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South China Sea


Two U.S Bomber planes have taken a flight over the disputed region of the South China Sea. According to the U.S. air force, the demonstration of the bombing run, declared the privilege to treat the region as international territory rather than China’s own, as China is in the habit of assuming.

Other countries which claim a part in the disputed region include Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. The region sees more than $5,000,000,000,000 worth of trade on the passing ships.

The flight was taken by the B-1B Lancer Bomber planes from U.S. Air force Base, located in Guam. The run occurred on July 6, just before U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are getting ready for a meeting on the occasion of G20 summit to be held in Germany.

The two great political leaders were required to talk about China’s role over Missile and atomic weapon programs of North Korea. North Korea recently tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4. The Missile, according to a few weapon specialists has the capability to target Hawaii and Alaska and maybe the Pacific Northwest region of U.S.

Trump has been considering using China in an effort to dominate the North Korea. The U.S. military, staying apart from such political strategies, has clearly stated its “freedom of navigation” rights in the still disputed territory of the South China Sea, which has clearly irritated China.

The United States has opposed China’s building of military base on South China Sea reefs and small islands it has built. The U.S. is clearly worried that they could be utilized by China to expand its territorial threat.

The U.S. Lancers had also taken a flight over the South China Sea a month ago, from the same U.S. air force Base in Guam. Their flight was timed with a U.S. warship, which drilled 12 nautical miles inside of one of China’s fake islands, in the month of May.

Chinese Foreign Ministry representative Geng Shuang said there was no issue with navigational freedom or a usual over-flight over the East and South China Seas. However, he also said that China steadfastly restricts singular nations utilizing the standard of navigational freedom and over-flight, to parade military force and mischief China’s power and security, only for a show of power.

Much is being talked about how US President-elect Donald Trump  foreign policy will unfold in the Middle East where America is leading the coalition to fight ISIS, some critical decisions about Pacific where China, a close ally of North Korea is determinant power will also have a bearing on US-China changing relations. With Trump  devising new terms and conditions for the military alliance between US-Japan-South Korea after January 20th whereby these countries will have to put their defense expenditure, China  with its massive military built up in South China Sea will aggressively confront US to dictate terms to bring North Korea for the resumption of six-party talks.

Meanwhile, China is opposing unilateral sanctions on North Korea outside the framework of Security Council resolutions. 

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula reached a high level in 2015 when Pyongyang conducted two nuclear tests and a string of ballistic missile launches and as a response South Korea is about to complete the deployment of an advanced US missile defense system by May 2017. The tensions will further rise as Russia, China and North Korea termed the action of US  and Seoul as provocative. But Park Geun-hye impeachment has created political uncertainty in South Korea. 

If Trump is thinking of having normal ties with Russia  and using Moscow card to browbeat China then he is bound to fail as because Russia-China ties are far deeper than US-Russia understanding though Putin had in someway helped Trump win the US Presidential elections.

Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command ,warned China that Washington would not accept Chinese control of the South China Sea, despite Beijing’s having undertaken rapid development of artificial islands capable of hosting military planes.

Harris further added “We will cooperate where we can but we will be ready to confront where we must and the US fought its first war following our independence to ensure freedom of navigation”.  

Trump may have to tackle China by involving countries having ties with both the countries and will have to take into confidence his own intelligence agencies,especially the CIA as well as moderate Republican  and Democratic members of Congress.

Article Courtesy : Arti Bali, Senior Journalist & Analyst