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China Analyst, Imogen Page-Jarrett, explained China has taken advantage of the pandemic to increase its hold on the South China Sea and step up nefarious activity in the Himalayan region with India sparking World War 3 fears as the Communist regime aggressively asserts its global dominance. President Xi Jinping claims China has a historic right of ownership to almost the entire South China Sea, despite a 2016 international arbitration ruling saying Beijing’s claim had no legal basis under international law. But the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims to parts of it.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Page-Jarrett said: “Since the pandemic began, we have seen China become more bold and proactive in the South China Sea.
“I think it’s not the only example.
“We’ve also seen China stepping up its activity in the Himalayan region with India as well.
“China has been taking advantage of other countries being preoccupied with the pandemic to advance its interests in these regions.
“Obviously this was a concern for countries which also claim territory in the South China Sea so that includes ASEAN members.
“It was also a concern for the US who has a strategic interest in the region which means there has been an increase in patrols from both sides.”
It comes as senior Trump officials launch diplomatic and rhetorical broadsides at Beijing, the US Defense Department is turning to the firepower of its heavily armed, long-range bombers as it seeks to counter Beijing’s bid to control the seas off the Chinese coast.
Since late January, American B-1B and B-52 bombers, usually operating in pairs, have flown about 20 missions over key waterways, including the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan, according to accounts of these flights from US Air Force statements and official social media posts.
These missions, military analysts say, are designed to send a crystal-clear signal: The United States can threaten China’s fleet and Chinese land targets at any time, from distant bases, without having to move America’s aircraft carriers and other expensive surface warships within range of Beijing’s massive arsenal of missiles.
In this response to the growing power of China’s military, the Pentagon has combined some of its oldest weapons with some of its newest: Cold War-era bombers and cutting-edge, stealthy missiles.
DWF’s Head of Transport, Jonathan Moss, has explained China’s presence is increasing frustrations felt by ASEAN states.
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He told Express.co.uk: “I think what that means is heightened tensions and increased prospects of clashes, potentially military clashes.
“What it’s doing is upping the ante in terms of the dialogue and the frustrations and the anguish that is felt by these ASEAN states.
“That would be my take on China’s activity in the South China Sea.
“The question is really, has China got the right to do what they’re doing?”
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