- US Seeking to Militarily Confront China Over South China Sea
The United States is looking for an excuse to militarily confront the Chinese over their claims in the South China Sea, according to a former US Senate policy adviser and diplomat.
The United States and the Philippines have kicked off this year’s annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) joint military exercises. The CARAT Philippines 2016, which started this week and will end on June 10, sees US Navy and Marine Corps conduct exercise missions with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in multiple locations across the Southeast Asian country and in waters near Subic Bay and Palawan, near the South China Sea.
“First of all, there’s nothing wrong with the United States having a close political and military relationship with the Philippines,” said James Jatras, who is a specialist in international relations and legislative politics in Washington. “It’s a former colony of the United States, and there are very close relationships between the Filipinos and Americans,” he told Press TV on Thursday.
“The trouble is the context of American policy especially in the South China Sea where the people here in Washington are looking for an excuse to militarily confront the Chinese over their claims in the South China Sea, and are looking for provocative behavior not only from the Filipinos, but from Vietnam and from other countries,” he added.
“And this is why I think the danger comes in what is really contrary to American national interests and policy of the Obama administration where we are looking for an excuse to confront our naval forces and air forces with the Chinese in the South China Sea,” the analyst concluded.
China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, despite partial counterclaims by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. China is also locked in disputes with Japan and South Korea over the East China Sea. Across Southeast Asia, concerns about China and its growing military have created an opportunity for the US to improve relationships. China has repeatedly criticized US military presence in the region and suspects the military drills are part of efforts to contain Beijing.