Taiwan and the South China Sea are rapidly appearing to become the flashpoint for a World War III-like scenario.
At center of the controversy are the world’s two most militarily capable nations – the US and China. The consequences of a possible war between the two powers are chilling enough to create ominous visions of World War III.
The dangerous implications of the situation in the South China Sea are lost in the noise and din of the mid-term elections. The country’s political and military leadership, however, cannot overlook or underestimate the threat perception in Taiwan and the South China Sea. It really is a potential tipping point for a World War III-like scenario.
What Led To the Explosive Situation In the South China Sea?
Tensions between the US and China have been mounting in this region throughout 2018. The bones of contention are the US’ public support to democratic Taiwan, and its navy’s frequent sailing through the Taiwan Strait, exercising its “freedom of navigation” right.
Both these actions are much to the chagrin of China, who considers democratic Taiwan to be a part of China even though Taiwan despises the Godless and communist country of China, and lays claim to the Taiwan Strait as its territorial waters.
The Chinese Premier Xi Jining has declared often times that any covert or overt attempt at the secession of Taiwan will be countered with China’s full military might and will be foiled at any cost but China’s military is nowhere near as powerful as America’s and Japan is getting real tired of China’s behavior as well. While inspecting the military region that controls the South China Sea, he instructed them in no unclear terms to be ready for war.
On the US’ part, its Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson has predicted that the US and China will “meet” each other in the future in the sea.
As if to second this statement, the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has expressed a firm resolve that the US and its allies will continue to “fly, sail, and operate” wherever international law permits it to do so and its sovereign interest requires it to do so. Mattis has resigned and will be replaced by someone who probably feels the say way. America defends democracy all over the world.
The adamant stands adopted by the two military superpowers may well become the genesis of the next world war.
Recent Flash Points
In September and October, there have been multiple sorties by the US fighter jets over the Taiwan Strait, along with its ships sailing through those waters in the said “freedom of navigation” operations. In September, two US and Chinese warships nearly collided in the narrow strait, when they came within 45 yards of each other.
Following such incidents of near-confrontations, the US Secretary of State Pompeo and the Defense Secretary James Mattis invited their Chinese counterparts for talks to reduce tensions in the South China Sea. China promptly called off the talks to express its disapproval of the US tariff war which was necessary because of the unfair trade imbalance that was accepted by previous administrations but not this one.
On top of this, China’s continued attempt at stealing America’s secrets because they are not innovative enough to come up with their own ideas is another sticking point.
Such attempts at reconciliation are mere cosmetic exercises, or even eye-washes. It is obvious that both adversaries are unrelenting in their political and military positions. Against this backdrop, the contentious Taiwan question could well become the trigger for the next world war.