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Opinion

World cannot ignore Chinese aggression in South China Sea

Beijing has been pressuring neighbors and building up fleet strength

| China
USS Ronald Reagan, far left, operates with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier JS Izumo in South China Sea in June 2019: more freedom of navigation patrols by not only the U.S. but other allies will be required. (Handout photo from U.S. Navy)

Admiral James Stavridis was 16th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and 12th Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He spent the bulk of his operational career in the Pacific, including multiple command assignments.

For the past two decades, China's strategy in the South China Sea has been reminiscent of ancient general and strategist Sun Tzu, who said: "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." In this turbulent time, that patience is beginning to change as China, emboldened by the U.S.'s abdication of leadership and by a distracted world, gains in aggression.

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