Let no crisis go to waste.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is not simply ramping up military drills in the now-uncontested South China Sea but expanding their plans for oil exploration, which has been a point of contention between China and the US. With one aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, being out of action for at least two weeks and taking at least two more weeks to become fully mission capable, China is going full-bore with their long term goal of domination in the western Pacific.
While some see China’s nationalistic messaging as a bid to rally its people during difficult Covid-19 times, others view the increasingly aggressive naval maneuvers as a bid to exploit America’s weakened condition to secure new advantage in the hot spot theater.
Such moves are not simply off-the-cuff, and the Chinese don’t do anything without evaluating its long term costs and benefits. Its almost as if they planned this.