Direct conflict with China is becoming extremely likely.

Michael Auslin, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research writes as in The Australian as of July 11th, 2011, Beijing's claim of the entire South China Sea puts it into a position to contest the ownership of territories that contain proven resources. The most likely flashpoints are the Spratly and Paracel Islands, each of which is claimed by multiple nations, including China, Taiwan, Vietnam and The Philippines. This is the same dynamic at play in the dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands, north of Taiwan. Furthermore, the United States has an obligation to help the Philippines if there is any conflict over the Spratly islands claimed by both countries. The Philippine Daily Inquirer writes as of June 15th, 2011, The strong security relationship between Manila and Washington rests on the (1951) US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, according to a June 3 report of the US Department of State. Under the treaty, Manila could count on Washington s support if the situation with Beijing over the Spratlys dispute deteriorated. Moreover, the Khaleej Times writes as of July 17th, 2011, One of the main sources of tension in Asia nowadays are the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, where the Philippines, Vietnam, China, and others have conflicting claims. In Chinese media reports, the heightened unfriendliness in the region has allegedly arisen from bad rumours and speculations on the part of Filipino commentators. But the reality is starker: the intrusions by Chinese aircraft into Filipino airspace in May; Chinese patrol boats cruising in March in the Recto (Reed) Bank, 85 miles west of the Filipino island of Palawan; and, most serious of all, a Chinese missile frigate firing at Filipino fishing boats in February near Palawan s Quirino atoll. Due to aggression from China towards the Philippines and the United States obligation to help the Philippines, it seems a war with China is becoming increasingly likely.

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