Territorial disputes are a delicate thing… and potentially deadly as well.
That’s why the U.S. is backing up its positions with an ever-increasing presence of warships in the South China Sea.
China is very touchy about these territories, and unwilling to give up what they perceive as their waters, even as a UN tribunal just denied their claims and strengthened the U.S. hand.
Indeed, the entire situation is combustible and very dangerous.
In a congressional hearing on Wednesday, former Director of National Intelligence and retired Navy admiral Dennis Blair told the panel that the United States should be prepared to use military force to oppose Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
“I think we need to have some specific lines and then encourage China to compromise on some of its objectives,” Blair, who headed the U.S. Pacific Command while in the Navy, said at the hearing.
The admiral’s recommendation came the day after a United Nations tribunalinvalidated China’s claim of territorial rights to nearly all of the waters in the South China Sea.
The U.S., citing the territorial dispute and security concerns raised by its allies in the region, have for months been sending warships into the South China Sea as a check against Chinese hostility.
Beijing, acutely aware of the military buildup off its coast, has publicly warned the U.S. it’s more than ready to defend against provocations. “China hopes disputes can be resolved by talks… but it must be prepared for any military confrontation.”
It seems that the situation is being deliberately stoked into conflict, and that tensions are programmed to reach a boiling over point. If true, there is no indication of where the point of no return would be.
The U.S. has the excuse of protecting its ally, and former territory, the Philippines, and thus has a pretext to play policeman in the region.
But in turn, that is only a thinly-veiled ruse to amplify the military pressure, and let bloated speech and menacing saber-rattling episodes set the tone for ‘diplomacy’ with the Red Dragon.
Now, there is not only an escalation, but an acknowledgement on both sides of the Pacific that things are headed towards war – and it is being openly discussed in those stark terms…