Small-Stick Diplomacy in the South China Sea

April 23, 2012 Topic: Security Region: Asia Tags: Small Stick DiplomacyChinaSouth China SeaPhilippines

Small-Stick Diplomacy in the South China Sea

A recent action off the Phillipines has all eyes on China's rising naval prowess. But non-naval services also support Beijing's maritime strategy.

Scarborough Shoal is a harbinger of things to come. Never overlook the political value of ships just because they don't bristle with guns and missiles.

James Holmes is an associate professor of strategy at the U.S. Naval War College, where Toshi Yoshihara holds the John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies. They are the coauthors of Red Star over the Pacific, an Atlantic Best Book of 2010. The views voiced here are theirs alone.