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A nation must think before it acts.
Access the Summer 2021 issue of Orbis here.
Wealth and power have steered global prestige from East to West and back again. History’s serial relocations of economic growth and corollary power changed the character of the South China Sea into a conflictual conduit for Eastern and then Western colonialism, a strategic sea space in world war, and now a cockpit of contest to maintain or revise the rules-based international order. For the first time in several centuries, a Chinese blue water navy is projecting power across the Indo-Pacific and prosecuting a national maritime security strategy to transform the South China Sea into China’s sovereign territory. In large part, the winner of the Sino-American struggle for preponderance in the South China Sea will steer the course of the twenty-first century in the Indo-Pacific.