A retired Navy officer and military analyst says President Donald Trump is clearly sending a message to Beijing that the South China Sea doesn't belong exclusively to them – and that the U.S. doesn't intend to be runner-up to them when it comes to military might.
The U.S. Navy recently announced it has dispatched the USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan carrier groups to the South China Sea for military drills that Fox News says likely will irk the Communist Chinese regime in Beijing. A Navy spokesman says the purpose of the drills "is to show an unambiguous signal to our partners and allies that we are committed to regional security and stability." He also said the drills include "round-the-clock flights testing the striking ability of carrier-based aircraft."
Commander Kirk Lippold (USN-Ret.) commanded the USS Cole when it was attacked by terrorists in 2000. He tells OneNewsNow the message to China should be unmistakable.
"I think right now what you are seeing is the United States truly beginning the pivot to ensure that China understands crystal clear that while they are a growing regional and global economic power, they in fact cannot just do as they please in violation of international law," he offers.
The South China Sea comprises a major shipping route for global commerce and is rich in fish and possible oil and gas reserves. Lippold explains China has been allowed to seize and militarize tiny islands in the area virtually unchecked – the result being that Beijing has been "emboldened" in its approach.
"China thinks that as the world is distracted by the virus, they see a window for them to be able to expand their powers," says Lippold. "I think now the world is realizing the potential threat that they could pose, based upon their actions over the last decade."
But what if Biden wins?
The retired Navy officer contends that a victory by presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the November would embolden the Chinese even more.
"[Biden] has shown a willingness to acquiesce and give people what they want, more akin to [former WWII-era British Prime Minister] Neville Chamberlain, then to actually hold the line for the safety and sake of the United States and our national security interests," he describes.
Lippold also argues that like most American voters, Biden doesn't appreciate the serious threat that China represents, thereby jeopardizing America's future.
"Nor is he willing to do what is necessary to confront it economically, diplomatically and, as a last resort, militarily," he continues. "I think he will acquiesce first – and that is what will spell the demise of the United States."
And eventually, he concludes, under a President Biden the United States will become the second-rate military power in the world – "and China will become the first-rate [power]."