China has stationed its arsenal of weapons in the man-made islands it created on the disputed areas of South China Sea, Australian military officials have learned. The move comes in the wake of escalated tension between the United States when China shooed away a U.S. aircraft flying in the international airspace over the contested region.
Australia now finds itself in a dilemma between its strong and long-standing alliance with the U.S. and its strategic trading partnership with China.
Australia wants to save its fruitful business relationship with China but at the same time does not acknowledge its territorial claims in the South China Sea. With its territorial claim, China is also encroaching some of Australia’s busiest trading lanes in the region.
The looming conflict between Australia and China comes in the time when billionaire investor George Soros warned of an imminent third World War. He said any conflict between China and a military ally of the U.S. will bring forth such.
China deploys long-range radar, anti-aircraft guns and spy planes
Australian officials told The Sydney Morning Herald that China’s bold military move in the South China Sea is risking a confrontation with the U.S., along with its security allies, including Australia.
Australian military officials are left with no resort but to send naval officers and air force pilots to patrol the area to express its objection of China’s questionable territorial claims.
There is question of “intent” and risks of “miscalculation” arising from China’s “unprecedented” land reclamations in the region, Australia’s top defence official, Dennis Richardson, told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It is legitimate to ask the purpose of the land reclamation – tourism appears unlikely. Given the size and modernisation of China’s military, the use by China of land reclamation for military purposes would be of particular concern,” he said.
To avoid confrontation with China, Australia might decide to limit its involvement to humanitarian or military drills with the U.S., Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
As previously reported by Morning News USA, Australia, U.S. and Japan will be conducting a joint military exercises in July.
We are on the threshold of world war III
“If there is conflict between China and a military ally of the United States, like Japan, then it is not an exaggeration to say that we are on the threshold of a third world war,” Soros said in his speech given at a Bretton Woods conference at the World Bank.
He said the U.S. should seek a compromise with China before it finds an ally with Russia.
“There is a real danger that China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then the threat of third world war becomes real, so it is worth trying.”