War. It’s like punching your boss at work. Fun to think about, but inadvisable to actually do. That’s why China has always been a “defender of peace.” At least according to Chinese state-run media. I mean, China even started the China World Peace Foundation…sponsored in part by North Korea.
But not all of China’s neighbors are peaceful and friendly allies. In fact, a number of countries are not content with doing whatever the Chinese Communist Party wants. Could war be on the horizon? Here are 5 places where it’s most likely to start.
Number 5 — Arunachal Pradesh
You might not have ever heard of this place. Just like you might never have heard about the four-week war India and China fought in 1962. But it has to do with this area, near the border between India and Tibet.
It’s controlled by India. But the Chinese regime claims the territory as its own. This will be a frequent theme.
In the 1962 war, China seized part of Arunachal Pradesh. But after a ceasefire was declared, Chinese troops retreated back to the old border lines.
These days it’s kind of like the American Civil War—in that people love to reenact it for some reason I’m not entirely clear on. But in this case, they don’t have a picnic afterwards. According to the Times of India, Chinese troops advance into Arunachal Pradesh before ultimately retreating about “twice a year.”
Their last scheduled temporary invasion was just a few weeks ago.
But ultimately, it’s not really a territory worth fighting over. Very few Chinese people live there, and it’s so high up in the Himalayan mountains that it’s not the most ideal environment for long-term occupation.
Maybe that’s why China prefers to send nuclear submarines into the Indian Ocean and buddy up with India’s nuclear-armed rival, Pakistan.
Number 4 — The South China Sea
This lovely spot of ocean is home to rich reserves of natural gas, oil, fishing…and about 5 trillion dollars worth of annual trade and shipping. And like the One Ring, everyone wants it. And their claims overlap.
But of all the countries involved, China has been the most aggressive in asserting its claims. China’s built artificial islands in disputed waters and put military bases on them. They’ve also built oil platforms. And Chinese ships have rammed other countries’ boats.
And while most of these conflicts could be resolved by simple international arbitration, using, you know, international law, the Chinese regime has resisted that at every opportunity.
Now, add to that US presence in the region and you have a dangerous, tense situation that could spiral out of anyone’s control. Just like a game of Twister. Only with nukes.
Number 3 — The East China Sea
You know what this has in common with the South China Sea? They both have China in the name, so clearly they belong to China! That logic does not apply to say, the Indian Ocean, mind you.
The East China Sea separates China and Japan—two countries that have historically not gotten along at all. And the current trouble centers around these islands, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan. According to a post World War II treaty, they belong to Japan. But the Chinese regime considers that Sen-kaka. They say it’s Chinese territory, and they call it the Diaoyu Islands.
Mind you, they’re uninhabited rocks. But they sit on oil reserves. Tensions have heated up since 2012 when Japan nationalized the archipelago. Since then China has sent many ships sailing in or around the waters surrounding the islands.
Chinese activists have even landed on some of the islands carrying flags. Taiwan also has a claim. Which is cool with China because China also claims Taiwan. In response, a few days later, Japanese activists did the same thing.
Then in 2013, China established an Air Defense Zone over the islands. It required that every aircraft entering must identify itself to Chinese patrols, or else. The US and Japan have pretty much decided to ignore it.
So the Chinese regime keeps pushing the envelope—like a passive-aggressive postal worker. For example, sending navy ships really close to, but not technically within, Japan’s territorial waters.
The tensions between China and Japan have gotten so bad, the conflict has been called, “the most dangerous standoff since the Cuban Missile Crisis.“
Number 2 — Taiwan
Taiwan has been an independent, um, not country, since 1949. The island is governed independently, but the mainland Chinese government has said it will use force to take Taiwan back if it ever formally declares independence. And just to be prepared, China has about 1,600 missiles aimed at it.
The relationship between both sides has its ups and down. For instance, the last President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, did a lot to smooth out relations. He opened up Taiwan to mainland business and tourism. He was even the first leader of Taiwan to meet with the leader of China. And yet still, you see this—that’s footage of China’s army doing a drill where they take over Taiwan’s presidential palace.
And now, Taiwan has a new president, Tsai Ing-wen. She wants Taiwan to cut economic reliance on mainland China. And in her inaugural speech, even didn’t mention that China and Taiwan were the same country. Awkward…
And Number 1 — North Korea
Don’t worry, North Korea and China are still friends. But North Korea itself could still become a flashpoint for war involving China.
North Korean leader Kim Jung-un might not want peace. Recently, state media there aired this video, promising to turn South Korea’s capital into a “sea of flames.” And if North Korea really re-starts its war with South Korea, well, South Korea will fight back. And its buddy the USA will come to its aid. And that would put China in a tough spot. Will they fight alongside North Korea, like they did during the 1950s? Or will they stand by and watch the US and South Korea beat North Korea to a pulp? But that would mean US and South Korean troops would soon be stationed right along the Chinese border. So the Chinese regime is stuck trying to maintain a dangerous, unstable status quo.
So what do you think about the 5 hotspots for war? Leave your comments below. And if you enjoyed this episode, for just 50 cents you can join the China Uncensored 50 Cent Army by supporting us on Patreon.