Departures Podcast featuring Gregory Poling, author of ‘On Dangerous Ground: America’s Century in the South China Sea’

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It may just be a smattering of insignificant rocks and reefs along the Nine-dash line between the Philippines and China, but in recent years this area has become the focus of the world’s most complex and dangerous maritime dispute. China’s growing influence and willingness to project its will against smaller neighbors and US allies has drawn Washington into a set of intersecting disputes, while placing significant pressure on America’s commitment to established international law regarding open seas.

This week on Departures we are pleased to feature Gregory Poling, the Southeast Asia Program and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. Poling is the author of the new book, “On Dangerous Ground: America’s Century in the South China Sea,” which offers a detailed and highly engaging history of Washington’s involvement in this part of the world and how the current tensions evolved from past unsettled issues.

Poling’s book takes issue with the China-centric narrative which has become embedded in the global conversation about these territorial claims, and puts the focus on strategic decision-making happening not just in Beijing and Washington, but also among many other smaller neighboring Southeast Asian countries with interests at play.