Policy & Regulation

US fails to support allies in South China Sea

Threats of force over oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea are putting US commitments in the region to the test Threats of force over oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea are putting US commitments in the region to the test.
By The Wildcat 4 August 2017 0 27058
Talisman Vietnam was told to stop exploring the South China Sea. (Repsol, Flickr)

The United States’ commitment to supporting its allies in the South China Sea has been called into question as Vietnam caved in to pressure from Beijing to halt exploration for oil and gas within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Vietnam is entitled to unilaterally develop resources in its EEZ under international maritime law, and the fact the US did not provide public support to its ally has consequences for stability in the region. 

China reportedly threatened to use force against Vietnam’s bases on...