PressTV-What can spark US-China military confrontation?


If the United States attempts to stop China from exploration and development of South China Sea resources, it will result in a military confrontation, according to Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

The United States Navy is reported to be planning a global show of force to show China that the US is ready to engage it militarily.

The classified plan being drawn up by the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet recommends the US Navy to carry out a series of operations across the world during a week in November, the CNN reported Thursday citing several unnamed military officials.

“A key finding of this report is that China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials and technologies deemed strategic and critical to US national security,” the report said.

In an interview with Press TV on Saturday, Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, said, “Let’s see if the US actually pulls off its proposed ‘global show of force against China.’”

“Are the other members of the impotent ‘Quad,’ Japan, Australia and India willing to join in? Are Britain and France willing to back up US-led efforts to challenge China in the South China Sea as they said they would last June? They would all be fools if they did. There should be no doubt that the potential allies of the US don’t have the gumption to engage in futile actions that will only further contribute to their own economic destabilization and stagnation,” he added.

“The US under Trump is walking with a swagger, pumped up and raring to go. They think they have the upper hand because the US economy seems to being forging ahead with what appears to be steady growth and record levels of employment. But the current economic success story is a house of cards, built on a crumbling foundation of record deficits and low-wage jobs. Eventually the chickens will come home to roost, but in the interim the US is feeling its oaks, preening its feathers and strutting around like a drunken sailor,” he stated.

“The whole basis for the US actions are supposedly based on ‘freedom of navigation’ through the South China Sea. China has repeatedly said that all ships are free to travel unimpeded through the South China Sea. The US staging war games in the South China Sea and infringing on Chinese claimed territories are thus for one purpose only, to provoke China in order to create a crisis,” the analyst said.

“China’s neighbors, a number of which also occupy territory in the South China Sea, are reaching accommodation with China. On August 3, 2018, the 10 members of ASEAN and China announced agreement on a single draft negotiating text that will serve as the basis for the adoption of a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea. China has also been negotiating bilateral agreements with its neighbors for the joint exploration and development of South China Sea resources. It is clearly the case that China and other claimants to portions of the South China Sea can resolve their differences without the interference of any outside parties, especially the US,” he noted.

“The US can sail the South China Sea unencumbered, and its presence in the region is not being challenged by China. The US navy has visited ports in the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore. It can shows its flag as much as it likes. But to what effect? So long as the US navy does not purposefully provoke China by sailing within its 12 mile territorial waters there is no conflict. The US navy can come and go as it pleases,” the analyst said.  

“So what are the intentions of the US in the South China Sea? Does it want to dislodge China from the territory it occupies? That would require force of arms and a full scale military confrontation between the two nuclear powers. China has its boots on the ground and will not unilaterally retreat from the territory it claims as its own. Will the US attempt to stop China from exploration and development of South China Sea resources? That would likewise result in a military confrontation,” he observed.

“So what does the US hope to accomplish by tweaking China’s nose? The only discernible reason is to exacerbate tensions and cause consternation on China’s part. If the US continues to provoke China in that fashion it will have no recourse but to respond in kind eventually leading to ugly consequences which will accomplish nothing but lead to a further deterioration of US-China relations. That seems to be the only rationale for its precipitous actions,” he concluded.


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