A war between US and China depends on Beijing, US magazine said

This is a comment post from the National Interest. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.

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WASHINGTON, (BM) – China’s policy in the South China Sea creates a situation in which US behavior looks like a destabilizing intervention, says Robert Farley, a professor at Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Trade, quoted by The National Interest.

The main problems are focused on China’s efforts to expand the Spratly Islands, which may serve as the basis for claims for territorial waters (a 200-mile economical zone around the islands). The persistent demands of the United States on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea can bring this tension to conflict.

According to The National Interest, the active expansion of the Spratly Islands makes it possible to build runways and other permanent facilities, as well as the deployment of weapons.

“China has now created more than four square kilometers of artificial land,” said US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr.

Beijing considers the new islands an integral part of Chinese territory. Washington has other ideas, and he claims to be protecting freedom of navigation in areas that China calls territorial waters.

According to the publication, the prospects for conflict are clear. If American ships or planes enter the waters claimed by China, a militarized response can quickly lead to escalation, especially if the US troops suffer any serious damage.

It is also easy to imagine scenarios in which the construction on the islands leads China to become involved in the struggle against the states of the region that also claim sovereignty over the Spratly Islands: Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia. In this case, the demand for freedom of navigation could put China in an awkward position with respect to a third party.

An escalation of the conflict is possible if China decides to take the next step and create an air defense zone (Air Defense) over the South China Sea. The United States has consistently shown disregard for China’s air defense in the East China Sea; closure of air access will almost certainly provoke a reaction from the United States, putting American and Chinese aircraft in direct contact.

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Editorial team
Original source: Krasnaya vesna

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