South China Sea Dispute Between US, China May Lead To War

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South China Sea Dispute Between US, China May Lead To War
MaoNo / Pixabay

Over the last several years, the Chinese military has been growing increasingly aggressive in the South China Sea. Recently, in fact, the Asian giant has been rapidly building up its military capacities in the area, including reclaiming thousands of acres of submerged islands from the sea to build facilities on.

Moreover, in a new defense white paper released early this week, China vows to increase its presence in the South China Sea, and issues a warning that a U.S.-China war is “inevitable” unless America ceases its interference in Beijing’s activities in the region.

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The new Chinese policy document was apparently published by the State Council on Tuesday, and in it, the country’s military leadership expounds on plans to move from a defensive posture to developing significant offensive capabilities in the area.

Arguing that the nation faces a “grave and complex array of security threats”, especially to its sovereignty over the South China Sea, the white paper says the Chinese military will robustly boost its open seas protection capabilities in the near future.

More on new South China Sea military doctrine

According to the new military doctrine, China’s forces will no longer be limited to defending national territory, but will project military power beyond its borders at sea and in the air in order to protect all of its offshore assets.

The Chinese air force will transition from just “territorial air defense” to both offense and defense, and the many million strong Chinese army will increase its global mobility. The nation’s long-range artillery is also slated to see upgrades in its “medium and long-range precision strikes”.

In a related development, an editorial in the Chinese Communist controlled The Global Times reported the construction of runways, harbor facilities and buildings on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea as the country’s “most important bottom line”. The article also said that Beijing does not want a war with the U.S., “but if it were to come, we have to accept it.

Of note, the article appeared just days after a U.S. recon aircraft ignored warnings from the Chinese military as it was completing a reconnaissance mission over the islands.

Is U.S.-China war really inevitable?

“If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea”, the white paper stated unequivocally.

Yang Yujun, a spokesman for the Chinese defense ministry, somehow kept a straight face when flatly lying in claiming the Spratly Island development work is the same as building roads and homes on mainland China and it was for the good of “the whole of international society”.

“From the perspective of sovereignty, there is absolutely no difference”, he continued, saying “some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs”.

In separate news, the government Xinhua News Agency said on Tuesday that construction is underway on two lighthouses on located on reefs in the South China Sea that both Vietnam and the Philippines also lay claim to.

Given the ongoing Chinese belligerence, it’s not difficult to imagine any number of incidents that could trigger a real war in the area.

Neither side backing down

Moreover, neither side appear to be ready to back down at this point, which experts say means a serious risk of a minor incident in the airspace around the islands is increasing quickly.

“I think the concern has to be that China misjudges the situation”, commented Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at the Japan campus of Temple University.

“Neither party wants a war if it can be avoided, but there are red lines for both sides”, Dujarric noted. “I worry that if Beijing considers the US to be a declining power and assumes that Washington will back down if it shoots down a US observation aircraft”.

Dujarric also said that while the U.S. chose to de-escalate the crisis after a Chinese fighter collided with a U.S. intelligence-gathering aircraft off Hainan Island in April 2001, he would definitely anticipate a different response if a similar incident were to occur in international air space over the South China Sea today.

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97 COMMENTS

  1. Saddam Hussein ordered his military to hide and not to engage in fights. We fought against the angry young men who opposed our invasion of Iraq, and the Shiite militia. Today’s ISIS is the re-emerging Iraq army of Saddam’s. Guerrilla warfare is the poor man’s way of war.

    The new government in Afghanistan has nothing to do with the Taliban.

    Turkey just allows U.S. planes to use their bases to attack ISIS. Turkey will be embroiled in bombs and IEDs, suicide attacks,…

    Ukraine and the South China Sea could explode into WWIII. It will all depend on the U.S. action(s) in Ukraine and the South China Sea.

  2. 6,7,8 Are not US engagements. Politically maybe. 5. Was just a bombing campaign to cripple the government. 4.Iraq, militarily beaten.
    3. Afghanistan, militarily beaten. New government installed. 2. ARVN. The army of the republic of Vietnam, collapsed after 3 years. 1. Korea
    was indeed a stalemate. Your talking about the political and civil mess that was left behind on most of these engagements. With remaining rag tag Groups resorting to guerilla warfare. There is a difference. Countries like Iraq had their whole political and civic backbone smashed, which is major reason why there is no real peace there. But the Iraqi national forces including the Republican guard where whipped.

  3. You are joking arn’ t you. More manpower, that’s it. A lot of people do not realise NATO has more manpower than Russia and China combined. As far as its been estimated China only has 350 or so Nukes.

  4. china has way more nukes than the US right now. china has the world largest military and will soon have the largest weaponry. china has learn to build its own fleets of everything thanks to russia and united states

  5. they did not win how much facts do you need dude. theirs no victory parade nothing. obama stop the war cause its not winnable even with allies fighting alongside with the US and we still did not win. the question is can the US win a war without allies. they did that against vietnam and look how that turn out we got our a kick. the US has not fought a war alone since. the US talk a lot of s to scare other countries. but the iraq war has expose the military of the united states now no country is scared of the US anymore.

  6. You go to war to win the war. If you can win a war without firing a single shot, great. If not, yes, kill all/destroy all. Yes, politics can be used, but you dictate, not the enemy. In the Vietnam War, Vietnam dictated. We agreed to their dictation. The only requirement we asked was “It must not look like we were pushed out of Vietnam”.

    We didn’t “install”. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria,… are still in chaos and turmoil. People continue to die on a daily basis. The longer the Ukraine and the South China Sea crises continue, the costlier they get for us. I hope we will NOT send ground troops to Syria to fight.

  7. And your idea of winning a war is what, killing every last person in that country. Sometimes politics dictates the outcome of military altercations. The fact that the US installed new governments in Iraq and Afghanistan are hardly the actions of a defeated invasionary force. As for Russia and China, this business is still unfolding and I for one do desperately hope that this does not collapse into a military engagement. Also at present the Russians are streaming into Syria to fight the enemies of Assad and this could include US forces, who are using this ISIS contraption as a smoke screen to attack the Syrian government forces.

  8. Today’s world is too interconnected. Stop doing business with China will also hurt ourselves as we can see from our sanctions against Russia. Our sanction against Russia is hurting Germany, France, England,…

  9. What could possibly go wrong ?

    1: Japanese people demonstrated against changing their constitution to allow their soldiers to fight in foreign wars.

    2: China refused to stop building in the South China Sea.

    3: Russia is also moving heavy equipment to Ukraine.

    4: Refugees from the Middle East are streaming into Europe, hungry and angry. Many died in the Mediterranean Sea

  10. Have you seriously analyzed our military performance since the end of WWII? Where have we performed at top notch militarily?

    1: Korean War – stale-mate.

    2: Vietnam War – negotiated settlement.

    3: Afghanistan War – still going strong.

    4: Iraq War – we withdrew leaving Iraq to fend for itself.

    5: Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia,… still a mess

    6: ISIS – young people are joining ISIS from Europe and the Americas.

    7: Turkey – another mess coming up

    8: Ukraine – We created the mess and blame Russia for it.

    9: South China Sea – We huff and puff while China continues to build…

    We use weapons that cost millions of dollars each while our enemies use $20.00 fertilizer IEDs. And they buy our fertilizers to do it.

    Because of our “war against terrorists”, today Europe is overrun with Middle East refugees, many died crossing over the Mediterranean Sea.

    Today’s world problems are created by the U.S.

  11. Have you actually looked at the military assets possessed by both sides. The US military is vast and experienced compared to China. Unless of course 3 million marching soldiers is what you are relying upon. Even China knows that having vast armies is no good in modern
    warfare, worked in the fifties, but not now. Throwing loads of money at a military force does not make it great. It takes years to design and implement sophisticated systems and then to bed them in, in layers and then to weave into that mix second to none training systems that have been developed over time. As for air and naval power, you cannot build that in a decade, with loads of money.

  12. They only have to catch up with 60 odd years of massive US military build up and experience. In 10 years that should be a doddle.

  13. Even though you installed new governments in both countries. Christ in Iraq, the whole backbone was ripped from the country. Hence all the chaos now.

  14. China has not got a larger military than America. It has more marching
    soldiers but no means of projecting them, yet. The US air force is by far the largest in the world, same with navy.

  15. When you talk of win, is that only the case if manage to kill every last person in that country. If you install new governments when you invaded,
    That doesn’t count.

  16. So China got knocked back by the IMF on their currency becoming a reserve with SDR. China is now unloading US treasuries at breakneck speed and snapping up hundreds of tonnes of gold. China’ stock market crashes then holds a beefed up military parade with the announcement of a new ICBM carrier killer. Meanwhile in Japan the government are pushing
    through a new $ 27 Billion a year increase in military spending. My question is .. What could possibly go wrong ?

  17. Other than soldiers the US military is vast compared to China. It takes decades to build up sea and air power like that. Just because you’ve announced a new plane or a new ship means jack diddly squit against a country who has possession of matured global air and sea capabilities. A military parade does not make a military. Another thing that is forgotten is NATO has more manpower than China & Russia combined. But in saying that nuclear weapons make every player equal

  18. It’s strange how insecure countries have to have military parades, yet the US doesnt. Christ if it did, it would go on for 6 months.

  19. So it installed new governments into Iraq and Afghanistan, but that doesn’t count, does it. Or is winning a war only when you kill every last person in the country.

  20. So you are saying we should leave the whole world but the US die of starvation just because a country like US is scared that other countries like China will rise one day…? you such a good person….

  21. Those that talk of war, have no understanding what it means, there is no resolution with any military conflict, the only solution lies with respect and understanding that if the human race is to survive it will have to compromise, no matter how complex are the issues under consideration. No one will win with confrontation..

  22. So…who is responsible for the article’s photo, showing a strong, manly Chinese hand looming large over a smaller, fragile American hand? Just sayin’. I’d be fired for that (or at least counseled heavily) ;)

  23. “Sharing is caring”….. AH…. a misnomer, from the Asian
    perspective. Time to hone up on cultural differences!

    NOT sharing is sometimes considered to be caring!

  24. Seems to me that China wants the oil, the shipping, and in fact the whole China Sea. Rather than share this resource with the other claimants in the area. Does history always have to repeat itself?. Have we not grown past this by now? Have we as human beings learned nothing from past actions? How many innocent people will this cost both China and the US? Would be great if all parties started building more islands, and then all parties agreed to share the resources, the shipping and such, but greed seems to always get the upper hand until either nothing is left, or there is nothing left worth fighting for. Fighting a third World War though would surely put us all on the path to extinction. Will cooler heads please prevail in this, so we all can just live life?. What kind of a world are we creating for the next generation when they see that the way to get what they want is to just take it?. Sharing is caring, and it seems to me all sides should somehow figure out a way to equally share in the area’s resources. Would be so much better than war, and it would give true hope to all the world for better days ahead. Nobody wants a war, the world is tired of these, and wants peace. Let’s start here with peace, and work towards an agreement that benefits all in the area equally.

  25. Yes, we do not need war in the South China Sea.
    But I’m afraid war is coming.
    I think Uncle Sam is biting off more than he could chew.
    20 or 30 years ago, China can be defeated, but not today.

  26. Would be funny if the US government had wanted the world to believe it wasn’t ready for a large-scale war then we broke out with some new-age “Jetson’s” equipment that no one’s seen before.

    I say we knock em out of the equation before they develop more nukes.

  27. The Persian Gulf War was fought by two conventional armies – the US Armed Forces and the Iraqi National Guard. So technically, the last “real” war we fought AND won was the Persian Gulf War.

  28. Jose Yusi:: civilized Japan??? kidding me? You need to study history before you open your mouth…

    Japanese army used live Human Beings…..Chinese and Korean as laboratory animals….Japanese army rape and slaughtered whole village of Chinese people…and Korean….

    Japanese slaughtered dolphins in Taiji annually….not only slaught

  29. Or building colonial empires of the past.
    The U.S. continued to hold to the past by fighting a war in Vietnam.
    Still trying in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, the Middle East in general.

    The U.S. continued to hold to the past by CIA created turmoils in Iran, Ukraine,…
    and now the South China Sea…

  30. I think most likely China will see an American aircraft carrier with its support ships around these artificial islands.

    It will be a show of force on both sides.

    As in the movie, “Lawrence of Arabia”,
    “Big things come out of little beginnings”!!!!

  31. Everyone knew that is PR move by the US, and try to tell the rest of world that China a bad guy, unless you are an American, otherwise, we are the bad guy from the outside of America.

  32. When some one bunch you? You have to move. when US using Japan bunch China in ECS? China move to control the disputed island in ECS, than US using Philippine and Vietnam bunch China again in SCS, China move again to do reclamation,. Additional, China is bunch holds in South America.

  33. Everything are started with re-balance of pacific, which using Japan bully China in ECS since 2009, than using Philippine and Vietnam in SCS. China outplay US for all cards. Best time to make a move is dangerous time, remember China is forcing by US to do what they have to do.

  34. China’s bullying its neighbors around got the US involved. The building of reclaimed islands is simply an act that was planned decades before.

  35. This was the goodness of uncle Sam after feeding Chinese to make it able to walk from starvation, built shelter for her after WWII and taught her to do everything to start up new life….Now the nation has grown up it’s time for her to kick uncle Sam no need an old man in her ambitious eyes!

  36. I agree…One of the China propaganda is doing it for anyone who would love to enjoy the formed man made islands for good, though UN has been doing its part to halt the constructions, it has been defied and as clear as ocean water, their main objective is to expand their tentacles that will dictate any country to obey what they want to, it must be stopped or else the entire world will go into lethal WWIII!

  37. This gonna be the war between experienced warrior and inexperienced, apprentice one. US has been quite sometime regarding their super powers and that’s the more dangerous era when found out terrible weapons are just in their cavern ready to strike precisely when ordered.

  38. USA, Australia, Japan, and all Southeast Asian countries please get together and teach xi jinping chinese gov a lession…stop bullying the smaller countries…, f…you chinese gov…, someone please kill the mother “trucker” xi jinping…and destroy their freaking bull… communist party

  39. did you say WE? ok you and your entire family and friends go join the army and ask to be sent to south china sea and lead by example.

  40. but china did not invade japan, you really need to learn some history before you talk form the side of your neck.
    japan invaded and killed thousand of chinese and you call china barbaric. your intellectual needs some repair

  41. Thank you for sharing your insightful opinion, I always enjoy learning what other people believe as individuals. However, I am merely taking advantage of the comment sections from articles about China and Japan for free advertising to sell my screenplay titled; “The Last President”. Please have a presidential day.

  42. The question is that is the america ready to get the worst results with china that they had with Iraq and afghanistan.
    remember the US can’t win any wars without help from its allies, they didnt win against Iraq, afghan and vietnam. how can you feel confident about US winning against china when they can win against smaller military of iraq and afghan.

  43. you think too much china claiming the seas to keep the US and its allies far away from their mainland. Blame washington for that, china had no interest in building man made island till after the US got involved to form a alliance to contain china. the US sparked this whole situation

  44. The US is facing the same challenge as the Cuban Bay of Pigs in 1963 when JF Kennedy was in charged and the Soviet Union threatened the survival of the US from its backyard. Why? Today the US has in front of it a de-facto rising superpower China that wants to control the US’ gateway to Asia and India. Once China finishes all its artificial islands, it could launch a blitzkrieg war to seize all other islands or simply blockade them until they surrender. Either way China tries to put the world before a fait accompli. After establishing its navy base in the South East Asia sea, China can virtually turns this international water body into its mare nostrum. The US, other powers and nations will have to submit to China’s will whenever they want their fleet to go through this sea (50% world traffic now). Europe may surrender to China but no way the US, Japan, India will accept that. The WWIII will be inevitable. So, the US has no choice but to confront China now or it will live under the dictatorial rules of the ChiNa-Xi empire – a new Third Reich of Asia with nuclear weapons.

  45. I think it is China who sees itself as a declining power, and it views itself being in a crossroad to either keep declining or take positional offensives to put SEA under its influence. It sees itself in an opportunity that can be lost forever.

    If the US backs down now in the SCS, we can expect China to move farther south with its base building. All of SEA will see the US in retreat while China boldly steps in. SEA leaders will have no choice but to acquiesce to China’s dominance.

    In the decade or so to follow, China will take Central America through their Nicaraguan Canal to use it for its primary purpose- staging a huge army to Invade North America with SEA units led by Chinese military.

    The rest of the story can be left to our own personal imagination.

  46. Stop spouting that propaganda that masquerades as history that is talk in US history. All that justification for fight “good” wars and the rest of the BS wrapped in the flag. Those wars were all fought for building and maintaining the British/US hegemony.

  47. we USA should fly our recon flight on daily basis, let the chinese do their threat at the end if they do 1st shot, then we have the reason to defend our forces. lets give the chinese what they are asking for. they have been itching to test their newly acquired military power.

  48. If China and Japan were to combine together and form a more powerful China, then China would have a much easier time taking over any variety of smaller countries. Of course, this may certainly need at least 10 more years, especially to combine military at the same time as technology advancement. Eventually, this more powerful China will become an overwhelming threat to America. This is exactly what happens in my screenplay titled; “The Last President” by Douglas Paige at; driveme89123yahoocom and asking only $1.7 million.

  49. War is fine. We all go down together. Strap in, hold on tight!

    Having said that, the latest salvo by the Americans, the recent surveillance flight over the disputed islands coincided with Memorial day. Americans are all about media, politics, and 4 year elections. Smoke and mirrors ….

  50. The 2001 incident involving the US P-3 Orion flying off Hainan, despite its then serious implications, was deliberately and quickly de-escalated by Washington, indicating that a conflict with China is far from US intention. If they, or another nation, had done that to a Russian military aircraft–or if is was PLA aircraft that got hit–would these others have played it as Washington did.

    When this disputes in SCS flared up, the US diplomatically said it took no sides despite what the UNCLOS all along prescribes.

    America has given the Chinese ample time and leeway in resolving the matter.

    But cumulative actions have have not been reassuring to other parties, except to Beijing.

    When the A2/AD weapon was developed, guess for whom–and for what–this was meant specifically for? And is the New Silk Road meant to be the alternative route for when the South China Sea is finally shut down to shipping commerce once they turn SCS as an fully operational military alert zone?

    America is the victor of WW2, the Pacific Theater included. With all of China’s flexing in the South China, why is China acting like she is?!

  51. American forces China to lose face on the world stage by humiliating China with airplanes flying over China’s islands. That will definitely mean a war. China will definitely defend its own face with all possible resources. Once the war begins, no one can control the progress of the war. It is a WAR, meaning that the opponents will use all means to destroy the other side to obtain the “victory”. That’s the “end of the world”.

  52. China is the one stealing islands from other countries. China is the one illegally drawing imaginative boundaries thousand of miles from its shore. China denies to go to UN international court to resolve the border disputes because she can’t win with the illegal claim. Only America can have enough muscle to push China back to where she belongs….prehistoric time.

  53. Anyone with even a basic understanding of pre-world war 2 Germany, knows of all the similarities between the Germany of that time and China today. Just in case you don’t, I’ll help you.

    Both proud countries, trying to “get over” past failures. powerful economies. Both wanting to disregard previous signed treaties. Both had already conquered territory before the real war started. Both conquer territory claiming previous historical boundaries. Each had on really powerful ally. Each population sees themselves as “different” from all other people. Both hosted Olympics where the “ugly” side of the country was covered up. Both had little trouble making economic allies but big trouble making military allies. Both boast a huge army with a modest navy and decent if vastly outnumbered air force. Each would depend on a surprise “lighting” strike for any hope of victory. Each dependent on outside sources for raw materials. Both with leaders seen as a “father” to the nation.

    The list goes on and on. Don’t believe me. Do your own research on it. I didn’t write history. I’m just pointing out similarities.

  54. USA want war and it does nit care for the consequences that befall its citizens. War means defence equipment that gives kickbacks to many at the top. A war with china is unwinnable as can USa annihilate China with over 5000 Nuclear war heads ready to go? USA is a war mongrel.

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