Will Rex Tillerson Lead US to War with China? | China Uncensored

Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of State suggests blocking Chinese access to islands in the South China Sea. Would this bold move intimidate China, or simply lead to war?

Job interviews are just the worst. You’re overdressed, sweaty, and trying to answer difficult questions like, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” “If you were a brand, what would be your motto”? And of course the classic, “Are you prepared to say that Vladimir Putin and his military have violated the rules of war and have conducted war crimes in Aleppo?”

Ok, that last one was a question posed last week to Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of State. It was at his confirmation hearing before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Think of it as a nationally televised job interview. One where you might make a slip of the tongue. Like suggesting that maybe the US should take military action against China by blockading their activities in the South China Sea. He was referring to the Chinese regime turning submerged reefs in disputed territorial waters into military outposts.

The Secretary of State is the United State’s top diplomat. And who says diplomats have to be diplomatic? Rex Tillerson, or as I like to call him, T Rex, used to be chairman and chief executive of ExxonMobil. But just because he’s into oil, that doesn’t make him a dinosaur. He’s a hawk, and he’s going after China.

Now ever since Barack Obama’s Pivot to Asia, the US has been increasing its naval presence in the region. But to suggest an actual blockade of Chinese ships from accessing their fake islands is taking things to a whole ‘nother level. And while according to Reuters’ sources the US has the military capability to do it, the consequences could be yuuuge.

No one wants a war! I mean, sure China is building military fortresses in the South China Sea. But they “highly value“ peace and stability. Anyway, the Chinese regime’s, um, peaceful ambitions in the South China Sea have largely gone unchecked. International pleas, regular freedom of navigation tours by the US navy, and even rulings from the United Nations, have all failed to curb literally any of China’s actions in the South China Sea. Last month the Chinese navy even stole a US research drone right in front of the US navy. But hey, they gave it back.

So was T Rex serious about blocking China’s access to those islands? Or did he just get carried away talking about a topic he’s not that familiar with? Which I’ve never personally done in a job interview, but I, uh, hear it happens, sometimes. Apparently, when Rex Tillerson was in charge of ExxonMobil, the company signed deals with Vietnam to drill in areas of the South China Sea that overlap with China’s territorial claims. 13 million acres worth. That’s a lot of acres. So I guess he does have some experience with the South China Sea.

At the hearing, future Secretary of State T Rex also echoed Trump on China issues ranging from trade, intellectual property theft, and China’s “empty promises” on stopping North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Though he does seem to disagree with Trump on some issues, like that more nuclear weapons for our allies is a good thing. T Rex wants everyone to have smaller arms.

Many politicians in the past on both sides of the aisle have favored a more nuanced approach to US-China relations. That has avoided military conflict, but hasn’t been very effective at stopping the Chinese regime. This new more aggressive China policy by the Trump administration at least promises to be interesting.

 Xi is in the middle of a massive purge of political rivals, and to survive, he needs to consolidate his power quickly. He can’t afford to look weak in his handling of US relations. Especially when it comes to third rail issues like the Taiwan and the South China Sea.

So will T Rex lead us to armed military conflict in the South China Sea? Only our future selves know for sure. And since no time travellers have come back to warn us of imminent destruction in World War III, I assume everything turns out fine in the future. Unless there’s no one left to come back and warn us.

So what do you think about T Rex’s idea to blockade China’s access to their artificial islands? And, if you were a time traveler, what historical event would you try to change, and how? Leave your comments below.