Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Rumors of War - Kings of the East

Reuters - China sends missiles to contested South China Sea island: Taiwan
Reuters reports: "China has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to one of the disputed islands it controls in the South China Sea, Taiwan and U.S. officials said, ratcheting up tensions even as U.S. President Barack Obama urged restraint in the region. Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Major General David Lo told Reuters the missile batteries had been set up on Woody Island. The island is part of the Paracels chain, under Chinese control for more than 40 year but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam."

Comment: If you were wondering how China might react to her neighbors becoming more assertive about protecting their rights under international law, I think we just received the answer. It's starting to seem rather inevitable that all these conflicting claims will eventually lead to armed conflict. I hope we area ready. As for the optics, it's hard not to interpret this as an intentional snub of Obama and his ASEAN summit guests.

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