David Archibald has been saying this for as long as I can remember. This is from a year ago, from a year ago:
China has built an offshore oil drilling rig, numbered HD-981, specifically for the purpose invalidating other nations’ claims to seabed they thought was theirs. There is no doubt about the purpose of the rig given that a Chinese state oil company official once called it “our mobile national territory.” Its primary purpose isn’t commercial. If China can drill an oil well on some other country’s seabed, they can then claim that it was China’s territory all along. The rig is having its first outing to that purpose off the coast of Vietnam, accompanied by 86 Chinese vessels including a submarine. Vietnam responded by sending 30 coastguard vessels to interfere with the Chinese drilling rig. Ramming of Vietnamese vessels by the Chinese ones has been reported.
Miscalculation might not lead to war because there is nothing miscalculated about what China is doing. China intends to start a war.
As far as Archibald was concerned, this war was inevitable. Then yesterday, we had this at Drudge from The Telegraph in London, US-China war ‘inevitable’ unless Washington drops demands over South China Sea. This is how the story starts:
China has vowed to step up its presence in the South China Sea in a provocative new military white paper, amid warnings that a US-China war is “inevitable” unless Washington drops its objections to Beijing’s activities.
And we are right in the thick of it. From The AFR again yesterday, China using Brazil resources as lever against Australia:
China will use its growing relationship with Brazil to pressure Australia into running a more independent foreign policy, according to analysts and academics, as Beijing seeks to use its economic muscle for strategic influence.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signed $US50 billion ($63.5 billion) worth of deals during a state visit to Brazil last week, including a loan facility to help iron ore miner Vale increase production.
In a sign that Beijing is increasingly looking towards Brazil for food and mineral commodities, China also pledged to lift a ban on Brazilian beef.
“If Australia gets closer to the United States we will see China increase its purchases from Brazil, while reducing its trade with Australia,” said Wu Xinbo, Dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University.
“The alliance between Australia and the US is a major constraint on the relationship between China and Australia.”
And now today, picked up at Drudge: Japan to join U.S., Australia war games amid growing China tensions.
Japan will join a major U.S.-Australian military exercise for the first time in a sign of growing security links between the three countries as tensions fester over China’s island building in the South China Sea.
While only 40 Japanese officers and soldiers will take part in drills involving 30,000 U.S. and Australian troops in early July, experts said the move showed how Washington wanted to foster cooperation among its security allies in Asia.
It’s a very messy world out there. I hope someone is paying attention.