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an interaction between military vessels sparks a conflict in the South China Sea. Civilian vessels, however, are another story. “My worst maritime experiences have been with fishing boats,” Montgomery said. “The highest risk is associated with non-military vessels.” Compounding this risk, any action taken by the U.S. Coast Guard towards Chinese civilians would be a propaganda victory for the Chinese government, cementing their claims of American aggression.The United States is not left without options. By training and equipping the coast guards of our regional partners, the United States can help them counter control of commerce in the South China Sea by the growing Chinese Coast Guard. The United States has worked alongside Pacific partners ina number of exercises in the past, including coast guard training with the
Philippines in 2015, the U.S. Navy training operation Exercise Balikatan in 2016, and the training of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force for expeditionary warfare. While in Vietnam last month, President Obama acknowledged the importance of the Vietnamese Coast Guard, stating that the United States would continue to train them in maritime law enforcement in order to improve capabilities in the South China Sea.These trainings are designed as responses to specific Chinese actions. For example, during this year’s Exercise Balikatan, the United States, Australia, and the Philippines conducted “a simulated gas and oil platform recoveryraid in the South China Sea”—a clear counter to China’s positioning of an oil platform in disputed waterssouth of the Spratly Islands in 2014. At the same time, by increasing the professionalism of the maritime law enforcement forces of claimants, trainings serve to mitigate the spectre of conflict in the South China Sea. By continuing to train and support the coast guards of regional partners, the United States will contribute to countering Chinese claims,while reassuring partners and allies of our dedication to our regional commitments—in a way that reduces potential conflict between U.S. forces and Chinese sailors and civilians.
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Agenda politics linkPolitical action on the Taiwan conflict is weaponized to derail other agenda itemsMenist 13-Colonel United States Army (Robert L, “Maintaining the Status Quo in the Taiwan Strait” xx-03-2013, U.S. Army War college, -bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA589447)//SLInternal to the U.S. there are a variety of different interests and opinions on the “One-China” issue. Any change ineither U.S. policyor the strategy enacted and the means used to bring about the change would face intensepolitical debate.