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China’s ongoing construction efforts have created a situation where (in the words of the Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Philip Davidson) Beijing is ‘capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States’. The absence of outright war reflects not only China’s ability to move the threshold for instigating open conflict, but also the fact that law, justice and security are not being respected, and that some have come to terms with this.
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