Hard-headed realism needed in the South China Sea

As long as Beijing remains determined to extend de facto sovereignty in the South China Sea, any attempts at conciliation will be dead in the water.

Hopes of resolving the South China Sea’s bitter territorial disputes have once again proven illusory.

Meeting in Myanmar over the week-end, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shied away from backing the Filipino proposal for a freeze on destabilising unilateral challenges to the territorial status quo.

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