mandag 21. desember 2020

Could South China Sea Conflict Heat Up Before Joe Biden Presidency?

Chinese think tank specializing in the security situation around the disputed waters of the South China Sea has warned of a growing risk of conflict with the United States just as the country is weeks away from inaugurating a new president. "We still believe that the risk of conflict is rising," the South China Sea Probing Initiative (SCSPI) said in a statement sent to Newsweek. "Though less mentioned in media reports recently, there have always been several encounters of various kinds from two sides every single day."

At the end of a tumultuous year for U.S.-China relations — along with many other aspects of life across the globe — a cautious calm appears to have consumed the tense South China Sea, an expansive and strategic body of water rich with resources over which travels much of the world's maritime traffic.

Even with the international community's focus on efforts to develop and distribute vaccines to halt the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a painstaking political transition taking place in Washington, SCSPI says the likelihood of aggression or miscalculation between the U.S. and China erupting into hostilities over their differing definitions of sovereignty in the South China Sea continues to grow.

"If the U.S. and China couldn't find substantive crisis management measures, the risk of an accident or unexpected conflict would still be high," the think tank said.