US Reveals Beijing’s Large-Scale Activities in the South China Sea

A new report from the US Congressional Research Service uncovered a number of actions from China and said that Beijing’s recently introduced arbitrary law raises concerns as it seeks to dominate East Asia, especially the South China Sea and East China Sea.

“Observers commonly refer to China’s approach to SCS and ECS as a ‘salami slicing’ strategy, which employs a series of incremental actions, none of which is in itself a reason for a gradual change in the status quo in China’s favor,” the report says.

This document was prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and published in the third week of December 2021.

CRS serves as non-partisan general staff for Congressional committees and members of Congress. It acts solely at the direction and direction of Congress.

The report also says that other observers refer to China’s approach as a strategy of operations in the gray zone, which means functions in the gray zone between peace and war.

Beijing’s strategy also includes incrementalism, creeping annexation or creeping invasion, or say-and-take, which refers to a strategy in which China engages in (or drags on) negotiations by taking action to gain control of disputed areas.

Perhaps more than any other set of actions, China’s island-building (aka land reclamation) and base-building activities in the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea have heightened US observers’ concerns that China quickly gains effective control over the South China Sea, the report says.

China’s large-scale island and base building activities in the South China Sea region appear to have begun around December 2013 and have been publicly reported since May 2014.

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