So not only do we have the constant "rumors of war" from the Middle East and Ukraine dominating the news - now we have China making provocative territory grabs in the South China Sea. Just add it to the list in the category of "wars and rumors of war":
'Conflict Between China And Vietnam Is Imminent' - China Piles Troops, Tanks, Artillery And APCs Near Vietnam Border
Earlier today, Putin did his usual "we are pulling our forces away from the Ukraine border" gambit (sure he is... and is replacing them with a massive airforce drill), and as usual the algos fell for it, after European stocks suddenly surged out of nowhere on the now quite generic bounce catalyst (Update: RASMUSSEN: NO SIGN OF RUSSIAN TROOP PULLBACK FROM NEAR UKRAINE - what a surprise), but what is shaping up as a far more dangerous escalation is what China is doing next to its border with Vietnam, where as reported previouslyprotesters destroyed Chinese factories and killed Chinese civilians in retaliation over yet another maritime territorial spat. According to the Epoch Times, "troops, tanks, trucks, artillery, and armored personnel carriers of China’s military were seen heading to the Vietnamese border on May 16 and 17, according to photographs taken by by residents near the border."
Why is China doing this? Simple: "One netizen, with the username Zhiyuan0703, echoed a common sentiment on the Chinese social media site, “Conflict between China and Vietnam is imminent.”
And just in case the US gets any ideas to support its one time foe, China has already taken measures:
Fang Fenghui, the Chinese military’s chief of the general staff, spoke with reporters at the Pentagon on May 15, alongside U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.
Fang defended China’s oil drilling in disputed waters with Vietnam. He also warned the United States on taking sides, saying through a Chinese translator “there is possibility that these issues could affect or disturb the relationship between the two countries and two militaries.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney reiterated the U.S. stance on China’s oil rig, however, during a May 15 press briefing.
He said China’s oil rig, which the Chinese regime has accompanied with “numerous government vessels” is a “provocative act and it raises tensions in the region, and by raising tensions makes it more difficult to resolve claims over disputed territory in a manner that supports peace and stability in the region.”
Carney said the United States takes no position on the territorial claims, but, “We do take a position on the conduct of the claimants who must resolve their disputes peacefully, without intimidation, without coercion, and in accordance with international law.”
Regarding China’s oil rig and the tensions that have formed around it, Carney said, “We consider that act provocative and we consider it one that undermines the goal that we share, which is a peaceful resolution of these disputes and general stability in the region.”