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Then there is the immense difficulty the U.S. is having in bringing its China-excluding Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact to fruition.It is not easy for some U.S. leaders to say so publicly, but most acknowledge privately that America can no longer have the seas and skies to itself.China has been stretching the limits of regional (and U.S.) tolerance with its expansive sovereignty claims and massive land-reclamation activity – some 2,000 acres in 18 months – on Fiery Cross Reef and elsewhere.China cannot claim a 12-mile territorial sea or a 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ); nor can it put in place an air defense identification zone or any other kind of military exclusion operation.In the interest of defusing tensions, the U.S. should scale back its monitoring activities within China's EEZs and rely more on less obviously intrusive means.Managing the U.S.-China relationship in general, and the South China Sea in particular, requires, above all, keeping official rhetoric under control.
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