Pertaining to the South China Sea dispute, what does the US want? Obviously, claiming any part of it is out of the question, and we clearly want something out of it, so what is that? Links to articles would be greatly appreciated.


1 Answer 1


The main goal of the U.S. is to keep the South China Sea's status as international waters not subject to the exclusive sovereign jurisdiction of China in force. The New York Times explained that the U.S. cares about this because it permits the U.S. and its allies to travel freely in this area and prevents a potentially expansionist and threatening China from expanding its territory.

As the BBC notes, other countries, some of which are U.S. allies relative to China, also have claims to portions of these areas mostly for natural resources exploitation reasons.

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    This sounds logical and supportable; however, one must consider actions of the current administration in defense of those goals. If one does so consider, the goals become completely different.
    – user9790
    Jan 13, 2017 at 15:16
  • I have no idea what you are getting at. Which actions of the current administration imply which completely different goals?
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 13, 2017 at 19:13
  • What has Obama done to ensure that China respects international law and US interests in this instance? I think you laid out a great answer as what should be the goals of the US. I agree with them. I just have to draw different conclusions based upon Obama's actions to date.
    – user9790
    Jan 13, 2017 at 19:34
  • @K_Dog Send warships, warplanes, submarines and make diplomatic objections? Seems consistent to me. Obviously, avoid WWIII with a nuclear armed power over some piles of direct in the ocean with no real residents is somewhere on the list as well.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 13, 2017 at 22:58

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