U.S. officials have been quoted as saying that Washington is preparing to challenge territorial claims made by China in the South China Sea for a 12-nautical-mile limit around the man-made Chinese island chain by sending warships into said zone.
Plans of such a maneuver have been rumored about since March but three Navy officials have reportedly announced that approval is imminent now, proving that no resolution whatsoever was found during Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington last month. Obama said during a press conference he held with Jinping during that visit that “the United States will continue to sail, fly, and operate anywhere that international law allows” and voiced his concerns about the “militarization of disputed areas.” The Chinese president made no concessions either, stating that the concerned area has been Chinese territory “since ancient times.”
The entire dispute began in 2013 when the U.S. and its allies, among them the Philippines, first got wind of Chinese plans for land reclamation. Washington has since been discussing the legitimacy of the artificial islands – used as military bases allowing China to be fully present in air and on the sea in that area – built by Beijing, which has caused a lot of tension between the two superpowers. This debacle along with other difficult topics like accusations of currency manipulation and human rights related issues has caused the relation between China and the U.S. to drop to its lowest point in a long time. This break will certainly reinforce the Sino-Russian relationship in terms of economy and military – a relationship that Washington will definitely want to avoid strengthening given the current situation in Syria and the Ukraine but apparently doesn’t give all too much of a fuck about either.
Why exactly the American government thinks that now is a good time to essentially start begging for WWIII, I don’t know. I mean, we’ve got Syria and the Ukraine in a state of all-out and ‘civil’ war respectively, we’ve got immensely bad blood between the US and China anyways, and a total of three nuclear superpowers entangled in this whole mess – why the fuck would you add fire to this highly explosive and volatile mix?