Although China and US relations seem cordial on the surface most of the time in respective main stream media reports, things have been simmering below the surface. The south China sea is a particular magnet for this annoyance such as boundary and fishing lane disputes but also the potential presence of oil and gas below the sea bed.
- Reuters article (30 Oct 2015) – China naval chief says minor incident could spark war in South China Sea:
China sees the US as interfering in its regional affairs, the US sees China as being expansionist and supports Japan who also lay claim to the area. Taiwan disputes Japans claims and China recognises Taiwan’s claims.
China has made claim to the Senkaku / Diaoyu / Diaoyutai / Pinnacle Islands alleging centuries of identification and has built man made islands in these contested areas. The US navy recently antagonised the Chinese by sailing the USS Lassenship destroyer straight into Chinese claimed territorial waters.
There is a growing sense of change regarding the balance of power and influence in various areas of the world such as Asia and the middle East. The US has long enjoyed a dominating influence in these areas, supporting neighbouring political ideological allies and so helping to create buffers between lager states such as Iran and China.
Increasingly due to their growth and influence, Iran and China reciprocate this by supporting states that are not sympathetic to US and Western political ideology and see them as interfering in regional affairs.
There is a real danger of conflict, it appears to depend on how much of a stand US and Western allies make against the growing power and influence of regional players.
China is expected to take over the US as the world financial super power in the not so distant future, despite its some what adjusted trajectory following stock market issues this year. Iran seems set to massively boost its economy if the current proposed nuclear deal is finalised and sanctions lifted.
This will open Iran up to investment and do not forget that Iran has the second largest proven oil reserves in the world behind Saudi Arabia.
Below are examples of main stream media reports and narratives currently supporting either the US and Western allies or China and Eastern allies.
Western media reports:
- The Guardian article (30 Oct 2015) – China warns US it could spark war with ‘provocative acts’ in South China Sea:
Chinese and Eastern media reports: