Saturday, October 24, 2020

Increased Tensions between China and US could lead to conflict

 (June 25)Experts on US-China relations claim that as tensions between the two countries escalate specific incidents have a much greater chance of exploding into actual war. Experts claim that communication between the two governments needs to be strengthened.

Chinese Think Tank urges better communication
A report from China's National Institute for South China Seas, was more moderate in response to US actions compared to some recent government denunciations. The Institute warned that worsening of military ties would increase the possibility of armed conflict between the two countries. Wu Shicun head of the institute said at a media briefing: "Stable military relations ... must become the stabilising factor in bilateral relations." The institute warned that channels of communication should remain open such as a hotline set up way back in 2008 between the US and Chines defense departments.
US and Chinese ship nearly collided last September
Wu said: “I think the risks of conflict are rising, especially after the near-collision between the USS Decatur guided-missile destroyer and China’s destroyer the Lanzhou in September in the South China Sea." In September of 2018 the USS Decatur was performing what the US calls a "freedom of navigation" operation and it came within 41 meters (130 feet) of the Lanzhou close to the Gaven Reef which China claims as its territory. China accused the US of taking provocative action.
Communication links between China and the US are deteriorating
Wu noted that China and the US were engaged in rivalry on many fronts, and that there was political trust building up between the two. This had led to many intergovernmental communication channels simply shutting down. The institute reported that communication between the two countries had been in sharp decline singe 2018. The deterioration was hastened when two years ago the US withdrew an invitation to China to participate in the large scale multinational naval exercises known as Rim of the Pacific.
No sign that two countries interested in repairing relationships
The Trump administration has claimed it is in a great power competition with China. Trump has even spoken of entirely decoupling from China a move that would be disastrous for both countries. The US has increased the number of troops in the Asia-Pacific region to 375,000 and has 60 percent of US Navy ships in the region. Neither side wants an outright war between the two countries that could be disastrous for both sides but there seems little appetite for improving relations between the two countries a move that could benefit them both.
Published previously in the Digital Journal

North Korea suspends military exercises aimed at the South

(June 24) North Korea's Kim Jong Un has ordered a suspension of planned military exercises designed to intimidate South Korea in a move that should ease tensions that had been growing between the two neighboring countries.

North Korean state media said that the decision was made in light of the prevailing situation. The prevailing situation has been growing tensions that the North appeared to be fostering.
North angered by the South allowing balloons with propaganda to cross the border
Anti-North groups have been allowed to launch balloons with propaganda against the North from across the southern border. Kim's sister who appears to be gaining authority in the North had spoken of the North's military acting decisively against the South. This probably indicated a show of force but not a direct attack against the South. The North has been reported to building up its military at the border, and reoccupied abandoned border posts. The North is reported to be preparing its own propaganda leafleting campaign directed at the south.. According to the North's official Korean Central News Agency, it will be the largest ever distribution of leaflets against the enemy.
North appears to want to dial down tensions
In spite of the fact that there are no signs of talks or further easing of tensions, the North's move appears to be a sign that it perhaps has gone too far in escalating tensions and wishes to go back to at least the former status quo or near to it. The North also began to dismantle loudspeakers it had erected only last week, traditionally used to blast anti-South Korean messages over the border, Yonhap reported. We will need to wait and see if the Kim goes even further and agrees to begin talks again as South Korea wishes.
The North may be realizing that its policies have not furthered a peaceful solution to the continuing conflict between North and South and that it may be in its own interest to pursue some form of peaceful solution to some of the differences between the two countries rather than simply military posturing which does nothing to solve the differences between the two. As of now the situation has returned to a continuing standoff between the North and South that advances the interests of neither country.
The move is quite a change from the truculent rhetoric recently employed by the North as illustrated in the appended video report.

Previously published in the Digital Journal

Increased Tensions between China and US could lead to conflict

 (June 25) Experts on US-China relations claim that as tensions between the two countries escalate specific incidents have a much greater ch...