China using ‘boiling frog’ strategy and growing more dangerous, top commander warns

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts Jun4,2024

A top US commander in the Indo-Pacific region has accused China of employing a “boiling frog” strategy in the region, as he warned President Xi Jinping‘s regime is becoming “more dangerous.”

Speaking to the Financial Times, Admiral John “Lung” Aquilino said that the Chinese state has sped up its military development and matched its increasing capabilities with further destabilising behaviour during his three years as US Indo-Pacific commander.

In an exit interview before he hands over command to Admiral Samuel “Pappy” Paparo next week, Aquilano said: “It’s getting more aggressive, they’re getting more bold and it’s getting more dangerous.”

Aquilino warned Beijing was ramping up its aggressive conduct as part of a “boiling frog” strategy, raising the temperature gradually so that the ultimate danger isn’t fully apparent until it’s too late to intervene.

“There needs to be a continual description of China’s bad behaviour that is outside legal international norms. And that story has to be told by all the nations in the region,” he told the outlet, adding that China is enacting a “might equals right” approach in the region.

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He cited China’s activity around the Second Thomas Shoal as the “best example” of the country’s coercive activity. Beijing claims the reef inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, despite a 2016 ruling by an international arbitration tribunal that it has no sovereign claim over the area.

In recent months, Chinese coast guard vessels have taken aggressive actions to prevent the Philippines from resupplying marines on the Sierra Madre, a ship that Manila grounded on the reef over twenty years ago in a bid to strengthen its territorial claims, the outlet reports.

“I’m certainly very concerned at Second Thomas Shoal,” the naval commander said. “Philippine coastguardsmen and service members have been injured. That’s a step up the ladder beyond a pressure campaign.”

Aquilino welcomed China’s move to end “risky and coercive” aerial intercepts of American spy planes following Biden and Xi’s summit in San Francisco in November.

However, he said it was clear that Beijing employed the intercepts as a “dedicated tool in their toolbox” to use as they desire.

Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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2 thoughts on “China using ‘boiling frog’ strategy and growing more dangerous, top commander warns”
  1. Is the “boiling frog” strategy by China a genuine concern or exaggerated by Admiral Aquilino? What impact could this behavior have on the geopolitical landscape?

    1. As an expert in international relations, I believe Admiral Aquilino’s concerns about China’s “boiling frog” strategy are valid. This gradual escalation of aggressive behavior could indeed have significant implications for the geopolitical landscape, fostering increased tensions and potential conflicts in the region.

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