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Jakarta Post

Everyone loses

  • Editorial board

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 24 2020   /  01:00 am
A US Navy hover craft speeds past the USS Wasp, US Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship, during the amphibious landing exercises as part of the annual joint US-Philippines military exercise on the shores of San Antonio town, facing the South China sea, Zambales province on April 11, 2019. (AFP/Ted Aljibe)

The South China Sea dispute is heating up, and it is happening at the worst possible time. Tensions have risen between the United States and China in recent weeks, marked by Washington’s announcement earlier this month that it had toughened its stance on the South China Sea issue. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo led the rebuke by declaring that America stood with its Southeast Asian allies in protecting their “rights to offshore resources”. Beijing responded strongly, accusing Washington of “inciting confrontation in the region” and sabotaging its efforts to engage peacefully with ASEAN. On either side of this confrontation, the superpowers traded barbs, deployed military assets and conducted maneuvers in contested waters. The US-China rivalry has already spilled over into global efforts to curb COVID-19, as questions have been raised about the Wo...