Firestein Reflects on South China Sea Dispute

News | July 10, 2017

David Firestein, Perot Fellow and Senior Vice President of the EastWest Institute, joined students at the U.S. Army War College on Thursday, June 22, to discuss the strategic perceptions and assumptions between the U.S. and China in the South China Sea.

Firestein contends that--although the media in both countries continue to perpetuate an adversarial, zero-sum narrative--we must go beyond this conventional media narrative to effectively analyze the South China Sea dispute.

Firestein believes that even though the competing territorial and maritime claims are unlikely to be resolved in the short term, the United States and China are still unlikely to go to war over the South China Sea. However, if left unaddressed, the dispute will continue to hamper strategic trust in the U.S.-China relationship. With a more thoughtful probing of the doctrines, policies, assumptions and perceptions, the issue can be managed better, thus generating a higher-quality status quo for all parties involved.

Watch the entire talk here