With Swarms of Ships, Beijing Tightens Its Grip on South China Sea
According to local reports, an influx of Chinese ships has populated the South China Sea.
For strategic context on the meaning of this activity and what business leaders should do about it see: C-Suite Considerations Regarding Current Geopolitical Tensions
Although the boats appear to be fishing boats, they are not being utilized as such. Dozens have allegedly packed together in neat rows, claiming to be seeking shelter from unknown storms. The incident represents growing concern over China’s claims on the South China Sea, which were intensified not long ago when China began to build and fortify artificial islands within the disputed sea. It seems as though China has switched its strategy, now reinforcing these outposts by populating the entire area with vessels.
Its goal appears to be to establish an overwhelming presence via the fishing boats, seeking to accomplish its policy goals through other means than diplomacy or international law. China’s actions perhaps reflect growing confidence as the country reaches to test the Biden administration in its early days. The move also pressures neighbors in the South China Sea who are increasingly dependent on China for its economy, agriculture, and Covid-19 vaccines.