China claims it has a historic right of ownership over almost the entire South China Sea, despite a 2016 international arbitration ruling claiming Beijing’s claim had no legal basis under international law. But the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei also have overlapping claims on some of its parts. DWF transport manager Jonathan Moss said China’s presence increased the frustrations felt by ASEAN states.
“That would be my take on China’s activity in the South China Sea.
“The question is really: does China have the right to do what it does? ”
READ MORE: WW3: China sends stern warning after US military begins massive operation
Mr Moss also noted that there is a real risk of further conflicts in the waters.
He said: “I think there is certainly a risk of total conflict.
“There have been pockets of conflict before; About 20 years ago, there was a naval battle where three Chinese ships were engaged with the gunboats of the Philippine Navy.
“It was in the Spratly Islands.
The operation was part of a growing challenge by the Trump administration to the ruling Communist Party in China and its sweeping land claims on one of the world’s most important strategic waterways.
As senior Trump officials launch diplomatic and rhetorical shifts in Beijing, the U.S. Defense Department turns to the firepower of its heavily armed long-range bombers to thwart Beijing’s attempt to control the seas off the Chinese coasts.
Since late January, US B-1B and B-52 bombers, typically operating in pairs, have flown around 20 missions over key waterways, including the South China Sea, East China Sea and Sea of Japan, according to the accounts of the latter. flights of US Air Force statements and official social media posts.
These missions, say military analysts, are designed to send a crystal-clear signal: The United States can threaten the Chinese fleet and Chinese ground targets at any time, from remote bases, without having to relocate US aircraft carriers and other expensive surface warships within range. Beijing’s massive missile arsenal.
In this response to the growing power of the Chinese military, the Pentagon has combined some of its oldest weapons with some of its more recent: Cold War-era bombers and advanced stealth missiles.