Why is the Trump administration hesitant on South China Sea dispute?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 28 2017 09:10 PM | Updated as of Sep 28 2017 12:55 PM

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The U.S. involvement on the South China Sea issue was expected to be a flashpoint under President Donald Trump during the days leading to his assumption of office, but the flexing of muscle remains to be seen after a few months.

In an interview with ANC's Early Edition, foreign relations analyst Richard Heydarian discussed what's taking the Trump administration a long time to step in.

Heydarian said that although the U.S. Defense Department wants to ramp up its presence and send bigger ships closer to Chinese reclamation in the area to limit China from further expanding its military footprint, it was met with resistance in the White House.

"So the Pentagon, despite wanting to ramp up its presence in the area and push back against the Chinese, they’re still waiting for Trump to give the green light, but some people in the White House—we’re not clear about their identity—are not yet signing up for this," he said. - Early Edition, 28 March 2017