China warns naval incident with US inevitable in South China Sea

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(FRANCE24) Senior Chinese officials late on Tuesday warned that US deploying ‘unprecedented’ numbers in South China Sea will raise risk of an incident.

The escalation of conflict stems from Beijing’s persistence in building artificial islands with military installations in parts of the sea. The United States’ regular “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea — where China and neighbouring countries have competing claims — angers Beijing, and China’s navy usually warns off the US ships.

“The US military deployment in the Asia-Pacific region is unprecedented,” said Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute of South China Sea Studies, a government think tank.

“The possibility of a military incident or an accidental shot fired is rising,” Wu said.

“If a crisis were to erupt, the repercussions on bilateral relations would be catastrophic.”

Read more: FRANCE 24