Pentagon Asks for Chinese Cooperation

Things in the South China Sea are getting more and more tense every day. The area is rich in natural resources and because of it, many countries hold competing claims over the region, all of which are tied to their own respective histories. While all of the countries involved (China, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, The Philippines, and Vietnam) are guilty of stoking tensions and staking claims, China has easily been the guiltiest party in this regard. They have embarked on a massive construction campaign and are currently building artificial islands in the middle of the ocean and on reefs that will eventually house air bases and other military installations, furthering their claims on the area and increasing their ability to defend it with force if needed.

The current tensions in the South China Sea are one of the major reasons the US military is reorienting attention away from Europe and the Middle East and towards supporting our allies in Asia, especially Japan and Taiwan. However, China has noticed our change in regional priorities and they have responded as anyone would expect them to, with slight hostility and micro aggressive acts that are meant to both test US preparedness as well as warn US forces to not interfere in what they see as a regional issue. Sterns words have been matched by shows of force as Chinese warplanes have threatened US spy planes and patrols in the area.

Now, in an attempt to stop things from becoming fatal in any way, the Pentagon has asked for Chinese cooperation in restoring some semblance of stability to the region. The Pentagon has both requested that the Chinese stop building artificial islands (which probably isn’t going to happen)¬†as well as thinking about the bigger picture in terms of regional and world issues. With the US and Chinese economy both rivaling each other while also being intertwined to a heavy extent, the prerogative for all sides is to avoid any sort of actual conflict because of how ruinous it would be for both countries. What this is truly showing though is that the US military is finally realizing that spending all of our time and efforts chasing terrorists around the Middle East has distracted us from a true threat to national security. China is strong and getting stronger, it is far better for us to work together than it is to work against each other.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.