A leaked report from the People’s Liberation Army offers a rare Chinese admission of its strategy in the South China Sea—and the conclusion that it has established undeniable military supremacy there. ABS-CBN:
The experts said that China’s massive land reclamation projects have helped it to acquire the PLA’s strategic advantage in military security in the South China Sea to a certain extent.
“Intimidated by the projects, related claimants and neighboring countries are unlikely to provoke any military conflict or escalate it into a war because they are too poorly prepared,” it said. […]
With regard to military confrontation with the U.S. military, the report said that while Washington is likely to maintain its seemingly neutral stance on the sovereignty issue of the region, it “lacks both the ability and will to engage in a military conflict or go to war with us.”
The PLA report confirms what honest observers already know: while Obama dithered in defining the exact boundaries of his pivot, the Chinese steamrolled him, moving assertively to create facts in the South China Sea that will long outlast his tenure. No matter how aggressively Trump moves next, the strategic balance has shifted decidedly in Beijing’s favor. Such is the sorry state of the last President’s Asia legacy.