The clouds of war are gathering dangerously above the Asia-Pacific and Washington's "hawks" are responsible for this. Numerous reports show that the US are trying to open a new front in the region, as they see China threatening their global domination.
The Ukraine crisis, the anti-missile system in Eastern Europe and the relocation of a large part of the US naval forces to the Asia-Pacific are only a few indications showing that the US neocon strategy is to surround and break the Sino-Russian bloc, attempting to destroy its rapid rise in the military level and its increasing independency in the economic level.
From the World Socialist Website:
In the face of mounting American pressure and provocations in the South China Sea, the Chinese government announced yesterday that it had lodged an official complaint over a highly publicised surveillance flight close to Chinese-claimed territory and urged the US to back off. Washington’s extraordinarily reckless actions are threatening to plunge the Asia Pacific and the entire world into conflict. From a media campaign condemning Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea, the US has moved to military challenges. While last week’s reconnaissance flight did not breach China’s 12-mile territorial limit, the Pentagon is preparing plans to do just that under the pretext of defending 'freedom of navigation.'
The US has deliberately placed the entire region on a knife edge, posing a real and imminent danger of war. An accident or miscalculation by US or Chinese military aircraft or warships in the South China Sea could set in train a series of actions and reactions that would bring the two nuclear-armed powers to blows.
The US has further heightened the risk of war by pushing other claimants in the South China Sea, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, to more assertively press their territorial demands against China. It has also encouraged Japan to conduct its own patrols in the region. All of these steps multiply the danger of an incident, not necessarily immediately involving the United States, precipitating a far broader conflict.
The looming confrontation in the South China Sea has been long in preparation. The Obama administration’s aggressive stance towards China on every front—diplomatic, economic and military—began in 2009 and was formalised in the “pivot to Asia” in 2011. As part of the “pivot,” the US has engaged in a comprehensive build-up and restructuring of its armed forces in the Indo Pacific, focussed on fighting a war with China.
Washington bitterly resented the decision by Britain in March to ignore its advice and sign up to the China-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The move prompted a rush by other countries to follow suit, undermining the monopoly position of longstanding American-dominated institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. US actions in the South China Sea are, in part, a means of hitting back by underscoring the military vulnerability of China.
An analyst describes three possible scenarios under which Washington and Beijing may draw themselves into a direct conflict. From sputniknews:
Peace is hanging in the balance in the South China Sea region, Michael Auslin noted, presenting three possible real-world scenarios under which Washington and Beijing may draw themselves into a direct conflict. Although Beijing has not set yet a formal air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea, it has obviously laid down a 'redline' in the region, noted Michael Auslin, a resident scholar and the director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), adding that the peace is hanging in the balance in this part of the Asia Pacific region. [...] The expert does not exclude the possibility of a mid-air collision between Chinese and US fighters over the sea, such as happened in 2001, when a US Navy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet. An accident could lead to a stand-off, the scholar emphasized.
Meanwhile, China appears to change its defence doctrine. From China.org:
China issued its first white paper on military strategy on Tuesday, stressing "active defense" and pledging closer international security cooperation. The white paper, "China's Military Strategy", issued by the State Council Information Office, outlined a strategy unifying strategic defense and operational and tactical offense. The nearly 9,000-word paper also underscored "the principles of defense, self-defense and post-emptive strikes", adding that China "will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked".
The paper goes on to highlight four "critical security domains", including the ocean, outer space, cyberspace and nuclear force. The PLA Navy will gradually shift its focus from a sole strategy of "offshore waters defense" to a combined one of "offshore waters defense and open seas protection". The country will expedite the development of its "cyber force" to tackle "grave security threats" online. China opposes a space arms race and vowed to secure its space assets. The paper also underscored that China will never enter into a nuclear arms race and pledges to continue to contribute to world peace.
A world war is unlikely in the foreseeable future and the international situation is expected to remain generally peaceful, the paper noted. However, it also warned of the outside threats of hegemony, power politics and "neo-interventionism". Small-scale wars, conflicts and crises are recurrent in some regions. Therefore, the world still faces both immediate and potential threats of localized wars, according to the white paper.
The shift in the PLA Navy's focus to a combination of "offshore waters defense and open seas protection" is essential as China is facing rising challenges from the sea and the country is more reliant on maritime resources and energy, said Yu Miao, another AMS researcher. The traditional mentality that control of the land is more important than control of the sea must be abandoned, and great importance has to be attached to managing the seas and oceans and protecting maritime rights and interests, said the paper. The PLA Navy will enhance its capabilities for strategic deterrence and counterattack, maritime maneuvers, joint operations at sea, comprehensive defense and comprehensive support.
It would be worth to notice that Japan has already changed recently its military doctrine for the first time since WWII (updated-report-new-evidence), the US declared that they are willing to defend Japan by any means (us-ready-to-use-nuclear), and, China expressed its concern over Japan's defence budget rise (chinas-concern-about-japans).
Everything points to the fact that Washington's hawks insist on playing dangerous games with Russia-China, and warm up their war engines. The neocons stupidly believe that they could prevent Sino-Russian retaliation in case they decide a nuclear attack:
Latest numerous indications show that the US surround Russia, attempting to isolate the country militarily, politically and economically. The support of neo-nazis in Ukraine was aiming to drag Russia into an attrition war in East Ukraine, for a start. Some analysts claim that Washington's "hawks" prepare a nuclear "preventive" strike against Russia because they believe that they can obviate Russian or Chinese retaliation, using the anti-missile shield in East Europe. Unfortunatelly, there are indications that this may be possible. According to latest information, Washington proceeds in actions to surround China as well. It is not accidental that these revelations come after the recent big agreement between Russia and China on the energy sector. According to some analysts, the US transfer 60% of their naval forces to the Asian Pasific, while they plan to build a similar "anti-missile" system in the region.