Expert: US-China standoff ‘inevitably pushing the region’ to war

Brendan Bordelon Contributor
Font Size:

China expert Gordan Chang told Fox News on Monday that the clash between the United States and China over airspace is “inevitably pushing the region” to war.

Chang spoke to Fox’s Jenna Lee about China’s establishment of a vast “air defense zone” over the East China Sea. The communist nation demands that civilian and military aircraft from America and her allies comply with identification rules, while the U.S. says the zone is illegal and has already flown military aircraft through it.

Lee asked Chang whether recent escalations between the two superpowers could lead to open conflict:

LEE: So do you think that China in some cases — and correct me if I’m wrong with the wording — is somehow looking for a fight here?

CHANG: I think Xi Jinping [president of China] is taking actions that will inevitably lead to that. I don’t think he wants a war because he would rather prevail without fighting, but he’s doing things that are inevitably pushing the region to that. You’ve got a place where there are historical animosities going back centuries. Countries are rapidly building up their militaries. Civilian leaders emotionally want to go to war. And you have military officers that have not been tempered by the horrors of combat. So this is getting crazy dangerous.

Chang praised the Obama administration for defiantly sending military aircraft into the zone, but instructed the White House to keep their guard up. “When Joe Biden goes to Beijing, he needs to have a stern message,” he said, “much sterner than the one that the White House signalled last Wednesday. We’re still talking the language of cooperation when the Chinese are doing some very provocative and belligerent things.”

“If we do tolerate [Chinese actions], this is going to slide into a very horrible situation,” he warned.

Follow Brendan on Twitter