South China Sea will prove critical in US-China conflict, analysts say  

South China Sea will prove critical in US-China conflict, analysts say  

Beijing/Washington: Considering the tensions that have developed in the South China Sea, neither the US nor China is willing to back off, and the developments in the region would prove a decisive phase in the US-China conflict, analysts said. The US has rejected all of China’s South China Sea claims and deployed its aircraft carriers in the region. On the other hand, China has called US policy instigative, saying it could spark a battle in the area. The aggressive postures of both nations are indicative of tensions in the South China Sea to have escalated to the brink of war.  

US, China, South China SeaLast week, the US had adopted a stand of confrontation against China while clarifying its position on the South China Sea. Accusing China of encroaching territories that belonged to other nations in the region, the US had warned that it would firmly help support the security of such nations. Despite the US’ assertive stance, China has refused to step back and accused the country of increasing the tensions in the region. Simultaneously, China also warned the US it was prepared to respond to its interference. Although the war of words has sharpened over the past few months, analysts believe the tensions over the South China Sea have surged significantly.   

‘The US is resorting to all possible means to get China to back out from the South China Sea. Nevertheless, China will never back out under President Xi Jinping’s leadership. China is trying to advance with all its might. Either of the nations is not going to withdraw their stand. Besides, none of the signs at present point to the warlike situation thawing anytime soon,’ said Australia’s Lowy Institute senior fellow Richard McGregor as he warned an armed conflict would soon flare-up between US and China in the South China Sea. Even Alexander Neil, a Singapore based security expert, corroborated the claim.  

US, China, South China Sea‘China has constructed military bases and basic infrastructure in the South China Sea. China is demonstrating its presence in each part of the region. The country has a definite motive behind stepping up the deployment of troops after building infrastructure on the small islands in the region. China has even commenced the next set of steps to prove that the South China Sea region belongs to it alone. Under such circumstances, if China attempts to take control of any new region, the US may challenge it,’ said Alexander Neil as he voiced the possibility of a new conflict. Also, in a recently published report, Former UK National Security Adviser Lord Ricketts has affirmed a confrontation between US and China was likely to occur in the South China Sea.  

US, China, South China SeaAs analysts voice concerns over a battle, the events in the South China Sea have begun to evolve at a rapid pace. Given the announcement of the aggressive US policy and the deployment of two aircraft carriers, China has also initiated certain steps. Just as the US aircraft carriers arrived in the South China Sea, China deployed the J-11B aircraft on the contentious military bases in the South China Sea. Right after, the country also announced making operational the Shiyan-6 scientific research vessel for studying the South China Sea on Saturday.   

Meanwhile, even the Asian nations that are engaged in disputes with China over the South China Sea have hinted at taking a more forceful stand. The US released a statement supporting the position of the ASEAN, an influential bloc of the Southeast Asian nations. In its statement, the ASEAN said, ‘the US policy of supporting the international laws and regulations by rejecting all of China’s unlawful claims, was crucial.’ At the same time, ASEAN member Indonesia has announced to hold naval exercises soon in the South China Sea.  

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