The S.China Sea flashpoint | World Defense

The S.China Sea flashpoint

remnant

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The S. China Sea is a potential military flashpoint due to the productive nature of the area which is rich in fisheries and great potential in terms of oil reserves. China is building an airforce base in the Spratley Islands and recently introduced advanced anti-aircraft missiles in the area with the US responding by sending a frigate to challenge China's moves. There military maneouvres mig result in am accidental conflagration. The area is being contested by China, Phillipines and Vietnam. The issue is best left to the ICJ to arbitrate.
 

Corzhens

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The issue on the Spratlys is getting milder because of the coming Philippine presidential elections next week. China is exploiting the situation by preparing the airstrip for test flights of passenger planes. That airstrip was recently built on the island that they reclaimed which was a coral reef. Aside from the airstrip, there is information that the said island has also a structure that serves as quarters for military troops. In other words, that island is being designed as a military base.
 

vash

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The islands where China had placed anti-aircraft missiles are not at Spartly. They put HQ-9 missiles on Woody island which is at Paracel islands. The nearest country is China, and the only other claimants are Vietnam and Republic of China (Taiwan).

As for Spartly islands, yes, China is building some air strips there. But they are the last one to do so. All the other countries who claim them (Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan) already have airstrips there for many years. China is the last one to build airstrip there, although it will be the longest once completed.

The US government claims to be neutral in the dispute. Yet US naval ships and aircraft only went to challenge China occupied islands/reefs, while both Vietnamese and Philippines are occupying way more island bases in the same area. There had been a dispute there for many decades with only two skirmish between Vietnam and China back in the 1960s and 1980s. There will be no war if the US military can stop taking sides while claiming otherwise... I very much doubt the US government really want a direct conflict against China. Although no doubt the military industry complex is hoping otherwise... either a direct or indirect (sell more weapons to the countries in disputes) conflict.
 
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explorerx7

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Yes the US seems to be able to gain a lot from the prevailing situation which exists I n the China Sea. We all know that they won't be a head to head confrontation between China and the US over this issue. However sending its vessels in the area will seem to heighten the tension. We have seen where a number of countries in the region have been acquiring an unusual amount of arms because of fear of Chinese domination. In my opinion, the US is pushing the fire in the region which will possibly enable it to sell some arms.
 

vash

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Obviously the US has the most to gain from the situation as long as the US military is not directly involved in a military conflict. Aside China, all the countries in dispute can buy weapons and supplies from the US. Philippines is about to let the US military get back to bases in Philippines. On the grand scale, the US does not want China to rise. So it is a win-win situation for the US when the dispute escalate.


For OP,
the following island is Woody island at Paracel islands, where China placed AA missiles. It is close to China's Hainan province (that big island with 9 million population to the north)



And the following is a picture of the disputed Spartly islands. You can see Vietnam has occupied most of the islands (over 30), while China has only 7.
 
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