Tensions Rise in South China Sea After Hypersonic Missile Test

Last week, China conducted their fourth test of a hypersonic missile, causing tensions to rise in countries with an interest in the South China Sea.  That’s a lot of countries, y’all.  According to this post in the Washington Times, an estimated 40 percent of the world’s commerce travels through those shipping lanes.  I’ve previously written about China’s development of the Spratly Islands.  Y’all might want to follow that link to refresh your memory.

I’m sure y’all are wondering why the Chinese would be interested in the Spratlys.  It’s understandable to ask.  From the Washington Times article:

From 2016, a new space launch center on Hainan for Chinese heavy space-launch vehicles will support China’s military ambitions in low earth orbit and on the moon. Most of these launches will be vulnerable as they pass over the South China Sea, so China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is militarizing this region to better impose eventual control.

That doesn’t sound very good, does it?  I’ve told y’all that tension in the South China Sea is not good, and Chinese intentions aren’t good, either.  This is why, again from the WT:

There should be no doubt that China will impose military control when it is able and unchallenged. China used deadly force to take the Paracel Islands away from South Vietnam in 1974, and in 1988 massacred Vietnamese troops on reefs in the Spratly Island group. Beijing exploited an ebb in U.S.-Philippines relations to capture Mischief Reef in 1995 and then forced Filipino ships off Scarborough Shoal in 2013.

In other words, the history of China in that region is not exactly encouraging.  Keep your eyes open, folks.  In the meantime, follow the link to the Washington Times post and give it a read; it’s an in-depth analysis of the South China Sea situation.

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