China has been using these "fishing boats" on a regular basis in an attempt to enforce its claim to a number of island chains supposedly full of untapped oil and natural gas. Vietnam has responded by holding live fire navel maneuvers off its coast near the disputed region in an escalating show of force that is designed to highlight its view on the matter.
As various foreign affairs experts weigh in on the geo-politics of the dispute one particular comment, made by Mainland born academic Wang Hanling recently, has grabbed the headlines. In response to Vietnam's use of naval drills in the area he says,
"If the big brother bullies the younger brother it is not good and is something that should not happen, [but] if the younger brother challenges or bullies the older brother, it's just ridiculous."The United States needs to keep its eye on the ball. As a global player with no territorial claims in the area its role as peace broker is needed now more than ever. The smaller countries of the region are looking to America for leadership on the matter. The last thing they need is an America that is war weary, debt ridden, and withdrawn.