In their recently published paper, Getting Serious About Strategy in the South China Sea, Hal Brands and Zack Cooper were quick to emphasize that Washington’s own “core interests are not really at stake” in the South China Sea.
Still, they argued that China’s offensive in the volatile region is not simply a matter of who controls “a bunch of rocks on the other side of the world” but a challenge to a series of key US interests in the South China Sea and the broader Asia-Pacific region.
These interests include economic, military and geopolitical interests.
Thus, Brands and Cooper said it is imperative that US leaders follow at least four basic strategies to be able to steer the proper course in a turbulent South China Sea:
According to the two experts, the first strategy aims to push China back from its recent gains in the South China Sea and restore the status quo ante.