Tensions in the South China Sea have accelerated in recent months, as China makes assertive moves to protect its claims in the area. Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center, explains that the Asian nations in the region have strong interests in the possible sub-sea energy wealth and navigation and fishing rights above. Given China’s actions and those of other claimants in the area, the U.S. must chart a careful diplomatic path to help assure a peaceful resolution of the issues and to protect America’s own strong interest in freedom of navigation.
Today’s sanctions were predictable after the Mueller indictment, which identified specific Russians involved with the troll factory...However, these individuals are small fish. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the so-called ‘Putin’s chef’ in charge of the Internet Research Agency, was already on the U.S. sanctions list for his activities in Ukraine. The administration deserves credit for following through on their promise to impose new sanctions, but much more still needs to be done to realistically deter Russia.
It’s a good move by the administration to impose sanctions...but it’s still not enough to respond to growing Russian aggression.