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Monmouth College’s Smolensky to introduce next Great Decisions topic

Monmouth College political science professor Ira Smolensky will introduce the topic “Conflict in the South China Sea” at the next Great Decisions program.

Free and open to the public, the program will be at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the Moot Board Room (Room 276) of the College’s Center for Science and Business, 720 E. Broadway. It will include about one hour of group discussion following the remarks by Smolensky, who joined the faculty in 1984 has been on campus for nearly all 37 years of Great Decisions discussions at Monmouth.

The South China Sea is a locus of competing territorial claims, and China its most vocal claimant. Beijing’s interest has intensified disputes with other countries in the region in recent years, especially since China has increased its naval presence. Smolensky will report that, despite rising international pressure, including an unfavorable ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, China staunchly defends its policies in the region. Preventing tensions from boiling over is a matter of careful diplomacy.

Great Decisions is a nationwide program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, a non-partisan, non-governmental association that works to increase Americans’ understanding of significant foreign policy issues.