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US Bears Full Responsibility for Heightened Tensions with China

Written by Subject: China

US Bears Full Responsibility for Heightened Tensions with China

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)

US war on China by other means risks pushing the envelope toward unthinkable confrontation between two nations able to turn each other's cities to smoldering rubble.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) addressed the threat in a series of articles at a time when Sino/US relations are more dismal than any previous time in the past half century.

With Trump trailing presumptive Dem nominee Biden by a double-digit margin in some polls, especially behind in key battleground states, his reelection prospect slim if unable to reverse things, his campaign strategy involves fear-mongering about about a nonexistent Chinese threat, along with falsely blaming Beijing for his own bungled response to widespread COVID-19 outbreaks.

While heightened tensions haven't escalated to belligerent confrontation, officials of both countries seek regional allies in case US initiated Cold War turns hot.

Moscow is a reliable Beijing ally. Yet the Kremlin clearly wants a clash of superpowers avoided.

If things move closer to the unthinkable, Putin will surely get involved diplomatically to try preventing conflict, especially what could risk global war.

According to Pew Research last December, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines regard the US as a more reliable ally than China.

Other nations likely to side with the US if conflict with China erupts include Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and perhaps Indonesia and India.

Yet these nations are highly unlikely to want direct involvement if the US initiates conflict against China.

Unacceptable Pentagon military exercises in the South China Sea close to or within waters Beijing claims as its own, along with numerous intrusive US surveillance flights near China's coast, risk an encounter with the PLA that could turn things hot.

China's Defense Ministry slammed what it called US "navigational hegemony."

Beijing is justifiably furious over Washington's militarization of South China Sea waters not its own.

Editor-in-chief of China's Global Times Hu Xijin minced no words, referring to Pompeo and three other Trump regime hostile to Beijing hawks as a "Gang of Four."

The other three include US war secretary Esper, national security advisor O'Brien, and AG Barr.

According to the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea director Jay Batongbacal, President Duterte prefers to stay neutral "given his personal affinity for China," adding:

"…I think (he'll) abide by treaty stipulations if called upon by the US."

On Monday, Reuters reported that Duterte in his annual address to the nation "said he had no choice but to treat disputes in the South China Sea as diplomatic endeavors because the alternative was to go to war with China," adding:

He has no intention of challenging China militarily over disputed territory. "We cannot go to war," he stressed.

On Tuesday, Taiwan News headlined:

"Duterte gives in to Beijing's claimed possession of South China Sea," adding:

He contacted President Xi Jinping about having access to China's COVID-19 vaccine when available.

On Friday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass called China "an important partner for us but also a competitor."

Berlin's trans-Atlantic cooperation coordinator Peter Beyer warned about "the beginning of a Cold War 2.0," adding:

"The US is our most important partner outside the EU, and that is how it will stay."

At the same time, Germany and France expressed concern about how the Trump regime flouts diplomatic norms.

French Foundation for Strategic Research's Valerie Niquet stressed that "Sino-American tensions don't benefit France."

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU "strategic relations" with China will be discussed by the bloc in the coming days.

Japan Forum for Strategic Studies senior fellow Gavin Newsham believes if Sino/US conflict erupts, Tokyo will side with Washington.

Singapore's ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute's Le Hong Hiep said Vietnam "does not wish to see a military conflict between the US and China to flare up in the South China Sea," adding:

If one erupts, Hanoi "will try to stay neutral, but if push comes to shove, due to Vietnam's own grievances against China in the South China Sea, Vietnam is likely to stay on the side of the US rather than China."

Jawaharlal Nehru University Professor of Chinese Studies Srikanth Kondapalli believes New Delhi will focus on the Indian Ocean, but if further border clashes occur with China, it might get involved militarily in the South China Sea.

Of great concern to regional analysts is how to prevent a Sino/US clash, as well as containing things if conflict erupts.

VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

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