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Australia May get Involved in US's War on China
01/28/2017 War on China Benjamin R
keywords: Australia US's War on China South China Sea
The South China Sea is around 5,000 kms from Australia but since Australia needs access to these waters to trade their goods and resources, Australia is not too happy with the moves China has made in recent years.

If there was a global conflict, most observers are of the opinion that it would occur in Australia's backyard. Australia is a democracy as well and they speak English, they will side with America if it comes between China and the US.

War

The South China Sea certainly is the flashpoint here since it's the area where US warships and aircraft might actually clash with the Chinese warships and aircraft. The possibility of unintended aircraft or ships being struck is possible.

The area is an important fault line, a hotbed for disputed territory, and a world trade route which has a huge military presence around it. China has previously been accused of militarizing this area, artificially expanding islands and building airstrips and so on. President Obama ignored this mainly, he chose to play golf instead.

During his confirmation, Trump's Secretary of State nominee, Rex Tillerson, gave notice to China. He said that they were going to send a clear signal to China that the island building needs to stop, and that they weren't going to be given access to the islands.

Showdown

Sow Keat Tok, an expert on China at Melbourne University is worried that China might get forced into a showdown from where there is no retreat.

The legitimacy of the regime is being undermined, and everything is floating in the air. When pushed into the corner, the Chinese are expected to punch back eventually. Don't think they are going to back down. They may just try raising the stakes. They will lose though. China needs to be put in check, they are growing too bold.

The stakes are very high as far as Australia is concerned too. The US is an ally of Australia (as previously mentioned) while China is their largest trading partner.

James Brown of the US Studies Centre at Sydney University said that Australia would most probably be caught in the crossfire. He said that they needed to make hard decisions on where and how they would give support to the US in such a conflict, and would also have to worry about how it would impact their economy. A conflict between these super powers would most probably escalate, and the US will want to know whose its friends are who is not a friend.

Any clash between both countries has the potential to be catastrophic. But is it that likely? Military strategists in China and America are preparing for this possibility as we speak.

War or No War

The Rand Corporation, the global think tank had readied a report back in 2015 on the military strategy of America where they said that premeditated war wasn't likely, but there was a danger of the crisis being mishandled.

It said that China was going to suffer more casualties if a war broke out right now, but cautioned that the military muscle of China has increased which means a war would be destructive, prolonged, and inconclusive.

The entire situation is very combustible at the moment. War looks to be the only self-fulfilling prophecy at the moment. If, at this stage, Trump's administration is going to carry on pushing China towards a confrontation, war is most likely going to happen. But China has been pushing themselves with a confrontation with Japan and the situation with Taiwan has not been resolved. Taiwan has every right to claim their freedom.

If America was not in the business of protecting Japan (which could end soon) Japan and China perhaps would have fought already beginning in 2013 perhaps.

One of the ex-military officers in the US also said that misunderstandings between the countries might just lead to a conflict in the South China Sea. The US President is critical in this respect. The South China Sea might just end up being the largest flashpoint of the Trump presidency. China seems to want to fight. Many people believe China had it easy under Obama since Obama allowed China to do whatever it wanted, well, things have changed.

Australia may like doing business with China but it does not want to get in America’s way for some money and Australia morally knows America is right on this.
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