Issue Focus

Plausible deniability and Chinese Gray zone strategies in the Yellow Sea/West Sea

In general, it has been a convention that, as a form of symbolism, a peace is represented by white while war is represented by black. This kind of representation is often used in media, historical books, political documents, and so on even though the choice of collar does not carry any particular meaning. Then, what color do we need to use to represent the gray zone activities? Literal meaning of the color “gray” seems to be somewhere between white and black. But, that is not the case. It should be called a new black. The reason the gray zone activities should be depicted as a new black is due to the “plausible deniability” which is fundamental characteristics of the gray zone.
Plausible deniability refers to the ability of an individual or organization to deny knowledge or responsibility for a particular action or decision, even if evidence suggests otherwise. Plausible deniability is often used in politics, espionage, and other contexts where secrecy and covert operations are necessary. The term is typically used to describe situations where an action or decision may be perceived as controversial or illegal, and where the individuals or organizations involved want to avoid being held accountable for the consequences of their actions. By maintaining plausible deniability, these individuals or organizations can distance themselves from the action in question and avoid legal or political repercussions. There are many examples where the plausible deniability is applied in the context of maritime domain.

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