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The US and China Are Playing with Matches


The US and China Are Playing with Matches

Eric Margolis

Russia and US warplanes are flying way too close to one another over Syria and may soon, in Iraq. Drones are all over the place. An accident is inevitable. Civilian airliners are increasingly at risk over the Mideast. US ground troops may enter Syria.

This week the missile destroyer, USS Lassen, openly challenged the maritime exclusion zone drawn by China around its latest militarized atoll, Subi reef, in the South China Sea – a sort of poor man’s aircraft carrier that hugely annoys Washington and its Asian allies.


So many people on the left instantly assume the USA is in the wrong or is acting on behalf of empire.

This time however, the empire involved is China's. While people make a big stink about the risk of thermonuclear war over the Ukraine, I seriously doubt that would happen.

People are rightfully more worried about a hot war potentially resulting from missteps and provocations between the contestants (accidental or otherwise) in Syria.

But whenever an old empire is confronted by new empire there is a lot of pent up intensity involved. When a strategic corridor is involved then serious trouble could result as neither side sees room to back off.

China is stretching its muscles and isn't likely to turn away from this strategic security fortification. It is only a military base, a gigantic aircraft carrier that stays in one place and nothing else but that. For China this Subi reef controls the southern access to the South China Sea.

What we will do is anybody's guess but China is pushing hard and doing it intentionally as well. They mean to have this oceanic air base. This situation is the tricky one and in many ways a scarier one even though there is no military clashes involved as yet.


As a one time political-science/historian, in the early 70's, China was making claim to all manner of islands within their sphere of influence - 'their sphere of influence'. The US did something similar with Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, etc ect etc...so go the spoils of war.

Now, the self described "exceptional" United States military dares to interfere in another nation's sphere of influence and from a rather powerful country, China. China is not Iraq, Cuba, or any of the tin horn dictators from Banana Republics the US usually bullies. A world war with China can and will put out the lights of most of America. The buffoonery that passes for US political policy has performed stupid enough to worry people like me, who know better than to tug on the Tiger's tail.

Also, Asian interests, like that between Europe and Russia, are connected to China, Korea, Taiwan, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and more. They have been trading for decades among themselves. It's doubtful the peoples of these countries would stand by the US in a game of chicken. Another reality is that China has 3 times more people and troops. Hurling nuclear weapons upon each other would also leave China in a better condition than the US. Are we seeing the insanity yet? Should the world suffer the hubris of America at least the empire would be dead.


China is expansionist in this instance. It has no claim to these reefs which are hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland and which are far closer to other countries like Vietnam and the Philippines. There is great hostility towards China in this instance because they are literally pushing the smaller countries around.

China is in the wrong and in a very aggressive way too. Look ahead and try to remember that China is not a free country and is an environmentally irresponsible one as well.

Look at a map and see how close these reefs are to the other countries and how far away they are from China and then look at the immense territorial waters area now being claimed by China. China's intentions are to own most of the South China Sea even hundreds of miles away from China. That is what these reefs do. They are intended to be a military staging area and air/naval base.

This is heavy duty stuff here... The Ukraine is showy... this is slow and steady expansionist... that means trouble.