The United States and China are absolutely at risk of going to war in the near future, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said. His comment comes in the wake of a confrontation between Pentagon’s P8-A Poseidon, surveillance and submarine-hunting aircraft, and the Chinese Navy’s military aircraft over the South China Seas.
U.S. and China Going To War
China is unstoppable in its creation of military facilities in the South China Sea. The country has built new islands that are already well-protected with Chinese coast guard ships, search radars and Chinese warships. China’s building of new territory in the disputed region is said to be a bold provocation against U.S. power and its country allies. China has already deployed its first aircraft carrier equipped with nuclear missiles with multiple warheads and in the process of developing missiles specifically designed to deter U.S. warships, CNN reported.
CNN was exclusively allowed on board the P8-A Poseidon patrolling over the South China Seas that had a confrontation with the Chinese Navy on Thursday. The network has personally witnessed how China is possessive of its claimed territory.
“This is the Chinese navy … This is the Chinese navy … Please go away … to avoid misunderstanding,” the warning went as seen in an exclusive CNN report.
This “misunderstanding” is happening in the nearest future if China remains adamant about its territorial claim that U.S. does not recognize.
“There’s a real risk, when you have this kind of confrontation, for something bad happening. China is a rising power. We’re a status quo power. We’re the big dog on the block … They want more influence,” Morell said.
“Are we going to move a little bit? Are they going to push? How is that dance going to work out? This is a significant issue for the next President of the United States,” he said.
Going to war is “not in their interests, (and) it’s not in our interests.But absolutely, it’s a risk,” Morell warned.
State Department Downplays Confrontation
Deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said that she will not call the incident a confrontation.
“I don’t think I’d call it a confrontation. There were certainly warnings – verbal warnings – given by the Chinese. It’s unclear on what basis they issued these warnings,” she told press Thursday.
“U.S. military planes operate in accordance with international law in disputed areas of the South China Sea, so the U.S. military has and will continue to operate consistent with the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea in the South China Sea,” she said.
Harf said that the United States had consistently raised the issue of land reclamation in the South Sea by China.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said that China has all the rights to protect its sovereignty.
“China has the right to engage in monitoring in the relevant airspace and waters to protect the country’s sovereignty and prevent accidents at sea. We hope the relevant country can earnestly respect China’s sovereignty in the South China Sea,”spokesman Hong Lei said as quoted by Reuters.
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