Ties between the US and China are probably the worst they have ever been especially after the Trump administration imposed all-round, high-intensity maximum pressure on China on political, diplomatic, economic and military fronts.
Anti-China waves in the US have reached dangerous heights after Washington abruptly demanded the closure of the Chinese Consulate General in Houston. China in retaliation asked the US to close its consulate in Chengdu, nose-diving ties between the world’s two biggest economies.
The United States under Donald Trump is waging an ideological battle against China. In particular, the US defence forces have constantly provoked China by dispatching naval vessels and aircraft carriers to the South China Sea.
The dangerous manoeuvres by the US Navy could trigger a military confrontation between the two nations. The constant provocation and threats by the US is pushing the region in chaos and it is quite likely that the US could further provoke Beijing by attacking Chinese controlled islands and reefs.
As far as international law is concerned, the US recently made a statement on July 13, rejecting China’s sovereignty and maritime rights over Nansha (Spratly) islands in the South China Sea.
In a statement, Mike Pompeo denounced China’s claims on the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, saying Beijing had “no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region”.
He said the US, which has previously said it does not take sides in territorial disputes, discarded Beijing’s claims to waters off Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. “Any [People’s Republic of China] action to harass other states’ fishing or hydrocarbon development in these waters – or to carry out such activities unilaterally – is unlawful,” he said. “The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire.”
By doing so, the United States has given itself a legal basis to attack the islands.
In view of the forthcoming US elections where Donald Trump appears to be trailing, it’s probable that Trump and his cronies would take the dangerous step and provoke an armed conflict with China in the South China Sea before November this year.
With regard to military operations, the US has kept expanding its vessel and aircraft operations in the South China Sea. Multiple reconnaissance planes such as RC-135, E-8C and P-8A flew to the region almost nonstop in June and July, B-1B and B-52H bombers flew over the South China Sea multiple times.
US dual-carrier taskforce held two military exercises in the region in July alone, not to mention the innumerable “freedom of navigation operations” performed by relevant naval vessels in the past. It would not be surprising if the US had long planned to attack China.
The signs are clear that the US may, to everyone’s surprise, attack Nansha (Spratly) islands and reefs. It is vital for the Chinese side to make military plans as early as possible to respond to the possible attacks from the US side.
Originally Penned by Chinese Military Experts in Mandarin.