Well, it seems we have a crack in the ole commie buddies wall. Ideology aside, when it comes to resources, all bets are off. IMO, it could happen to the best of friends.
Historically: China has always considered Viet Nam and region of southern border to be part of China, considered a vassal or colony state if you like. The same applies Korea and basically the regions abounding China. In past history, Viet Nam or its region broke off and became independent under the Siam rule or Ana Phenom(sp) rule. During the Empress Li-an(read the book) rule of China in the early 20th century(Boxer period) when ruled by the Golden Combine lady, it fell to France during reparations to losses France had. Thus, it became the colony of France until late 60's which lead to US involvement helping an ally in the region and staving off the red menace. One of the reasons France fought so hard to maintain the region is the resources. The same reasons, Japan invaded and wanted as well. Now, China wants it. However, being Viet Nam, it has the ability if for anything for a short time to fend off China, claims or not.
IMO, I hope they go at each other, better than US. But, the US may intervene because of the region importance to US and free travel on open seas, which the US has provided since the days of Cmdr. Perry(Adrl). during its expansion into the region. It helped open the door to Japan, China and Korea which often was closed to foreigners. Trade being the prime need for all this both for the Asian region and US and other countries, though Holland(Dutch) had prior inroads.
Now this is about resources and both countries are having a go at it, in somewhat low-key tactics. But, in Viet Nam, deaths have occurred to Chinese nationals and China has already sent ships to retrieve them. Sound all too familiar in history. However, China recent actions in the region and prodding other nations will become more aggressive as its Navy gets bigger and other weapons become online and/or training is concluded. Will they invade and really stomp their feet. Are they going to wave a "big stick policy" as well? Can they really make this an easy transition in the area and just flex their muscles.
I offer the above post, because China's playbook is open to page, "get tough" and start non-discussions to get what it wants. It already has done this and simply plans flags at will. I hope our "rail gun" is really ready and online to what maybe a short intense war or one of point-counter point tactics at sea which may take longer as only combatants have at it.
Respectfully submitted on this date -----Willy USMC-'73-77 git some
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