There are only so many coincidences in politics, and even less so in international politics. Today we stand on the precipice of a war with China - all the coincidences point to it.
The Indian military's move into tiny Bhutan, which is located between India and China, is the latest hostile act between the two neighbors. The Indian army allegedly moved troops into the western part of Bhutan at the request of Bhutan's government in order to halt Chinese road construction on what it considers to be its sovereign territory. Each side has its own view of who's territory or claim is the truest, but the bottom line is China now has a mounting, perhaps imminent conflict on its southern border with India. As the Indian deployment in Bhutan remains ongoing, both sides have assembled forces on the border waiting to engage each other should the need rise.
The South China Sea
China's claim to the South China Sea has caused rifts with its neighbors - many of them in fact. From a purely legal point of view, China's claims to the Sea are out of whack with international law which delineates maritime boundaries between nations. The only possible way China can legitimately claim the South China Sea is to prove its has been a part of China. However, putting the legitimacy of the claim aside for the moment, let's take into account what is happening "on the ground" there. The United States navy has been conducting "freedom of navigation" drills, one tiny frigate at a time, in the Sea for months now - three since Trump became president of the US. In addition, the US has mounted aerial challenges to China's claim with mainly electronic surveillance aircraft. These challenges have been met with intercepting Chinese jet fighters. The naval challenges have not been met on the seas to any extent.
Taiwan has been a thorn in the side of China since anti-communist forces retreated to the island after the Chinese civil war. The US, in order to keep the peace presumably, has respected the "one China" policy that views Taiwan as essentially a part of China. However, that has not stopped the US from selling massive amounts of arms to Taiwan, and formally guaranteeing Taiwan's independence from China - essentially a country to country defence treaty. That policy hasn't changed under Trump. Instead, the Trump administration caused a furor when it suggested it may not recognize the long standing "one China" policy. It quickly changed its mind when China became enraged with the suggestion. However, the US did continue to sign multi-billion arms deals with Taiwan for the latest in military hardware.
By far the most pressing issue between the two super powers is that of North Korea. Having been levelled by the US air force during the Korean War of the 1950's, North Korea seems completely unprepared to surrender its nuclear weapons, and/or nuclear program. It claims self-defence, and views the massive military exercises between the US and South Korea as evidence of an ongoing hostility toward it. And on it goes. What has been completely lost in this whole conflict, at least in the mass media and therefore with most of the general public, is that China and North Korea have a "NATO-like" defence treaty known as the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty. The treaty was signed in 1961, renews every 20 years automatically, and Article 2 requires each side to come to the defence of the other in case attacked by an enemy or coalition of enemies. In other words, war with North Korea means war with China.
Now, there can be no doubt that the US government is fully aware of China's obligations to North Korea, yet the US is dramatically escalating the conflict with North Korea. US President Trump has even gone so far as to threaten North Korea with "fire and fury the world has never seen". What the US government is conveniently leaving out of its pronouncements is that, should it attack North Korea, it will immediately be at war with China. That's a revelation that may well alter any war licence the American people might grant their politicians. After all, it is questionable whether North Korea poses a serious threat to the existence of the US, but there is no question that China could end that existence via nuclear war - at least there shouldn't be.
Connecting the Dots
The pressure being placed on China at multiple fronts is very similar to the pressure being placed on Russia at multiple fronts. One similarity is these areas of conflicts are on China's and Russia's borders for the most part - with the exception of Syria. Just this week the top US military types were claiming "thousands would die", but those thousands would be in North Korea and not the United States. So, it seems safe to say, that the deliberate US strategy is to engage China and Russia, in an aggressive fashion, on those countries borders. A second similarity is the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems by the US on both Chinese and Russian borders. In the case of China, the THADD system set up in South Korea to nominally defend it against ballistic missile attack from North Korea. In the case of Russia, the construction of a "missile shield" in former Soviet bloc countries to thwart potential Iranian missiles. These deployments, however, clearly effect the ground based retaliatory measures either China or Russia could take in the event of a nuclear war - back to the whole only so many coincidences thing.
Just in case you believe all these geopolitical moves have a single thing to do with "saving the world for democracy" or "fighting rouge regimes", pause, take a deep breath, and think. China is eclipsing the US as the dominant world power - a movement that has been happening slowly but surely since the early 1990's. China and Russia are in the midst of building their own world economy - Eurasia, BRICS, and the Silk Road - and this is perceived by the US as a direct threat to its "place in the world". To emphasize the point, in response to this weeks US sanctions against Russia, Russian President Putin announced his country would be dramatically ramping up its "settlement of trades" aim. Essentially, dropping the US currency as the means for trading internationally. China will likely not be far behind. The plain, obvious and simple truth is the move toward wars with China and Russia is all about business. Not the kind of business you often hear about with accusations of the "military industrial complex" looking to make more arms sales. No, not that. It's the war for economic supremacy, or better put the war to maintain economic supremacy. That's all this is about. Don't wrap yourself in a flag over it. If you have to wrap yourself in anything pick a dollar.
My final thought on the machinations happening around the world right now is this: God must be very disappointed in his creation at this time.
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)