Tensions in the South China sea have reached a dangerously provocative level

Jayme Pastoric/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

It’s not just the weather heating up across the South China Sea, so are geopolitical tensions between the world’s two great superpowers – the US and China.

A recent seven-hour reconnaissance flight by Admiral Scott Swift, chief of the US navy’s Pacific fleet, over the disputed waterway appears to have ruffled feathers in Beijing according to a report from China’s state-run newspaper the China Daily.

In response to the July 18 flight, China’s Ministry of National Defence expressed its opposition stating that it has “gravely undermined Sino-US trust and China’s security interests, and is highly likely to cause maritime and airborne incidents“.

“Incidents”. Not singular, plural.

Given recent hostilities across the South China Sea, largely due to the creation and subsequent militarisation of man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago, this warning from Beijing appears to be an escalation in verbal hostilities from the bellicose nation.

Chinese man made militarised island on Firey cross reef

In the same dialogue, the defence ministry claimed maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region is in the common interests of all parties, adding “we hope that the US could stick to the commitment and contribute more in upholding peace and stability, rather than taking the opposite side” according to a separate report in the state-run People’s Daily.

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