By: Emanuele Scimia
For military analyst Collin Koh, greater naval presence in the Western Pacific increases the danger of “accidental” clashes, but the countries involved will not go so far as to fight a “hot” war. Any military confrontation would plunge China into potential “socioeconomic chaos”. The Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea remains the major flashpoints.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – War between China and the United States is not likely in the short term, even though the two powers are boosting their military deployment in East Asia’s two hottest geopolitical spots – the South China Sea and the Strait of Taiwan, this according to Collin Koh, an expert on military affairs and a research fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, who spoke to AsiaNews.
The Shandong, the first Chinese-built aircraft carrier, transited through the Taiwan Strait yesterday accompanied by four escort ships, Taiwanese authorities reported. Taiwan’s military responded by mobilising six Navy ships and eight Air Force planes to monitor the situation. For communist China, Taiwan is a “rebel” province to be retaken, by force if necessary.
The Shandong’s voyage comes four days after the US destroyer Mustin sailed through the same waters. China’s military, in a statement released by its Eastern Theatre Command, said its air and naval forces “tailed and monitored” the vessel during its passage. Last Thursday, the Pentagon announced that it was boosting the US naval presence in the Indo-Pacific to counter Beijing's “expansionist” approach.