Beijing and Washington were on the brink of war. Military conflict between them could erupt including accident, say the authors of a new study by the authoritative American analytical and research organization RAND Corp.
Known and potential military conflict. This is the South China sea (SCS), which run is the most important trade routes and who annually transported goods by 5 trillion dollars. The cause of the war between America and China may become territorial disputes, which in the literal sense of the word simmer in the South China sea between China on the one hand and other States of the region: the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Indonesia.
Conflict can flare up instantly, like a match, warn the authors of the study. The fact that the Pentagon and the PLA pulled to the place of possible hostilities with the most modern weapons.
Due to the power weapons there is a strong temptation to strike first. The conflict will be long, but it is unlikely that it comes to the use of nuclear weapons, analysts say the RAND. Both parties have sufficient resources to transfer the damage. As well as two-thirds of a century ago, in Korea, the clash will end in a draw.
«Washington and Beijing is necessary to examine the possibility of continuous, uncontrolled and very serious conflict in which there will be a winner,» the study says.
The US defense Department ordered a new study of possible development scenarios in the South China sea after making last month the decision of the Permanent court of arbitration in the Hague to recognize the illegal territorial claims on China for 80% of the water area of the disputed region. Incidentally, with regard to participation in «sea trials» of the United States, located thousands of kilometers from the South China sea, they, as always, protect democracy, and in this particular case, the freedom of navigation.
It is unknown what expected of a judge, pronouncing a verdict, and the Philippines, sending to the Hague complaint against China, but Beijing even before its consideration repeatedly at the highest level have stated that the decision of the Arbitration court to perform is not intended. Immediately after the announcement of the verdict China has proven that words in the wind drops. Chinese bombers ostentatiously flew over the Scarborough shoal, a group of Islands, which the Chinese actually took the Philippines. In addition, Beijing agreed to hold joint military exercises with Russia and sending warships to the disputed waters which it disputes with Japan. The Japanese foreign Ministry has already managed to protest about the appearance of warships of China in the disputed waters.
How will the events develop in the South China sea, further, it is difficult to predict. Most analysts are inclined to believe that at least two-three weeks the situation in the volatile area will be more or less calm. In Beijing, presumably, do not want to spoil provocative actions and scandals, the G20 summit, which will take place on 4-5 September in Hangzhou.
According to analysts, much will depend on the nerves of American admirals. The Pentagon is likely to behave very carefully at least until the presidential elections on 7 November.
Tough stance of Beijing is easily explained. In China understand that neither of which the execution of the decision of the Hague Tribunal it is not and no one will force them to destroy the man-made Islands that the Americans and China’s neighbors are not without reason to believe the military fortified points of the PLA.
There are other encouraging circumstances for China. In Southeast Asia the verdict of the Permanent court of Arbitration reacted surprisingly calmly. Silent and in Brussels. Here too, everything is clear – Europeans do not intend to quarrel with Beijing, promising billions in investment due to some uninhabited atolls at the other end of the world.
«Nobody wants to make any sudden movements,- quotes the Wall Street Journal the words of a specialist on East Asia at Dartmouth College Jennifer Lind.- The Chinese are not threatened. They now control more territory. Their influence in the region over the past month has been even greater».
That initiative is now on the side of Beijing, drew attention of the authors of the RAND study. This gives Western analysts anxiety, because it gives courage to the Chinese military. The generals of the PLA may be dizzy from success, and they can decide that they are able to make a short and victorious campaign.
The authors of the RAND studies make recommendations to the White house and the Pentagon. They advise not to provoke the Chinese and clearly let them know that America would never strike first. Simultaneously, the us military and diplomats have actively communicate with the Chinese colleagues with the aim to prevent risky situations.