CThe HINA began five days of major war games in the South China Sea on July 16.
The Hainan Maritime Security Administration has published a navigation warning that the People’s Liberation Army Navy will exercise in the Paracel Islands in an area of about 38,600 square miles.
The announcement came a day after the US Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group sailed through the South China Sea in 2022. At the same time, the guided-missile destroyer uss Benfold conducted two consecutive freedom-of-navigation operations in the region.
“Our presence in the South China Sea demonstrates America’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Capt. Fred Goldhammer, Commanding Officer uss Ronald Reagan said in a statement.
It is the same broad American commitment that created the global security environment that allowed trade to flourish around the world for more than 70 years, leading to decades of the fastest economic growth mankind has ever experienced. It led to globalization, which led to progress across vast areas of the planet. In his new book, The end of the world has just begun, Peter Zehan writes: “[A]Any partner can engage anywhere, anytime, with anyone, by any financial means, in any supply chain, and access any material input—all without the need for a military escort.”
The result is extended life expectancy for billions and “advanced transportation and finance, ever-present food and energy, never-ending innovation and mind-bending speed,” Zehan writes.
As Reagan and Benfold’s operations last week show, America’s commitment to this global model, although it has waned considerably in recent years, is not entirely gone.
The Chinese were, and arguably are, the primary beneficiaries of this US-created world order First beneficiary. After all, in just one generation, China went from a poor agrarian nation to the world’s second largest economy. An astute Chinese commentator admitted as much, writing:
A large part of the world has prospered under such a system [under U.S. global leadership]. Relative peace around the world and systems governing international trade and finance have facilitated rapid economic growth in many developing nations…. [These nations] There are essentially free riders, of which China is the largest and most successful.
But the Chinese, under the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping, have come to feel that they have taken everything from the US-led world order. Now is the time for China to dominate its neighbors first and then the world. As part of this mindset, the Chinese now claim almost the entire South China Sea as their territory, and see US maritime-of-navigation operations in the Indo-Pacific as a symbol of a fading era.
Chinese state media has called last week’s US naval activity an “increased provocation”. The Global Times quoted Chinese pundit Song Zhongping as saying that such US operations are aimed at “provoking China for its core interests, creating crisis and increasing tensions with the strategic goal of containing China”.
In reality, such operations are only intended to keep the sea free and open to all – rather than allowing China to control it for exclusionary and selfish purposes. But China’s leaders have made it clear they intend to make this the “Chinese century”. The Global Times therefore notes that Beijing has deployed DF-21D and DF-26 antiship ballistic missiles in the area, which it calls “aircraft killers”. The ongoing Chinese war games should be seen as practice for the day when these and other weapons are turned against US efforts to keep the South China Sea free and open.
China wants America and the world to know that day is coming.
Some may argue that this is primarily bluster. But Trumpet Editor-in-Chief Gerald Flurry has said that China’s growing aggression in the South China Sea is indeed “driving the world to war.” In our July 2016 issue he wrote:
from [the end of] world war ii, America protected this vital trade route and brought peace to this part of the world. Now the US military is withdrawing and other great powers are coming in to fill the void. … China is threatening the nations of Southeast Asia to submit to its will. Forcing these countries to do what they want. Everything is heading towards war.
Mr. Flurry’s dynamic analysis of the South China Sea is based on specific Bible prophecies about the modern age. Ezekiel 4 describes the time before World War III begins. Verse 3 reads, “[S]And set your face against it, it shall be besieged, and you shall besiege it. This shall be the sign of the house of Israel.”
About this Shastra, Shri. Flurry wrote: “The ‘House of Israel’ refers not primarily to the Jewish people, but to the modern descendants of Israel, particularly the United States and Britain. Here is a picture of the house of Israel under siege.”
Isaiah 23 provides more details about this financial siege. This indicates that a brief economic alliance will be formed between some of the major Asian powers and the German-led European bloc. In verse 3, Isaiah calls this Eurasian alliance a “mart of nations.” Mr. Flurry explained that it would primarily be geared towards the economic encirclement of modern-day America and Britain:
There are many prophecies in the Bible of a European power attacking America. This is where China and other Asian giants enter the picture. Given that China now has most of the world’s strategic sea gates (once held by Britain and America), the German-led Holy Roman Empire will have to make a brief alliance with the Asian powers identified in Isaiah 23….
This is why China’s move to militarize the South China Sea is of great concern.
China’s increasing militarization and aggression in the South China Sea is leading to the fulfillment of this prophecy. Ultimately, China is threatening the less powerful countries in the region with the aim of cutting off US and other nations’ access to the South China Sea. “Soon America will be unable to import oil and other necessities,” Mr. Flurry wrote.
To understand where China’s dangerous control over the South China Sea is leading, read Mr. Flurry’s article “China Pushes the World Towards War.”