South China Sea fury: US issues alarming warning as tensions threaten to erupt – WW3 fears

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The South China is a highly contested area with China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines all laying claim to parts of the archipelago. In recent weeks, the US has increased its military presence in the region.

Diplomatic relations between the nations, which have laid claim to the islands, are already extremely strained.

China has recently constructed several military bunkers on some of the atolls, sparking fears of a World War 3 outbreak.

And now, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has issued an alarming warning to Beijing and called for other nations to counter against China.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Pompeo said: “The United States’ policy is crystal clear: the South China Sea is not China’s maritime empire.

“If Beijing violates international law and free nations do nothing, history shows the CCP will simply take more territory.

“China Sea disputes must be resolved through international law.”

Back in May, Independence-class US Navy littoral combat ships were spotted patrolling the much-disputed South China Sea.

The US Air Force and Marines conducted training exercises in the area with three submarines joining ships and aircraft in the nearby Philippine Sea.

The actions are thought to be a reaction to Chinese harassment of ships drilling for resources in nearby waters.

Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7, said at the time: “The versatility and flexibility of Independence-variant littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Southeast Asia is a game-changer.

“Like Montgomery’s previous operations, Gabrielle Giffords’ operations near West Capella (the drillship) demonstrate the depth of capability the US Navy has available in the region.

“There is no better signal of our support for a free and open Indo-Pacific than positive and persistent US Naval engagement in this region.”

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Earlier today, a South China Sea expert Hu Bo warned of a potential conflict between the US and China is on the cards.

Speaking to CGTN, the Director of the Center for Maritime Strategy Research said: “Although the US has been trying to decouple from China in other areas, they are still closely connected.

“The chances of a large-scale conflict happening are small.

“But a medium or small-scale conflict is possible, such as two warships hitting each other or occasional crossfire since the two countries’ warships and aircraft encounter each other.”

Over recent weeks, China has confronted several foreign ships passing through the region.

Last week, five Australian warships arrived in the region to show support for US and Japanese militaries.

However, they were stopped by Chinese vessels after it was reported Beijing had test-fired live weapons nearby.

Commodore Michael Harris, commander of the Australian Joint Task Group, said: “The opportunity to work alongside the US and Japanese is invaluable.

“Maintaining security and safety at sea requires navies to be able to co-operate seamlessly.”

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