The plan by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to cruise on an American warship in the South China Sea is a provocative move by Washington to foment conflicts between China and its neighbors, an American geopolitical analyst says.
The US naval operation is intended to keeping the Asia-Pacific region divided and preventing Beijing from exercising its authority in the South China Sea, said Eric Draitser, the founder of Stopimperialism.com.
The Obama administration’s so-called pivot strategy that involves shifting US naval assets to the Asia-Pacific region was “a declaration of soft war against China,” Draitser told Press TV on Wednesday.
“If the United States were sensible, it would simply stop sticking its nose in China’s business, in China’s backyard, but of course the United States being the imperial power that it is, cannot do that, will not do that,” he added.
A US military official said Wednesday that Carter and Malaysian Defense Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, will cruise on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday amid growing tensions over the disputed sea.
The two military chiefs have been attending a meeting of defense ministers from the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and regional partners including the United States, China and Russia.
There was no information about where the US aircraft carrier would sail but it has been on patrol in the South China Sea where territorial disputes between China and several of its neighbors have raised fears of conflict.
On Tuesday, Carter told his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan in Kuala Lumpur that the US military would continue to operate in the South China Sea.
China insists it has sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.
The US does not recognize China’s sovereignty in the disputed waters and has sent surveillance aircraft and warships to monitor Chinese activities.
Beijing accuses Washington of meddling in the regional disputes and deliberately stirring up tensions in the region.