World War 3 WARNING: Fears surge as Beijing vows to ‘expel’ India from South China Sea

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Beijing’s territorial claims over the South China Sea, the world’s busiest shipping lane, overlap with no fewer than six of its neighbours. To strengthen its claim China has been building military facilities, including airstrips, on natural and artificial islands in the disputed territory.

The United States, and other western powers, have been sending warships on ‘freedom of navigation’ patrols through the sea to show they dispute Chinese sovereignty.

Recently these have been joined by Indian warships, with relations between Beijing and New Delhi collapsing after a deadly border dispute in June.

Speaking to Global Times, a Chinese Community Party controlled publication, Beijing naval expert Li Jie warned India not to undermine Chinese sovereignty.

He said: “If the Indian vessel takes any actions to undermine China’s maritime rights or challenge China’s territorial sovereignty, China must expel it or even resort to reasonable collisions.

“Should the Indian warship further escalate actions, China will have to make contingency plans and deal with it effectively.”

In June 20 Indian soldiers were killed during fighting with their Chinese counterparts in the contested Galwan River valley.

The two sides fought with melee weapons such as iron bars, clubs wrapped in barbed wire and bricks.

Whilst exact figures are unclear the Chinese side is also reported to have suffered heavy casualties.

READ MORE: India deploys warship to South China Sea in warning to Beijing

Since the incident both sides pulled their forces back, but the situation remains extremely tense.

Mr Li warned India in particular not to work with the US against China.

He said: “The possibility that India will escalate adventurous actions in the South China Sea cannot be ruled out.

“This could entail participating in joint exercises in the South China Sea with the US.

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“India might even send an aircraft carrier to the region in the future.

“China must first of all express firm opposition to the Indian Navy’s presence in the South China Sea.

“Both the US and India are extraterritorial powers.

“Any of their military activities in the South China Sea will jeopardize regional security and stability.”

Any conflict between India and China, the worlds two most populous nations, would have the potential to spread and draw in other world powers.

India deployed its warships to the South China Sea following the deadly Galwan River valley border clash.

They are reportedly being used to monitor Chinese naval deployments around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Speaking to Asian News International (ANI) an Indian government source said the move had successfully increased diplomatic pressure on Beijing.

They commented: “Soon after the Galwan clash broke out in which 20 of our soldiers were killed, the Indian Navy deployed one of its frontline warships to the South China Sea where the People’s Liberation Army’s Navy objects to the presence of any other force claiming the majority of the waters as part of its territory.

They continued: “The immediate deployment of the Indian Navy warship in the South China Sea had a desired effect on the Chinese Navy and security establishment as they complained to the Indian side about the Indian warship’s presence there during the diplomatic level talks with the Indian side.”

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