Home World China triggers horrifying 'open war' warning with latest South China Sea stunt

China triggers horrifying 'open war' warning with latest South China Sea stunt


China’s latest stunt in the South China Sea has triggered fresh horrifying “open war” fears.

Beijing deployed a monster 541-feet Coast Guard ship within 200 nautical miles of the Philippines in its latest bid to intimidate the top US ally in the Indo-Pacific.

China has been embroiled in a bitter dispute with Manila for months as it seeks to assert its sovereignty over the contested body of water.

Xi Jinping’s navy has ramped up its aggressive stance – despite repeated warnings from Washington it would intervene should the Philippines come under attack.

But China has so far shown no sign it plans to listen to demands from other countries with a stake in the South China Sea to stand down.

The Philippines, alongside South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Borneo, Malaysia and Indonesia all claim control over parts of the contested body of water.

Beijing’s hostility has prompted Australian National University scholar Aristyo Rizka Darmawan to warn the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) that it “needs to be prepared, not only to prevent conflict, but also to respond to it.”

Mr Darmawan wrote in the Australian Institute for International Affairs (AIIA) Australian Outlook journal: “Despite the risk of escalation, ASEAN does not seem to have a firm and clear strategy on how it will respond if the South China Sea suddenly turns into an open war.

“ASEAN must make it clear on what it would consider to be off limits in the South China Sea.

“This red line must be considered, if for no other reason than preventing what has occurred with the Philippines from happening to other ASEAN claimants.”

China’s aggressive display came less than a week after Manila’s military chief warned the country is ready to strike back if assaulted again in the South China Sea.

The Filipino Coast Guard has denounced an increasing series of clashes with their Chinese counterparts, which last month resulted in a sailor losing a thumb while allegedly fighting off a Chinese colleague.

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. insisted his forces will defend themselves with “the same level of force” if they come under attack again from China.

Following the attack on its boat, Gen. Brawner Jr. asked Beijing to pay £800,000 in damages for the two navy boats and return seven rifles which he said were seized by Chinese coast guard personnel during the confrontation at Second Thomas Shoal.

Second Thomas Shoal off the northwestern Philippines has emerged as a particularly dangerous area in the disputed South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety.

Chinese coast guard, navy and suspected militia ships have surrounded Philippine marines aboard a grounded ship to prevent the delivery of food and other supplies to Manila’s territorial outpost.

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