The US military drills with countries in the Asia-Pacific region are an attempt by Washington to create a serious military conflict with China because it has failed to compete with China economically, a geopolitical analyst in Europe says.
“The US cannot really compete with China economically, and ultimately may attempt to create a serious military conflict with either directly itself or through proxies with China in order to even the playing field, or to create a justification or a pretext to renege on its debt to china,” said Joaquin Flores, director of the Center for Syncretic Studies in Belgrade, Serbia.
“The US is attempting to influence the outcome of events on every inhabited continent on the planet, where it loses ground on one terrain, like in the Middle East for example, it attempts to show that it’s still a viable contender in other theatres, like the Asian pacific and Oceania,” Flores told Press TV on Monday.
“China today is one of the motor-houses of the global economy, and more recently a place of invention and innovation,” he added.
About 9,000 troops from United States, Australia and the Philippines started a joint military exercise on Monday amid ongoing tensions in the Asia-Pacific region over the South China Sea. Some 5,000 American troops are taking part in the 11-day exercises, along with nearly 4,000 Filipino soldiers and 80 Australian special forces.
The drills are part of the annual Balikatan military exercises between the US and Philippines. Australian troops have participated in the drills since 2014.
China has repeatedly criticized US military presence in the region and suspects the military drills are part of efforts to contain Beijing.
The Philippines is also preparing to host US troops at five bases under a defense pact born out of US President Barack Obama’s policy of a "pivot" to the Asia-Pacific, a plan to reassert American influence in the region.
China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, despite partial counterclaims by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. China is also locked in disputes with Japan and South Korea over the East China Sea.
China's Xinhua news agency warned "outsiders" against interfering in tense South China Sea territorial disputes as the drills began on Monday.
"The... exercises caps Manila's recent attempts to involve outsiders in (a) regional row," Xinhua said in a commentary. "However, a provocation so fear-mongering and untimely as such is likely to boomerang on the initiators," it added.