The Chinese army believes a military clash with the United States is imminent. It stated that there is a high possibility amidst heightened tensions involving North Korea and the current South China Sea dispute. A Chinese official, however, only made such strong comments after president Donald Trump officially took office.
China Preparing for War
Liu Guoshun, member of the national defense mobilization unit of China’s Central Military Commission, talked about the increasing tension between the two powerhouses in an article published on Chinese Army’s official website. He wrote the piece on January 20, the same day U.S. President Donald Trump officially took office. “A war within the president’s term’, ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, but the reality,” Liu wrote. The commentary piece was also written while concerns about a trade war between the two largest economies are increasing. As of now the White House has not yet reacted to the said statement.
The article published on the website of People’s Liberation Army seemed more of a warning than a show of strength, Ian Bremmer said according to CNBC. Bremmer is the president and founder of global political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group. He said that it looked more like the Chinese government is entirely worried about the chances of direct confrontation with the Trump administration.
It was noted earlier that Beijing had been quite cautious while reacting to Trump’s anti-China rhetoric. However, the Chinese are now preparing for the worst, Bremmer added. He stated that Chinese officials would actually retaliate decisively in response to any U.S. policies they consider to be against their interest.
Moreover, even Trump administration’s cautious tone had changed to a more aggressive one. Trump said on Monday that after his inauguration, the U.S. will stop Beijing from taking control over territory in international waters in the disputed region. “The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there,” Sean Spicer, White House spokesman, said. In response, the Chinese military installed weapons and military airstrips in the disputed area.
China: The Spratly Incident
It was reported in January that a Chinese H-6 strategic bomber flew around the Spratly Islands. The maneuver was nothing but a new show of force in the disputed sea. According to Reuters, U.S. officials divulged that the flight is being perceived as a show of “strategic force” by Beijing. On the other hand, Commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said he did not have any specific comment regarding China’s recent activities. “We continue to observe a range of ongoing Chinese military activity in the region,” Ross said.
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