Escalation, Naval Deployments and Geopolitical Conflict in the South China Sea | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Escalation, Naval Deployments and Geopolitical Conflict in the South China Sea

The weeks immediately following the PCA ruling at The Hague, regarding the arbitration brought forth by the Philippines against China, have been marked by an increasing escalation of both the South China Sea Crisis and the territorial dispute between China and Japan in the East China Sea. The broader crisis has even effected the Koreas and Japan in terms of their greater strategic defense posture. It is interesting to note that all parties involved, with the exception of the Philippines, have taken steps to escalate the crisis and increase tensions in the region. The Republic of the Philippines, perhaps the least belligerent of all nations involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea, has acted to deescalate the situation, even reaching out to Chinese officials to negotiate a bilateral agreement that would help resolve the issues involved. This is doubly surprising given the inflammatory reputation of the new President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.

Increasing escalation in the region will continue until the various parties to the multitude of disputes come to an honorable and equitable solution, or a number of lines are crossed. These ‘trip-wires” include: China beginning land reclamation on Scarborough Shoal, China or Japan militarily occupying the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands, or Vietnam threatening China’s major installations in the Spratly Islands with a build-up of weapons systems. Considering the current pace of escalation, the world has weeks or months to wait to see if any of the parties involved are willing to engage in open military confrontation to advance their claims and interests in this most heated global crisis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At the moment, my bet would be on "a matter of weeks", from the time the G-20 concludes in China in early September, if there are no sideline meetings to ratchet down the tensions.

I hope to heck I am wrong, but with the US war hawks desperate for a military confrontation against China (which the US military may well not be able to win), coupled with a desire to smack down the Chinese currency, and a potential Trump landslide win in November.

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