South China Sea and Korea February 2016

China has introduced long-range surface-to-air missiles to and recently landed modern fighter aircraft on Woody Island in the disputed Paracel Islands of the South China Sea provoking fears that China may use them to restrict navigation.

Meanwhile, North Korea continues its nuclear threats.

After reviewing the problems in these areas, Derek Burney and Fen Hampson conclude “The scope for diplomacy is limited. For the time being, a stiffer spine and more muscular posture by the U.S. and its allies may be the best way to keep matters in check.”

We have seen seem the United Kingdom join the United States in sending its fighter aircraft to Japan for exercises, while Australia is being urged to begin freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea. From Canada, nothing, it would seem.

Given our withdrawal from the ISIS bombing campaign, a more a "muscular posture" does not appear to be part of the current government’s foreign policy playbook.

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