[Ed. – Wasn’t this the plan all along?]
With the Covid-19 pandemic mostly contained in China and now wreaking havoc on the United States, security analysts are closely watching Beijing’s military moves in the hotly contested South China Sea.
In recent days, China has conducted military drills and deployed large-scale military assets to the maritime area while at the same time officially celebrating strides made in exploiting disputed energy resources in the fossil fuel-rich sea.
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.
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Rival Southeast Asian claimants are also in a compromised strategic position as they contend with worsening Covid-19 outbreaks.