“Australia will increase defense spending by nearly A$30 billion ($21.6 billion [USA]) over the next 10 years, seeking to protect its strategic and trade interests in the Asia-Pacific as the United States and its allies grapple with China’s rising power… The announcement riled Beijing, where the Foreign Ministry expressed ‘dissatisfaction’ with Australia’s ‘negative’ remarks on the South China Sea and its military development” (Reuters, February 25, 2016). In addition, “the Philippines on Monday urged China to respect a forthcoming ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague on a territorial dispute in the South China Sea after Beijing accused Manila of ‘political provocation.’ China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on the waters, through which about $5 trillion in trade is shipped every year. China refuses to recognize the case lodged by the Philippines with the tribunal and says all disputes should be resolved through bilateral talks” (Reuters, February 29, 2016).
China’s growing power and influence in the Pacific and the bilateral military agreements between the United States and a number of these nations increases the possibility of future confrontations. One of many signs of Christ’s imminent return and the end of the age will be “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:5-8)—which is what we are seeing in the news today. For more on the future of world nations, be sure to read or listen to The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.