While we await the latest details on the ongoing trade war between the US and China, currently focusing on escalating steel and aluminum tariffs and China’s reciprocal response could be, the threat of a real war is looming.
Speaking to Congress, the navy admiral nominated to be the next US ambassador to Australia said that America must prepare for the possibility of war with China, and added that the US relies on Australia to help uphold the international rules-based system in the Asia-Pacific.
In an excoriating assessment of China’s increasingly muscular posture in the region – which some say is merely a response to similar, long-running posturing by the US in the region – Admiral Harry Harris said Beijing’s “intent is crystal clear” to dominate the South China Sea and that its military might could soon rival American power “across almost every domain” according to the Guardian.
Harris, who is set to retire as the head of US Pacific Command in Hawaii, told the House armed services committee that the US and its allies should be wary of Beijing’s military expansionism in the region, and condemned China’s foreign influence operations, predatory economic behaviour and coercion of regional neighbours.
“China’s intent is crystal clear. We ignore it at our peril. I’m concerned China will now work to undermine the international rules-based order.”
At least he didn’t accuse China of also hacking the US election: so far it’s only Russia that gets to pick and choose the next US president.
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