The United States and Chinese navies have just narrowly avoided a dangerous collision. This was not an accident but an escalation, a show of force on the part of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to drive out the US Navy from what China considers its territorial waters in the South China Sea.
UK naval forces have stepped up anti-piracy operations and the use of force in the Indian Ocean. This could, however, signal an escalation and lead to a more dangerous phase in the battle against Somali pirates.
The United States is still not party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fifteen years after the treaty became operational. Though this has been driven by internal concerns about losing sovereignty, an opportunity now presents itself for the US to enhance its maritime interests by joining the Convention.