South China Sea is seeing more players vie for the disputed region. Taiwan is now reportedly investing on big guns as a show of force to the rising conflict, while China and Japan have been escalating tensions. Will South China Sea be the trigger for another world war?
Taiwan Prepares Anti-Aircraft Gun Towers
The amount of trade that goes through the South China Sea make it an appealing region to many nations. Analysts noted before that whoever claims majority of the region will be able to shift power in its favor, thus China’s supposed interest and America’s opposition. However, the dispute is not limited to these superpowers but to neighboring countries as well.
For instance, other claimants include China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. As tensions escalate, each claimant has been trying to devise plans to protect their interests, such as what Taiwan has been reportedly doing. The country has been a subject of speculation especially after images of it possibly building anti-aircraft defenses on Taiping Island in the South China Sea as China have emerged.
According to UPI, Taiping or Itu Aba Island stands as the largest of the disputed Spratly Islands that have been claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. Reports indicate that satellite images show that Taiwan has been involved in a new construction on the island, and the infrastructure appears to be anti-aircraft gun blockhouse towers. Taiwan has reportedly requested Google to blur the images.
Japan and China Escalating Tensions Like WW2
On the other side of the spectrum, Quartz reports that China and Japan’s conflict in the region can be likened to World War 2. Japan has increased military spending while China has been becomingly assertive.
“China’s moves threaten to disrupt Japan’s economy and erode its sense of security. The South China Sea is not the only sea route, but it offers the cheapest, most direct way for energy supplies from the Persian Gulf (and other commodities from elsewhere) to reach northeast Asia. As a nation with few natural resources, Japan has a clear interest in keeping sea routes open,” the report said.