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    Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still file image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy

    South China Sea: US Drifts Towards 'Unwanted War With China'

    © REUTERS / U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters
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    Recent reports that the US intends to deploy B-1 heavy bombers in Australia have angered China, fueling tensions over disputed territories in the South China Sea, and arguably bringing the involved players to the brink of war, a professor specializing in American politics and global security told Radio Sputnik.

    The US move to involve Australia in a standoff with China indicates that the situation in the South China Sea will be an “intensified subject for the next six months,” Joseph Siracusa, Professor of Human Security and International Diplomacy at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, claimed.

    In this new round of tit-for-tat, Australia is stuck between two fires. China remains the country’s top trade partner and America remains Canberra’s number one military ally.

    As Beijing seeks to carefully distance Australia from the US in the South China Sea conflict, as a means to mitigate tensions, the overall situation appears to have crossed a point of no return, according to Siracusa.

    “The Australian government plays these cards close to the chest. They want to involve Americans more and more [in the South China Sea],” the professor suggested. “Australia is on board and Australian public is pretty much on board, except for some critical members of academic community. The military and ordinary Australians are pretty much on their [the government’s] side.”

    Americans have taken advantage of the current state of affairs, rushing to strengthen their ties with Australian military in an effort to shift the balance of power in the region.

    “US President Obama has been trying to rebalance or shift the balance,” Siracusa said. “That means that a shift in American assets in different parts of the world, to this part of the world, is mainly prepositioning. Putting its long-range bombers in Australia pursues the concept of prepositioning weapons or troops such as heavy marines here.”

    Beijing has placed missiles in the South China Sea, and has stated that it doesn’t recognize a right claimed by the United States to sail in or fly over what they consider to be Chinese territorial waters.

    “We have a lot of buildup to some kind of a climax here,” opines Siracusa, adding that, “the Chinese Navy has been actually cast with stopping the US Navy.”

    According to these and other indicators, the professor asserts that the situation could grow into a war between China and the US, and, he suggests, claims by both countries that they will increase joint maritime military drills don’t fool anyone.


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    disputed islands, war, South China Sea, China, Japan, United States
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