond.