US Using its Allies to Start a War with China?

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The situation in the Indo-Pacific Region (IPR) has become noticeably more complicated in recent years, primarily due to the openly provocative actions of the United States towards Taiwan.

China is wary of a series of US-Taiwan military exchanges initiated by the Biden administration. One of these was the recent visit to Washington by Taiwanese army commander General Xu Yanpu.  Beijing believes that the United States is deliberately and defiantly moving away from the one-China policy, stirring up discord between Beijing and Taipei.

This situation became noticeably complicated back in November last year when Taiwan announced the arrival of the American military on the island to conduct training of Taiwanese marines and special forces for operations using boats and for landing from the sea. However, this report concerning the command of the Taiwanese Navy was later denied by both American and Taiwanese officials, who emphasized that the parties only exchange military specialists as part of their defense cooperation.

On May 27 this year, Christopher Mayer, appointed by Joe Biden as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflicts, told the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the United States should seriously consider training Taiwanese guerrilla forces to resist mainland China. At the same time, he stressed that US officials should also think about the deployment of American special forces in Taiwan to train local military personnel to contain a potential Chinese invasion.

And so, at the beginning of October this year, WION, according to a Pentagon official, confirmed that the United States is already helping Taipei to build up its military capabilities. That is, Taiwan has become an ally of Washington, despite the risk of angering Beijing. Moreover, it was reported that a contingent of almost twenty special forces of the US army has been secretly training Taiwanese soldiers for several months.

Recently, cautious and gloomy publications began to appear in the regional media space about Washington’s escalation of tensions in the Indo-Pacific Region (IPR). Their peak came against the backdrop of the largest naval maneuvers in the Pacific, involving four aircraft carriers, carried out by the United States, Great Britain, and Japan for the sole purpose of deterring China. Moreover, concern about the development of the engineering and technical personnel is expressed in the countries traditionally critical of the United States and among their regional allies, particularly South Korea and Japan.

The reader will recall the maneuvers that began on October 3 off the coast of the Philippines, consisting of an impressive naval group of warships from 6 countries led by USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson nuclear-powered supercarriers, the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier of the British Royal Navy and the JS Ise helicopter destroyer of the Japanese Naval Self-Defense Forces. Seventeen ships and more than 15,000 troops participated in the maneuvers, including destroyers and patrol ships from Canada, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. This scale is unprecedented in the region. Many experts believe that US actions in the South China Sea demonstrated the intention of Washington and its Western allies to counter China’s growing military pressure on Taiwan. Dr. Park Won Gon, Professor, at Ewha University stressed that the strike forces assembled by the West in such a limited operational theater, in principle, may already indicate a readiness to start a full-fledged war. The United States will increase its pressure on Seoul to force South Korea to join the Western anti-Chinese military campaign.

At about the same time, in the Taiwan Strait, Chinese warplanes “invaded Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in unprecedented numbers, resulting in dangerously high tensions in the area. A total of 149 fighters and bombers from the Chinese army were deployed in this Chinese operation,” says Chosun Shimpo.

A highly unpredictable and hard-to-analyze operational-strategic situation is developing today in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Merely a step separates it from the large-scale conflict between the United Navy and Air Force of AUKUS, the military-political alliance recently created by Washington to openly “contain China,” and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and Air Force It is easy to conclude that the key goal here is to establish comprehensive control over the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands and prevent the transfer and deployment of ​PLA Navy aircraft-carrier-multipurpose strike and ship amphibious assault groups in the Philippine Sea.

Thus, this author is of the opinion that the United States is increasingly relying on allies in a very important region, which is why the maneuvers in the South China Sea and the creation of the AUKUS alliance are significant signals. Experts believe that the actions of the West, led by the United States, in the South China Sea and Indo-Asia-Pacific region demonstrated Washington’s intention to use its Western allies to resist the growing military role of China and its pressure on Taiwan.

In Japan, the buildup of the US presence in the Pacific region is causing great concern. For example, Professor of Tokai University Yoshihiko Yamada stated earlier that “the Sea of ​​Japan is currently in a state of quiet war.”

Against this background, Huánqiú Shíbào, one of the mouthpieces of the official Beijing, assesses the current situation in the Taiwan Strait as “unprecedentedly high tension.” Given the acute tension between the three sides and the absence of a script and a respected mediator, everyone anticipates an impending huge crisis. That is, it is quite likely that an accidental shot will break out a sudden war at the most unpredictable moment.

Another article of the same publication explicitly states that China has enough strength to deliver a decisive blow to America and destroy half of the Americans if the USA leans towards a military solution to the problem.

Under these conditions, the principle of “One country, two systems” should become a way out of the current situation and add room for maneuver and a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan problem.

The current situation has turned into one where excessive muscle-flexing may have an undesirable effect. Instead of intimidating China, the United States may easily provoke a new conflict. In any event, the US will not have to take the rap – its allies from among the states closest to the conflict zone will, and these allies must realize this, along with the dangers of the adventure Washington is pushing them into

Vladimir Odintsov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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