Why US escalates military brinkmanship in China’s backyard

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Shafaqna Pakistan:The Unites States is escalating its “military brinkmanship in China’s backyard” because Washington’s all other attempts to thwart China’s rise have failed, says Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

Beijing has slammed the United States for sending its aircraft carriers to the disputed waters of South China Sea, where the Chinese military was holding naval drills, saying the provocative move is aimed at driving a wedge between regional countries.

Addressing a press briefing on Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Washington had “deliberately” sent the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz aircraft carriers to the South China Sea to “flex its muscles.”

The two US carriers arrived in the region on Saturday for “military exercises” as China was wrapping up its own naval drills near the disputed Xisha islands, called Paracel islands by China’s rivals, who have overlapping sovereignty claims to the resource-rich sea.

Speaking to Reuters on Monday, the commander of the USS Nimitz, Rear Admiral James Kirk, said the two American aircraft carriers were conducting “exercises” in the contested sea within sight of Chinese naval vessels spotted near the US navy’s flotilla.

In an interview with Press TV on Monday, Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, said, “America is faced with a plethora of deep-seated problems. Racial inequality, income disparity, and a healthcare system that does not meet the needs of the majority of its people have plagued the US for decades. These internal contradictions have been exacerbated and exposed to view by the crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Trump’s lack of leadership in preparing and preventing the spread of the pandemic unleashed the firestorm of protest now engulfing the country. The centuries-old burdens of oppression that fall upon the shoulders of people of color whenever there is a crisis reached a breaking point. With the economic and healthcare crises falling disproportionately on Blacks and Hispanics, the constant police violence directed against them has become too great to bear,” he added.

“The ability to record instances of police brutality in real-time has only added fuel to the fire, leading to a multiracial reaction against the failures of the American capitalist system to meet the basic needs of its people. Coupled with the perennial dysfunction of the US political system and its inability to address the systemic issues the country faces, one of the few things the US political establishment can do is to distract attention away from its intractable problems by finding an external enemy to blame for its failures. China, which was able to defeat the pandemic in its midst and is seeing a vigorous V-shaped economic recovery has been and continues to be the preferred target of American ire,” he stated.

“Ever since it became apparent that China’s economy would eventually surpass that of the US and it would assume an increasingly large international standing, threatening US global hegemony, the US has done all in its power to try and thwart China’s rise. The US assault has been on all fronts, economic, diplomatic, and military. It uses all the tools in its bag of dirty tricks to destabilize China, engaging in a trade war, sabotaging leading Chinese companies such as Huawei, and supporting separatists in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Taiwan,” he said.

“All these efforts have failed, leaving its only recourse to escalate its military brinkmanship in China’s backyard. The sending of an armada of naval aircraft carriers to the South China Sea is just the latest attempt to bully China and fish in troubled waters, hoping to heighten tensions in the region,” he noted.

“China is fully aware of the reasons for America’s provocative actions and won’t be drawn into the trap the US is attempting to set. But there are redlines that the US should not cross. If they do they will face a resolute adversary that will defend its national interests with unflinching determination,” he observed.

“You would think that after its fiascos in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan the US would realize that picking a fight with China is the surest route to ignominious defeat. But, the war-mongering Americans never seem to learn their lessons,” the analyst concluded.