Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Itching for World War by Erick San Juan

Itching for World War by Erick San Juan

I don't want to be an alarmist but all ingredients of world war is now getting clearer that everyone should be vigilant and prepare for any eventuality.

Relentless expansion of one’s own sphere of influence while denying a corresponding sphere of influence and concomitant security interests to one’s counterpart reeks of hubris, stupidity, and miscalculation, the usual tragic precursors to war in the past. (Robert Shines, NATO Expansion: Lessons Not Learned, December 16, 2015)

Like Robert Shines and other observers of current events in relation to contemporary history, nations through their leaders never learned from history and actually keep on repeating them. Unfortunately the mistakes in the past are the same mistakes being done all over again.

One of the battlegrounds is right here in our ‘neighborhood’ or we could be the epicenter of turbulence as the tension in the South China Sea started simmering again.

China’s Defense Ministry on Saturday (Dec. 19) accused the U.S. of committing a “serious military provocation” by flying an Air Force B-52 bomber over a Chinese-controlled, man-made island in the South China Sea, and reiterated that it would do whatever necessary to protect Chinese sovereignty. (AP)

And this is not the only ‘provocation’ in the SCS, according to another report from  Jennifer Pak, Reuters (Dec. 19) – “A Pentagon spokesman, Bill Urban, said there was no plan for the B-52 to fly within 12 nautical miles of any artificial island, which is the boundary marking a country’s territorial waters. He said the US has received a complaint from China and was investigating the incident.

The Chinese statement said the US military’s actions to “make a show of force” had created tensions in the South China Sea, though the Americans are not the only military operating and testing the waters.

Earlier this week, an Australian aircraft flew over another part of the disputed area claimed by the Chinese and said it was exercising "freedom of airspace" navigation.
A BBC crew in the area at the time had picked up the exchange between the Australian crew and Chinese navy.

Some pundits believe that China has somehow established a virtual ADIZ already over the South China Sea as shown by its reaction towards foreign air crafts exercising “freedom of airspace” over its perceived territory of reclaimed lands.

Moreover, the perennial issue of one China policy that Uncle Sam keeps forgetting by its action recently. In a December 20 PNA report stated : “Following Washington’s announcement that it will sell weapons to Taiwan, a Chinese state-owned newspaper warned that the United States would face “increasing costs and consequences” if it got involved in a regional conflict.

The USD 1.83 billion deal includes two Navy frigates, combat systems for mine-sweepers, missiles, amphibious attack vehicles and communications systems.

China quickly criticized the deal, saying it interferes with its sovereignty over Taiwan.

“Washington’s protection pledge is the only card that the island has for its defense, and it is a weakening one,” read an editorial in China’s Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.

“Given the mainland’s steadily growing military power, once the US gets involved in a conflict in the Taiwan Straits, it will face increasing costs and consequences.”

The United States does not formally recognize Taiwan as an independent state, but the two have close security ties and Washington is legally committed to support Taiwan in defending itself.

One senior Beijing-based Western diplomat, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity and citing conversations with Chinese strategists, said the last thing China wanted was armed confrontation with Washington.

“They can’t guarantee winning, and they would face huge domestic consequences for a botched military operation.",the diplomat said.

The arms sale is sure to further strain ties between the United States and China, which was already incensed over Washington’s decision to sail a Navy warship within 12 nautical miles of islands Beijing claims in the disputed South China Sea.

Taiwan’s independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is likely to win January’s presidential and parliamentary elections, says stronger defense capabilities for the island would give Taiwan better confidence to expand exchanges with China, Reuters reported.

Defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan after losing a civil war with the Communists in 1949. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring what it deems a renegade province under its control.”

Even the recent visit of volunteer youth leaders in going to Pag-asa Island irritated Beijing. And while more provocations intensify the tension in the disputed territories in the SCS. There seems to be no stopping the arms race and saber-rattling by US and its allies against China, another tension is also brewing in the Middle East concerning Russia and NATO and EU and ISIS. The tension will go on as the world is inching for another world war.

No comments: