South China Sea: The Nine Dotted Lines
China's ridiculous claim in the South China Sea is proof it is a dictatorship. Every dictatorship needs an external enemy to survive. Saddam did not have the option to not invade Kuwait. North Korea needs to act belligerent.
South China Sea is first and foremost an ideological tussle. Free speech is sacrosanct. In thoroughly stifling free speech the Chinese Communist Party is saying it is so brittle it might not survive if the people truly started speaking their mind.
The Chinese regime needs to keep making its ridiculous claim in the South China Sea because it needs to stay in power in Beijing. It is a diversion tactic for the home audience.
The Chinese military is not as bad as the Pakistani military in that it does not think it is a parallel power center. The political leadership is supreme. But that political leadership is a monopoly situation, kind of like the too big to fail banks in America.