Air power in the South China Sea: Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines


Henrik Paulsson


The Interpreter


 April 12, 2016


Much of the recent strategic analysis on the South China Sea has largely focused on the naval sphere, with the acquisition of new submarines by Vietnam and Malaysia and the US Navy conducting freedom of navigation missions in the contested waters. In contrast, the aerial domain has either been forgotten or only mentioned in passing. The absence of analysis on air power means that several questions have been left unanswered. Specifically, can Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines challenge Chinese encroachment in the air?