A retired Chinese naval officer has claimed that the United States President Donald Trump could launch an attack on the disputed Chinese-controlled part in the South China Sea to win the upcoming election 2020.

Beijing and Washington have been giving each other a cold shoulder ever since President Trump accused the country of spreading the coronavirus that has disrupted the world's economy.

Donald Trump

The American elections are less than 100 days away and President Trump is far behind in the polls against his challenger Joe Biden. As per the retired naval officer, the United States could launch an attack to boost President Donald Trump's approval rating.

Wang Yunfei, a retired Chinese naval officer, recently pointed out that Donald Trump could start a "controllable" military conflict with China to boost his prospects of winning the forthcoming elections.

As per Wang, the disputed area of Scarborough Shoal would be the point where the conflict will arise. Located between Luzon island and Macclesfield Bank in the South China Sea, the shoal is a disputed territory claimed by the Philippines through its 1734 Velarde map. At the same time, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan) claimed it through the Nine-Dash line.

Wang writes in a column on a Chinese military website that there are no major troops stationed at Scarborough Shoal. "The American military might also try to humiliate the Chinese in the name of a resumption of their shooting training."

South China Sea
South China Sea Reuters

The Trump administration has already denounced China's claims in the South China Sea. In addition to this, the US navy and air force are reportedly doing several exercises, resulting in suspicion if they are preparing for an attack on Chinese-controlled islands.

However, the possibility of this happening is pretty slim as it does not make any sense to use armed forces to attack an empty area. Even if something like this happens, then it will only upset the Philippines's government, resulting in unnecessary conflict.

As per SCMP, the director of Fudan University's Centre for American Studies says that "Trump does have the political motive to create a crisis to divert his troubles at home. But military wise, a conflict with China is too risky to manage."