A Chinese diplomatic observer told the South China Morning Post that the USA was escalating the confrontation by expanding its operations in the sea to include the Taiwan Strait.

Following a dramatic close call between US and Chinese destroyers in the South China Sea, the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet wants to put on a major show of force in the body of water before the end of the year.

Military officials told CNN Wednesday that the Navy wanted to send warships and aircraft through the South China Sea — and close to Chinese-claimed islands — in November to send a message to Beijing.

On Sunday, the destroyer USS Decatur was conducting what the Americans call a freedom of navigation operation, a sort of bucking at the idea that the sea around South China Sea islands is Chinese territorial waters — which implies that the islands are not Chinese territory, either.

The Decatur was confronted by an unnamed Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Luyang-class destroyer, which ordered it to leave Chinese territory, closing to within 135 feet of the Decatur.

But this episode is not the only recent provocation in the region: twice last week, the USA sent B-52 Stratofortress heavy bombers though the South China Sea, exercises that were immediately followed by joint exercises with Japanese planes over the East China Sea and Sea of Japan.

The B-52 is the US Air Force’s largest bomber and a key part of the US Nuclear Triad, capable of carrying several large thermonuclear bombs.

Despite such reckless harassment, the United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows and our national interests demand. We will not be intimidated.

Noting that one of the beneficiaries of such a showdown would be Russia, Yun said that Southeast Asian countries want to see enhanced US commitment in the region, but they don’t want a conflict between USA and China.

They would want China to stand down, but it is questionable China will stand down in the face of US pressure.

Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Asia News 2018.

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14-03-20 22:36

Not going to happen?