U.S. Defense Secretary has announced that it will continue to protect the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, extending its clear support towards Japan. This has enraged China, which already claims sovereignty over the islands. China has blamed the American government of stirring up undue tension in East Asia by taking sides. Now experts of geopolitics said that the prospect of war between US and China would be catastrophic. It could result to World War 3, thereby ending life as we know it.
The Prospect of World War 3
Trevor McCrisken, associate professor of politics and international studies at the University of Warwick has stated that WW3 is definitely on the horizon, reported Independent. “We would be looking, I would imagine, at World War Three. I really do think that would be the end of life as we know it on Earth,” he said. This is because war between two aggressive superpowers would inevitably involve nuclear weapons. And needless to say, any nuclear war does not only affect the nations battling it out, but also their neighbors.
Dr Peter Roberts, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, on the other hand, had no qualms about who would be on the losing side. “America would take military losses. They would lose thousands and thousands [of personnel]. But China would be utterly defeated,” he said.
He also added that the kind of harmony achieved between the four branches of military in the U.S. is unparalleled. China, according to Roberts, lacks the level of experience in combat than the United States possesses. Kerry Brown, professor of Chinese studies and director of King’s College London’s Lau China Institute concurred with Roberts. “US naval superiority is massive. And if we are talking just military, then for sure, a conflict right beside China would hurt China more than the US,” said Brown.
U.S. To Honor US-Japan Security Treaty
The islands in question have been entangled in dispute ever since the U.S. transferred its territorial rights to Japan back in 1971. China, on the other hand, has claimed jurisdiction of the islands since the 4th century. As China refuses to give up sovereignty over the islands, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has made it clear as to where America stands in the dispute.
“I made clear that our long-standing policy on the Senkaku Islands stands – the US will continue to recognize Japanese administration of the islands and as such Article 5 of the US-Japan Security Treaty applies,” said Mattis, in a press conference, reported RT. This decision, taken by Trump’s administration, keeps with Article 5 of the treaty, where the U.S. military support towards Japan.
Following the reaffirmation of America’s alliance with Japan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, had a fitting reply. “We urge the US side to take a responsible attitude, stop making wrong remarks on the issue involving the Diaoyu Islands sovereignty, and avoid making the issue more complicated and bringing instability to the regional situation,” said Kang. Furthermore, he made it amply clear that the islands have always belonged to China, which is an “unchangeable historical fact”.
US And China To Go To War?
The escalating tension between Washington and Beijing has led many to conclude that soon the United States and China might go to war. The possibility of an impending war between the two superpowers has also been suggested by Trump’s own advisor, Steve Bannon. However, there are still those who refuse to believe that something that extreme will actually become a reality.
Delfin Lorenzana, Philippine Defense Secretary and former war veteran’s representative does not believe that Trump will be foolish enough to start a wage a war against China. “I don’t think it will happen. Trump is a businessman and he knows that if war breaks out, businesses will suffer,” said Lorenzana, reported Bloomberg.
The fact that Philippines is swaying towards supporting the alliance of China and Russia, in the recent times, is becoming evidently clear. The apparent political shift is not shocking. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte initiated the change in tide by undermining the security alliance with the U.S. that his nation has enjoyed ever since World War II. But only a year ago, Duterte was dead set against China. This is because Philippines was contending for territorial dominance in the South China Sea too.