Paul Gordon Collier
WORLD- Is the U.S headed to war with China over the China Sea? We’ve reported on the growing tensions in the region for
some time now. Recent moves by the US, and China’s response to those moves, has raised the warning flag for some over the possible showdown brewing in the China Sea.
The United States began what is is calling “Routine Operations in the South China Sea, which included the US Navy’s John C Stennis Strike Group, which is considered to be the core of the U.S Green Fleet. This group includes Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis (CVN 74), USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). The group has engaged in military activities for the past four days, despite threats by China that they would act should the U.S engage in this “Routine Exercise.”
In addition to this recent move, the United States is working with Australia to create air bases on the continent to station U.S Long-range strike bombers. The Commander of the Pacific Fleet, Air Force General Lori Robinson, said, “It gives us the opportunity to strengthen the ties we already have with the Royal Australian Air Force and it gives us the opportunity to train our pilots and understand the theater.”
China sees the move as a direct action against its growing interest in the region. After the U.S conducted its routine exercise, Chinese officials stated they would stand their ground in the region, regardless of what the U.S. might try to do.
The Air Force General also added that the move is also designed to encourage other nations to ‘explore their rights over international waters so as not to risk losing it throughout the region,”
This comment was a not-so veiled jab at China’s efforts to build man-made islands and claim water territory that falls under international boundaries, not China’s.
The Chinese response was defiant, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi saying “China was the earliest to explore, name, develop and administer various South China Sea islands. Our ancestors worked diligently here for generations. History will prove who is the visitor and who is the genuine host.”
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