“One of the errors of previous administrations in South Asia was the failure to assure Asian allies that America would come to their side in case they were attacked by China, as has been argued by foreign policy experts for quite some-time. Ely Ratner of the Center for American Security, for instance, has been calling for America to abandon its neutrality in the South China Sea region by supplementing diplomacy with military assurances.

“In ‘The Stealth Superpower: How China Hid Its Global Ambitions,’ published in the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs, he says the US ‘should supplement diplomacy with deterrence by warning China that if it continues, the United States will abandon its neutrality and help countries in the region defend their claims. Washington should make it clear that it can live with an uneasy stalemate in Asia—but not with Chinese hegemony…'”

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