In a speech in Manila earlier this week, Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed the United States' policy of not recognizing China's East China Sea ADIZ (although, it should be noted that US commercial airlines do, in fact, abide by the ADIZ regulations). In fact, Kerry's trip to Vietnam and the Philippines were in response to these new prospects of a Chinese ADIZ in the South China Sea, even though Beijing has not confirmed or openly pursued any such plans. It appears that the United States is also looking for a strong regional coalition to contain China. The US recently gave $4 million in security aid to the Philippines and $3.3 million to other Southeast Asian states.
|Secretary Kerry speaking in Manila on Dec 17|
Secretary Kerry's increased interest in these territorial disputes indicates the increased likelihood of US involvement in easing regional tensions. Since some argue that the US has not be consistent in its approach to Chinese expansion (particularly in dealing with the East China Sea ADIZ), the possibility of similar Chinese policy in the South China Sea gives the United States an opportunity to clarify its position on Chinese expansion and to formulate a coherent policy to protect its allies in the region.