US Opinion and Commentary

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Great Power Confrontation in the South China Sea

Posted May 5th, 2016 at 4:08 pm (UTC-4)
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The US and Russia are not the only non-South China Sea states believing they have an interest in that contested body of water. India and, more recently, Japan have also made their presence felt, sending ships through what they consider to be a part of the global commons.

South China Sea: Bracing for Beijing’s Next Move

Posted April 28th, 2016 at 8:01 am (UTC-4)
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The United States should continue this trend by serving notice to the Chinese, privately at first, then publicly, that unless they can help in reducing tensions in the region…they will leave U.S. leaders with no choice but to reinforce their alliance capabilities. Then, the United States should do exactly that.

How to Get Tough with China

Posted April 27th, 2016 at 1:43 pm (UTC-4)
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Public anger over corruption is probably what scares the Communist Party of China’s leadership the most….Expose ruling-class corruption—perhaps starting with the top fifty CPC leaders and their families—and trumpet it repeatedly and widely. The United States is aware of part of the problem, but it can uncover much more with proper effort.

American Needs More Than Symbolic Gestures in the South China Sea

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 4:14 pm (UTC-4)
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It is also time for the US to move beyond symbolic gestures and launch a robust “freedom of the seas campaign”. It should increase the pace and scope of the Freedom of Navigation programme to challenge China’s maritime claims, as well as the number of sailing days that US warships spend in the South China Sea.

Does China Need More Friends in Asia?

Posted March 21st, 2016 at 12:46 pm (UTC-4)
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There could come a threshold beyond which the intersection of allied doubts and growing Chinese heft could compel China’s neighbors to “choose” China over the United States as their most consequential long-term partner—less out of strategic preference than of perceived imperatives.

The U.S. Is Heading Toward a Dangerous Showdown with China

Posted March 17th, 2016 at 12:04 pm (UTC-4)
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What makes this dispute so explosive is that it pits an American president who needs to affirm his credibility as a strong leader against a risk-taking Chinese president who has shown disregard for U.S. military power and who faces potent political enemies at home.

China’s Self-Defeating Provocations in the South China Sea

Posted March 3rd, 2016 at 11:59 am (UTC-4)
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By its small-scale tactical military deployments on indefensible islands in the South China Sea, China is antagonizing all the other littoral countries, which are … turning to the United States and Japan … to increase military cooperation and to request additional security assistance

How to Oppose China’s Bid for Maritime Dominance

Posted February 26th, 2016 at 4:18 pm (UTC-4)
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In this deteriorating situation…a more consistent, robust set of American responses is essential….Deploy American Coast Guard cutters to the western Pacific…Expand cooperation with regional states…Impose explicit costs on Chinese aggressive behavior

China’s Missile Provocation

Posted February 18th, 2016 at 10:14 am (UTC-4)
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Beijing’s purpose is to box out rival claims from other countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia….China risks destabilizing the region by seeking to impose its will rather than reconciling the competing claims.

Obama Can Make His Asia Pivot Endure

Posted February 16th, 2016 at 4:01 pm (UTC-4)
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Only steady, consistent engagement can overcome doubts about U.S. staying power. After some early stumbles, Obama has set a good precedent by committing the U.S. to several regional meetings, which should forge stronger bonds well into the future.

Vietnam Dangles at the Tip of the Chinese Spear

Posted January 8th, 2016 at 12:22 pm (UTC-4)
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Vietnam knows a rapidly militarizing China wants its natural resources, and is responding to this undisguised aggression with its own significant military buildup to protect itself. There are also cautious overtures being made to the United States by Vietnam, perhaps hoping to tuck itself beneath the security umbrella enjoyed by other U.S. allies in Asia…

Look for America’s Enemies to Take Advantage of Obama’s Last Year

Posted January 7th, 2016 at 1:09 pm (UTC-4)
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China, with impunity, has fortified seven newly created artificial islands located in the hotly disputed Spratlys archipelago. … Will Beijing seek to push the envelope even more in 2016, fearful that the next president in 2017 — whether Hillary Clinton or a Republican — could be more like Truman or Reagan than Carter or Barack […]

2015 in Review

Posted December 30th, 2015 at 2:12 pm (UTC-4)
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As 2015’s final minutes tick away, it’s gives us a chance to look into the mirror to see what we are leaving behind. Many philosophers have noted that history tends to repeat itself. Terrorism. Gun violence. Racial tensions. Religious differences. Politics. The environment. So we reflect on the events and trends of 2015 in hopes of identifying patterns, learning from the mistakes of the past and building on its successes to take on many of the same challenges in 2016.

Unaccountable China

Posted December 18th, 2015 at 3:55 pm (UTC-4)
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… China has been engaged in the frenzied creation of artificial islands and the militarization of the South China Sea … a strategically crucial corridor through which $5.3 trillion in trade flows each year. But what is even more shocking … is that China has incurred no international costs for its behavior.

The U.S. Navy Has Sailed Past China’s Artificial Islands—And Must Do So Again.

Posted October 30th, 2015 at 12:13 pm (UTC-4)
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By undertaking freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea as a regular operation in pursuance of long-standing U.S. principles, the administration has the opportunity to show Beijing, and the rest of the region, that America can do more than just give speeches to uphold stability in the world’s most dynamic region.