China warned one mishap could lead to WW3 as new military drill taunts Beijing

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China has been warned that one “mishap” in the South China Sea could lead to a conflict with the US, an analyst told Daily Express US.

As tensions in the region rise, the US, the Philippines and other allied nations are conducting military exercises in what Beijing considers its backyard.

Geopolitical analyst Kervin AuCoin told Daily Express US that China would likely view these exercises with “concern” as Beijing sees the US as the aggressor in the region.

Although Washington has described conflict with Beijing as “not inevitable” the US military is still training for “potential conflicts”, according to the CEO of AuCoin Analytics.

He said: “The United States is concerned about the current tensions between China and the Philippines, particularly given the increase in aggressive actions towards US assets within the South China Sea.

“Most of the currently scheduled exercises within the Department of Defence focus on a future near-peer conflict with China.”

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He warned that it was unclear how the situation in the South China Sea could escalate – or not.

China has “built on disputed islands, intimidated fishermen, and harassed planes and ships from the US and elsewhere” while claiming its sovereignty was threatened, according to AuCoin.

He warned: “If a mishap were to happen with a US military or PLA asset, there would be conflict.”

Still, a US-Sino conflict was more likely to arise due to tensions over Taiwan, he believes.

While the US would likely send military support to the Philippines in the event of a conflict with China, Washington is unlikely to step up in the same way it would if China invaded Taiwan.

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Tensions in the South China Sea are skyrocketing over an increasingly aggressive China which lays claim to huge swathes of territory in the region.

The two-week exercises dubbed Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama 2023 will include forces from Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom and Malaysia as well as the US and Philippines.

Although the exercises will take place on the Pacific Coast of the Philippines, the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea are a mere 560 miles away.

It will focus on anti-submarine warfare, surface and air warfare as well as land exercises, according to the US Navy.

The planned exercises were launched just days after the Philippines dismantled a 980-foot-long barrier that was put in place by China at the entrance to Scarborough Shoal.

The President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, said: “We’re not looking for trouble, but what we’ll do is to continue defending the maritime territory of the Philippines and the rights of our fishermen, who have been fishing in those areas for hundreds of years.”

China administers the Scarborough Shoal which is also claimed by the Philippines – the placement of the barrier is another move by Beijing to control what it sees as its territory in the South China Sea.

AuCoin said: “China has already militarised at least three of several islands it built in the disputed South China Sea, arming them with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, laser and jamming equipment, and fighter jets in an increasingly aggressive move that threatens all nations operating nearby.”

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