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US hostility towards China risks major retaliation: Analyst

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The current and incoming US administrations seem to share the same hostile policies towards China, says an American analyst, warning that Beijing might decide to hit back.

Speaking to Press TV on Wednesday, author and political commentator James  Petras said he doubted that US President-elect Donald Trump would deviate from President Barack Obama’s harsh rhetoric against China.

He made the remarks shortly after Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command, warned China against “aggressive behavior in the South China Sea,” where the US has been trying to curb China’s growing influence.

China claims sovereignty over most of the sea but those claims have been challenged by other countries neighboring the waters, which act as a gateway for trillions of dollars in annual maritime trade.

The commander’s warning came days after Trump struck a nerve in Beijing by by talking to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen over the phone.

Trump further angered China when he questioned America’s commitment to the one-China policy, which recognizes Taiwan as a part of China.

Petras said US intervention in the South China Sea was primarily aimed at “inciting” other countries in the region against China.

However, he said, the case of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has taken major steps to break away from the US, showed that Washington’s policy is not working as planned.

“I think that is the way to go and I hope that China will be flexible in dealing with these countries,” he argued. “Otherwise they play into the hands of the US, which is interested in encircling China, isolating it and weakening it.”

Petras said he was “doubtful” that Trump’s presidency would bring any change.

“I think we will probably see a continuation of Washington’s hostile attitude,” he predicted, noting that the US would risk China’s retaliation if it decides to get closer to Taiwan.

“I think we will see a fundamental change in the area with China retaliating by stopping its subsidy of US bonds and will cut back on its trade with Washington and this would be very harmful to the 500 multinational corporations that are situated in China,” the analyst explained.

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