U.S.’ South China Sea policy: The first steps under presidency of Joe Biden

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Junior research fellow
Affiliation: Institute of World Economy and International Relations Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 12

The South China Sea conflict is still the «hot - spot» of the Asia-Pacific. In this article special attention is paid to the position of the United States in the South China Sea conflict under the presidency of Joe Biden.

US national interests in the South China Sea are shaped by the American desire to maintain its geopolitical dominance in the Asia-Pacific region and prevent the growth of any hostile power. Today, the South China Sea is the world's most important water area, control over which gives an economic and military advantage. In 2020 the United States officially declared the PRC a "country whose actions are aimed at revising the international order" and a "strategic rival". The United States believes that Beijing's policy of creating and militarizing outposts in the SCS allegedly jeopardizes free trade, threatens the sovereignty of other countries, and undermines regional stability. Moreover, the United States blames China for trying to use the pandemic as a way to achieve its goals in the South China Sea.

The first steps taken by Joe Biden administration clearly indicate Washington’s continuation of previous American hard line in South China Sea. Despite the change in presidential administrations, the United States continues to actively engage US Navy warships as part of operations to protect freedom of navigation, using them as a tool to contain China. In addition, the new administration is actively building an informal anti-Chinese coalition in the region, using both bilateral ties with allies and multilateral platforms, primarily NATO, Quad and AUKUS.

KeywordsAsia-Pacific, South China Sea, territorial dispute, US Foreign Policy, Freedom of Navigation, Law of the Sea
AcknowledgmentThe article was prepared within the project “Post-crisis World Order: Challenges and Technologies, Competition and Cooperation" supported by the grant from Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Program for Research Projects in Priority Areas of Scientific and Technological Development (Agreement № 075-15-2020-783).
Publication date08.12.2021
Number of characters25418
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