Chinese Intel Ministry Warns of Growing Risk of War With US

Esper accuses China of 'provocation' for expelling US ships from South China Sea

US warships are being sent regularly through the South China Sea to challenge Chinese maritime claims, and warplanes did recent overflights over the area. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is faulting China for its “provocations.”

The US ships are deliberately being provocative, but the US objection is that China reacted by expelling the USS Barry from the area near the Paracel Islands. The islands are claimed by China, but the US backs a contrary claim by Vietnam.

Amid all of this, China’s top intelligence ministry has issued a report to President Xi warning that the risk of a direct war with the US is at its highest level since the Tiananmen Square massacre. This is being driven by mounting anti-Chinese sentiment, related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump Administration officials have been driving this anti-Chinese sentiment, implying that China mishandled the coronavirus, or may have been directly to blame for it. While the US is largely doing this for the sake of internal political battles, Chinese officials clearly fear it could spill over into international conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.