by Claire Bernish, The Free Thought Project:
In continued rejection of last month’s ruling by a Hague-based tribunal invalidating China’s territorial claims to a vast swath of the South China Sea, on Tuesday, the Chinese defense minister urged for “substantial preparation for a people’s war at sea.”
Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan also warned of “offshore security threats” and the need to acknowledge the gravity of risk to China’s national security; and advised the military, police, and populace to ready for mobilization to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to state news agency, Xinhua.
None of this bellicose rhetoric and escalation is occurring in a vacuum, of course, and while Americans seem content to analyze whether Donald Trump has experienced a psychological break or bemoan the fact Hillary Clinton hasn’t landed in federal custody, the United States meanwhile barrels toward war with China and its ally, Russia.
China’s assertions of provocation by the U.S. — backed by the deployment of an armada of ships to the South China Sea, as well as nuclear bombers to the Pacific — its rejection of the tribunal’s ruling, and promises to aggressively defend its interests at sea all point toward impending military conflict.
Claiming it wishes to ensure freedom of navigation in the geostrategically important region, the U.S. has conducted a number of military drills in the hotly-contested waters — but its premise of defense against Chinese aggression halfway around the world hardly masks what would be rightly called outright instigation.
“China doesn’t want wars, a war with the U.S. in particular,” the Global China Times wrote in an op-ed response to a Rand Corporation report showing China would suffer heavy losses should the two nations engage in military conflict. “The only possible scenario for a Sino-US war is that the U.S. corners China on its doorstep with unacceptable provocations and China has to fight back.”
It added darkly, “We will be very prudent about going to war, but if a war is triggered, we will have greater determination than the U.S. to fight it to the end and we can endure more losses than the U.S.”
On Tuesday, China’s top court ruled there exists a “clear legal basis for China to safeguard maritime order, marine safety and interests, and to exercise integrated management over the country’s jurisdictional seas.”
Though observers weren’t in complete agreement on precisely what the court intended by ‘jurisdictional seas,’ most felt the country is attempting to establish the basis for a ‘defensive’ military response against ‘trespassers’ in the disputed waters.
“It appears that China is establishing the legal basis to enforce violations of Chinese domestic law in the South China Sea,” Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, explained to Business Insider.
“There is still ambiguity, however, since China has not clarified what it means by its jurisdictional seas. It remains to be seen whether this announcement from a Chinese court is intended for domestic purposes or will be used to assert sovereignty within the nine-dash-line.”
Struck down by the tribunal, China’s maritime territorial claim concerns a vast swath of the South China Sea and islands encompassed within a line of nine dashes — and includes the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands, Taiwan, and much more.
Please follow SGT Report on Twitter & help share the message.