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US-China War Possible over South China Sea Dispute?

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Is US-China War really possible over South China Sea Dispute? The US-China Relations are severed at many levels including the recent Trade War, and now the US has again drawn attention towards China’s aggressive approach towards the South China Sea. Recently, a US destroyer was found very close to an island claimed by China which the US called freedom of Navigation. The aggressive military expansion over the South China Sea has garnered global attention.

China believes that this recent incident is a ‘serious military provocation’, while the US says it was on a ‘freedom of navigation’ operation. With Trump already irked by China, there are chances that such operations in the South China Sea will be increased to tell China that this expansion is unacceptable. Additionally, the French and British naval fleet is also set to enter the South China Sea and may lead to further ‘provocation’.

France, Britain Support the US on the South China Sea Dispute

The purpose of the French and British naval fleet entering the South China Sea is to show their support to the US. This also shows solidarity with other allies like Japan and Australia as they believe that China’s claims over the disputed waters go against international rules set after the 2nd world war.

Also Read: Is Indian Military Preparing for a War with China?

However, chances of China taking a step backwards are bleak! In fact, experts believe that this show of solidarity may further pace up China’s military expansion over the disputed parts of the South China Sea. The US believes that China is trying to gain supremacy over the waters and thus reinforcing military power.

China’s take on the South China Sea Issue

On the other hand, China believes that the issue is all about the US trying to keep up its military bases in water. China believes that the US is trying to intimidate China only to maintain its powers over the waters. As reported in the South China Morning Post:

For the record, China, in fact, does abide by rules laid down under international accords, whether on climate change or exploration in the Arctic and Antarctica, but just not those that it thinks will undermine its sovereignty or core interests.

China is completely aware of the growing suspicion and the aggravating the South China Sea issue. However, it appears that this aggressive spread across the South China Sea is the nations assurance to not feel vulnerable again. A lot has happened over the waters in the history, and China is being double sure so history does not repeat itself.

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China Warns UK, Canada Of Dire Consequences For Meddling In Hong Kong

China has warned Canada and the UK and said Beijing would retaliate over the country’s response to a new national security law in Hong Kong. 

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China has warned Canada and the UK of consequences for meddling in Hong Kong and its internal affairs following the imposition of a sweeping new national security law.

Japanese Analyst Rips-Apart China’s Double Game Of ‘Gentle Statements & Wicked Actions’

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said the UK’s offer of a path to citizenship for up to three million Hong Kong residents amounted to “gross interference”.  Critics of the new law say it disintegrates Hong Kong’s freedoms as a semi-autonomous region.

“The UK government keeps making irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs,” he told a virtual news conference.

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The ambassador said a decision on exactly how China plans to respond would be made once it knew the details. Liu also warned the UK that if it decided against using Huawei’s technology to build its 5G network in the country, this would send a “very bad message to other Chinese businesses”.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab emphasised that the initiative to permit millions of Overseas British Nationals to come to the UK did not amount interference in China’s domestic affairs.

Chinese J-20 Stealth Jets Decades Ahead Of Any Indian Aircraft Including Rafale Jets

“We want a positive relationship with China… but the real issue here is one of trust, and whether China can be trusted to live up to its international obligations and its international responsibilities,” he said. “That’s the message that we are telegraphing along with many of our allies, and indeed many international partners around the world.”

Earlier, a spokesman for British PM Boris Johnson urged China not to interfere if people of Hong Kong sought to come to the UK. He added: “We are currently assessing the national security law and its legal ramifications in terms of extradition with Hong Kong.

Galwan Valley Clash: Top Indian General Decodes Why India Lost 20 Soldiers In India-China Border Conflict

“There are already extensive extradition safeguards in the UK. The courts are required to bar a person’s extradition to any country if it would be incompatible with their human rights or if the request appears to be motivated by their political opinion.”

China Warns Canada

Earlier, China issues similar warning to Canada and said Beijing would retaliate over the country’s response to a new national security law in Hong Kong.

Canada recently discontinued its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and suspended exports of sensitive military gear to the financial capital as Western nations voiced anxiety about the legislation’s impact on the HK’s special rights.

After Ladakh, Andamans Could Be Next Big Flashpoint Between India & China

“China strongly condemns this and reserves the right to make a further response. All consequences arising therefrom will be borne by Canada,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular briefing. “Any attempt to put pressure on China will never succeed,” Zhao said.

“China urges Canada to immediately correct its mistakes and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs in any way, so as to avoid further damage to China-Canada relations.”

International Report On Galwan Valley Clash Emerges As Families, Soldiers Share The Horrific Incident

Ties between China and Canada Relations have tremendously decayed since Canadian authorities detained a top Huawei executive – Meng Wanzhou in December 2018, and China later arrested two Canadians, including a former diplomat.

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Putin, Modi Congratulate Donald Trump On US Independence Day

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated US counterpart Donald Trump on the US Independence Day which is celebrated every year on July 4, Kremlin Spokesman confirmed.

“Yes. The congratulatory telegram was sent,” Peskov told TASS when asked if Putin had congratulated Trump on Independence Day.

This year the US held the 244th celebration of the national holiday commemorating US’ declaration of independence from the British Empire on July 4, 1776. On this occasion, Washington hosted an air parade including both historic planes of various epochs of air construction, starting from World War II, and modern aircraft.

Earlier, Indian PM Modi tweeted: “I congratulate @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and the people of the USA on the 244th Independence Day of the USA. As the world’s largest democracies, we cherish freedom and human enterprise that this day celebrates. @WhiteHouse”

America loves India,” said President Donald Trump and thanked “friend” Indian PM Narendra Modi for his greetings on the United States Independence Day. “Thank you my friend. America loves India!,” Donald Trump tweeted.

Donald Trump has used an Independence Day address to pledge to defeat the “radical left” as demonstrations sweep the nation. Striking an aggressive tone, Trump said he would “fight… to preserve the American way of life”, while railing at “mobs” targeting historical monuments.

The 4 July holiday marks the nation’s declaration of independence from Britain in 1776. Historically successive US presidents have used the occasion to deliver speeches hail the virtues of unity.

Last year Trump spoke of the “extraordinary heritage” of the nation at an event with a militaristic theme that involved Air Force flyovers and tanks parked on display. This year, Trump’s speech was again followed by a flyover involving various aircraft, including stealth F-35 fighter jets.

Trump also took a gig at demonstrators and said – “We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and the people who, in many instances, have absolutely no clue what they are doing.”  “We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children.”

Statues of historical personalities connected with racism or slavery have been removed amid the wave of protests – attracting Trump’s wrath. “Their goal is demolition,” he declared.

Talking on his idea to create a “National Garden of American Heroes” starring statues of notable Americans,  Trump said the country’s rich heritage belonged to citizens of all races. “The patriots who built our country were not villains,” he said. “They were heroes.”

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From USSR To Middle-East & Now China: Asia Emerges As The Next Big Battle Ground For The US

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In the midst Chinese aggressive posture in the South China Sea and on the Indian border, the US is ready to deploy thousands of soldiers, currently stationed in Germany, to American bases in Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, Japan and Australia.

During the Cold War, US defence tacticians thought it imperative to maintain an extensive ground force in Europe to keep the USSR at bay. In the 2000s, the focus was essentially on the Middle East as the US conducted “war on terrorism.” Now, the focus has changed to China.

To challenge the might of China and Russia, “US forces must be deployed abroad in a more forward and expeditionary manner than they have been in recent years,” wrote Robert O’Brien, Donald Trump’s national security adviser in a WSJ.

Toward this end, the US will decrease its soldiers permanently deployed in Germany from 34,500 troops to 25,000. The remaining troops are expected to be reassigned elsewhere in Europe, redeployed to the Indo-Pacific region, or sent back to the US.

On the Indo-Pacific, O’Brien wrote: “In that theatre, Americans and allies face the most significant geopolitical challenge since the end of the Cold War.”

Critics see three trends in the US army’s global missions. One is the geographical shift from Europe and the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific. Second is the shift from land-based combat to an “Air-Sea Battle” notion. The third, and perhaps most unique to Donald Trump, is the urge to cut down the defence spendings.

O’Brien’s redeployment proposal touches on all three aspects. Geographically, the shift away from the Middle East has been driven by the shale gas discovery. US’ enthusiasm in the Middle East has waned as its dependence on the oil-rich region for energy has dramatically shrivelled.

In 2011, the US government under Barrack Obama started a policy of rebalancing based on the assertion that a focus on the Middle East had created the Asia-Pacific vacuum that facilitated China’s ascent.

In terms of strategy, the US has been moving its focus and resources to the Navy and Air Force, especially since the likelihood of a Russian invasion of Europe has gone down. The Air-Sea Battle idea declared in 2010 intends to incapacitate China’s defences using long-range bombers and submarines.

In a possible clash with China, it will be the amphibious Marines as well as maritime and aviation capacity that will prove vital. This is because the battleground will be in the waters of the South China Sea or other maritime fronts.

Costs are the third trend. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly communicated his unease over the massive financial implications of deploying US soldiers abroad and has pressed other nations to shoulder the financial burden.

Trump has been unusually vocal about Germany, which he asserts is not keeping its obligation to contribute 2% of its GDP on its own defence. Germany has “been delinquent for years,” Trump said in mid-June, explicitly linking this to the troop drawdown. “And they owe NATO billions of dollars, and they have to pay it. So we’re protecting Germany, and they’re delinquent. That doesn’t make sense.”

The Trump administration is currently engaged in extended discussions with South Korea over its support and will hold similar talks with Japan. For Japan, which recently halted the deployment of the Aegis Ashore air defence system due to cost concerns, pressure from the US to increase host-nation support may lead to a rethink of its defence strategy.

Originally Written By Team Nikkei Asian Review. Edited By Tim Edwards

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