's constant pleas
for attention are having more affect than just giving the news media and blosphere something to talk about other than this weeks trail of the century. It's affecting alliances and putting pressure on nations that would rather avoid it. Australia is currently under a lot of pressure from other Southeast Asian nations, specifically Japan, to sign a treaty that would prevent any nuclear sub from passing through their waters. The treaty
would come into conflict with a pre existing treaty with the US
that allows unrestricted passage of our vessels through their waters. The type of conflicts, not just with themselves against the outside world are setting up are many, and far reaching
trade between other nations by jacking up the tension is bad enough, but a serious enough conflict could cause one or more of the nations who remain neutral to have an economic depression, or out right collapse. With petrochemicals as expensive as they are, and many of the nations in the area having to import simple agricultural goods and food, things could get very ugly very fast if companies refuse to transport anything through the area. China has to realize this, and I don't see how they think they could win an armed conflict. Japan's navy is powerful enough to be a powerful deterrent despite lacking aircraft carriers, and Taiwan’s is smaller but still estimated as being roughly equal to that of Chinas. Which leaves out entirely what anyone in the west might do if Beijing pulls the trigger on a war
against either of them. True the US is tied down in the Middle East with ongoing warfare in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but those conflicts will end. Predictions on when China and the US will be at war vary
, but they are probably seen as our next major opponent by most Americans, and quite possibly by the Chinese themselves.