Risk of armed conflict between China and the US higher than ever, experts say

Risk of armed conflict between China and the US higher than ever, experts say

The risk of an armed conflict between Beijing and the Washington is higher than ever as communication channels between the the two countries’ armed forces have fallen largely silent, Chinese experts claims.

According to Wu Shicun, the president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, quoted in SCMP, China and the US are locked in a rivalry on multiple fronts, the political distrust that had built up between them had led to hundreds of “track one” intergovernmental communication channels shutting down. 

“I think the risks of conflict are rising, especially after the near-collision between the USS Decatur guided-missile destroyer and China’s destroyer the Lanzhou in September in the South China Sea,” Wu was quoted as saying.

“If situations get out of control and a crisis happens, the impact on bilateral relations could be devastating. And that’s why dialogue is needed,” he added.

Communication between the two armies has been in sharp decline since 2018. Relations begin to deteriorate after Washington decided to withdrew its invitation for Beijing to take part in large-scale, multinational naval exercises, known as Rim of the Pacific in 2018. The decision was reportedly made in retaliation for a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deployment of missile systems in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Communication channels have historically helped the two countries from escalating the tensions to a potential conflict between the two countries.

Among the channels, there is a hotline between the two defense ministries and a dialogue mechanism for the two armies.

Neal Path

Neal Path is a reporter covering international affairs and defense news. He leads a team of specialist technical journalists and defense forecasting analysts, working across a range of online products. Neal Path is a defense technology specialist and has written widely on most areas of defense technology, but his particular areas of interest include missile defense, precision weapons, naval warfare, sensor capabilities and military operations.