April 4, 2016
Is Beijing's Militarization of the South China Sea Really 'Defensive'?

by Koh Swee Lean Collin

The latest buzzword of the South China Sea 'war of words', as observed in media reports, academic opinion and official press remarks is none other than 'militarization'. But what does 'militarization' mean?

The Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries commonly define 'militarization' as "to give a military character or quality to something." Alternative definitions include "an act of making something operate in a manner similar to armed forces"; "to equip or supply a place with military forces"; "to adapt for military use"; and "an act of deploying armed forces to an area."

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