Molan warns of a 'Black Sea-type blockade' in South China Sea
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Australian Liberal Senator and former general in the Australian Army Jim Molan sounded the alarm around China’s blockade in the South China Sea in its territorial and sovereign ambition over the Indo-Pacific region. During a security summit over territorial disputes in the South China Sea in Singapore, Singapore’s defence secretary compared China’s blockade to Vladimir Putin’s blockade of the Black Sea in Ukraine. His Malaysian counterpart warned the tensions “could degenerate into one of the deadliest conflicts of our time, if not history.”
Mr Molan reported the warnings on Sky News Australia, saying: “The Singapore Defence Minister, Chris, has warned that there could be a Black Sea-type blockade which is what Russia is doing at the moment in the South China Sea.
“And the US Indo-Pacific fleet commander John Accolino said at the same conference that we all think Richard Miles has saved the whole world.
“He said, we are if we are in the most dangerous period since World War II, but for God’s sake, we should be able to fix this. It needs greater government involvement in things like this to direct.
“The Japenese Prime Minister, you might have seen was up in Singapore, said Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow.
“He’s talking about war with China in our region.”
According to military analysts, China is trying to gain control of the South China Sea, one of the world’s most disputed areas and a critical gateway for global shipping.
The area has long been coveted by countries Indo-Pacific for its unexploited reserves of oil and gas and commercial gateway.
The South China Sea is bordered by Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
During last weekend’s Shangri-La Dialogue security meeting, the United States and China sought support for their positions.
While China claims sovereignty over the region, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has criticised China for building up its military presence in the region.
In an indirect attack on the US, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe said a “big power has long practiced navigation hegemony on the pretext of freedom of navigation,” without explicitly naming the US.”
“It has flexed muscles by sending warships and warplanes on a rampage in the South China Sea,” Mr Fenghe added.
An international tribunal ruling declared in 2016 that China’s claims over the territory were unfounded, which China has since rejected.
In defiance of the ruling, China’s Xi Jinping has set up further military bases on artificial islands in the sea to bolster its presence.
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In a message to neighbouring countries, Wei added: “As neighbours that cannot be moved away from each other, [we] must stay vigilant and prevent some countries outside of this region from meddling in the affairs of our region and turning the South China Sea into troubled waters.”
The US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin had earlier lashed out at China for building up its military presence in the South China Sea with vessels “operating illegally within the territorial waters of other Indo-Pacific countries.”
Concerns are growing that the simmering tensions in the region could escalate into a full-blown war.
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