The World is Closer Than Ever to WWIII Right Now
All these temptings with fate happened during cold wars. Which brings us to today, with the biggest cold war the world has ever seen, where the players are bigger and more powerful than ever: the US and China. And the geographical center of this new Cold War? The South China Sea
For us in the West, the South China Sea might sound like just some random body of water over in Asia - what’s the big deal? Well, the South China Sea is to China what the Mediterranean Sea was to the Roman Empire. It is one of the most important bodies of water today. Needless to say, whoever controls the South China Sea, will flourish and dominate Asia.
Dividing up land with borders is pretty easy since we live on land so it’s tangible. This meant that every country had the right to everything within 200 nautical miles of their shores. Any area that doesn’t fall within a country’s EEZ is considered international waters and follows UN maritime laws. This is great and all, but the problem comes when you’re dealing with an area like the South China Sea, where multiple countries are right next to each other so all their EEZ’s overlap. But the country with the biggest take on what’s theirs, is China.
China claims that around 90% of the South China Sea is theirs, even though it only borders less than a quarter of the entire area. Since China obviously owns all of these waters and the other surrounding countries have no right to them at all, this has led to some creative aggression from China that has only gotten worse over the years.
These are the Spratly Islands, a group of islands at the heart of the South China Sea claimed by both China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. With the most aggressive one being China.
For years, the US Air Force had most of its warplanes in just two locations in the western Pacific: Guam and Japan. To counter these two megabases, China simply built a bunch of missiles aimed that the two bases. But with that combined with China’s growing presence in the South China Sea, the US is fanning out its Air Force across the Pacific in preparation for war with China. It’s safe to say that neither side wants war. But that doesn’t mean war will be avoided. As the South China Sea becomes more and more militarized by all sides - just like we saw at the beginning of the video - all it takes is one small slip up, one false alarm, one misunderstanding in the heat of the moment for a small confrontation to escalate into something both sides can’t go back on