(Image from: New York Times. All credit due)
You can’t have an emerging superpower (China) try to instill huge claims of the biggest trade route in the world. Both Cold War part 2 flash-points (Middle East oil wars between Iran/Russia and Saudi Arabia) are about the age old control of energy and trade routes. What is concerning about this looming situation in the South China sea are inexperienced Chinese navy officers being trigger happy on an American warship. If there is an ‘incident’ between Chinese and American navy ships or planes, global trade will collapse in minutes thereafter.
From The Guardian
“The operation has begun … It will be complete within a few hours,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The mission would be the start of a series of challenges to China’s territorial claims in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes, another US defence official said.
The second official earlier said the ship would likely be accompanied by a US navy P-8A surveillance plane and possibly P-3 surveillance plane, which have been conducting regular surveillance missions in the region.
The patrols represent the most serious US challenge to the 12-nautical-mile (22.2km, or 13.8-mile) territorial limits China claims around the islands and are certain to anger Beijing, which said last month it would “never allow any country” to violate its territorial waters and airspace in the Spratlys.