The tensions between the US and China have intensified to an unseen level.
And conflict over the islands in the South China Sea is not the only existing.
Both states are allegedly spending a lot of time and money preparing for a major conflict.
Initially, this will likely affect US trade relationship with the Chinese, but ultimately it could be much more than that. The following are 11 signs that the United States and China are moving toward war.
Chinese official newspaper claiming that war would be "inevitable" between China and the United States unless Washington stopped demanding Beijing halt the building of artificial islands in the disputed waterway was among the primary ones.
The theft of the information of up to 14 million federal workers is being described as "an act of war" by the US. The Obama administration believes that China's government, not criminal hackers, was responsible for the breach that included detailed background information on military and intelligence personnel.
China recently conducted a series of massive military exercises that simulated an attack against Taiwan. Since the U.S. is committed to protecting Taiwan, a real conflict of this nature would almost certainly involve the United States.
Thousands of Chinese merchant ships are being retrofitted for military purposes. The only possible conflict in which the Chinese military would need "thousands of merchant ships" would be a war with the United States. Shipping industry publication TradeWinds reveals that China is preparing a new fleet of "war-ready ships" to serve as "a reserve military logistics wing" in the event of a naval conflict.
The Chinese have developed a "carrier killer" missile which was specifically designed to destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.
The Chinese now have the capability of equipping their nuclear missiles with MIRV warheads, that has significantly equalized the balance of power between the U.S. and China.
Of much greater concern than the MIRV warheads are the new hypersonic glide vehicles that China has developed. These ultra-high-speed missiles are capable of striking the United States with nuclear warheads.
The Chinese Navy is building a series of extremely quiet ballistic missile submarines. Adm. William Gortney, the commander, said the submarines are a "concern" and will be able to strike the United States when fully deployed with missiles and warheads.
The missile submarines are deployed in the South China Sea at a base on Hainan Island, according to a defense official.
China's military is set to acquire a reliable, hard-to-destroy sea-based nuclear deterrent, with a dozen JL-2 missiles that are being mounted on its JIN class submarines, according to a report submitted to Congress by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The missiles have a strike range of around 7,350 km, meaning they can reach all 50 US states if they are launched from waters west or east of Hawaii.
At a time when the U.S. military is actually shrinking, Chinese military spending is increasing each year by double digits. China's government in March announced a 12.2 percent increase in military spending to $132 billion. That followed last year's 10.7 percent increase to $114 billion, giving China the second-highest defense budget for any nation behind the U.S., which spent $600.4 billion on its military last year.
The Chinese military is not the only one preparing for a war between our two nations. It turns out that the U.S. military has been conducting military exercises that are specifically geared toward simulating a conflict with China. As BBC reports, "the US Navy has not assembled two whole carrier battle groups and 200 aircraft off the coast of Guam for a jolly, either. This is about practising what the Pentagon now calls "Air Sea Battle". It is a concept first put forward in 2009, and it is specifically designed to counter the rising threat from China."