President Trump is continuing to press his “America First” ideology in the face of a China that refuses to back away from its “One China” policy. As a result, some analysts are saying war between the United States and the Asian superpower — while not inevitable, as certain individuals have suggested — is far more likely under the “provocative and chaotic approach” to leadership that has characterized the presidency of Donald Trump thus far.
“It is significantly more probable that there would be a misunderstanding than it has been for many, many years,” Kerry Brown, a China researcher at London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs, told The Independent. “It is still improbable but significantly more likely.”
Noting that Donald Trump’s “provocative and chaotic approach” has been increasing tensions with China, Brown also pointed out that a military conflict between the two nations would spell bad news for both sides. “It’s a no-win situation,”he said. “Only through the act of the most amazing stupidity and provocation would something happen.”
However improbable such “stupidity” may be, the analyst was also sure to note the possibility remains, as “Mr. Trump and his team have shown they are willing to do very high-risk things.”
Another China analyst, Veerle Nouwens of the Royal United Services Institute, told The Independent that a military clash between China and the U.S. in the waters of the Pacific Rim would be “disastrous” for the region.
She also, however, appears to agree with Brown in that such a clash is, at this stage, still unlikely:
“There is a heightened risk of miscalculation but I do not think that anybody is out to have a clear military conflict.”
On Friday, China revealed through its government website it is stepping up its preparedness for a possible military conflict with the United States. Saying Donald Trump has stressed Sino-U.S. relations since entering the White House, the People’s Liberation Army wrote in a commentary that a confrontation between the two nations is “becoming a practical reality.”
Much of the contention is rooted in issues of sovereignty. China, for instance, claims nearly all-encompassing rights to the waters of the South China Sea. Trump and his administration, however, have made it abundantly clear they have no intention of respecting the “One China” policy nations must diplomatically adhere to before dealing with the Asian superpower.
Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, even suggested at his Senate confirmation hearing in early January that the U.S. should block China from accessing the artificial islands it created in the South China Sea. Such talk, as Anti-Mediahas recently noted, has many speculating about a coming trade — if not outright cold — war with China in the near future.