A US Navy F-18A lands on the USS Gerald Ford supercarrier during tests held in the Pacific. Photo: US Navy

Chinese-speaking military researchers have been sharing their hypothetical views on the Internet on how a possible war between the United States and China would unfold.

Some believed that military conflicts could occur in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in September, but they had different views about the tactics that the US and China would use, as well as the scale of the battles.

A Sino-US war would break out if the US started a military conflict with China on Fiery Cross Reef, or “Yongshu Reef” in Chinese, said Yao Cheng, a former staff officer at the command headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Naval Air Force and a Chinese political dissident.

Yao said the US would first take over or destroy China’s military base on Fiery Cross Reef if the Chinese army did not retreat before a given deadline. He said China would then retaliate by launching intermediate-range ballistic missiles from the country’s Northeast region to the military base on Guam, a US island territory in Micronesia.

Yao said that as the US had the ability to destroy the PLA’s navy and air force in the South China Sea within hours, China would prefer to fight against the US in the Taiwan Strait as its coastal missiles could cover the area. He added that the US should not underestimate China’s missile-launching ability and must destroy all the missile facilities on the mainland within a short period of time.

He said even if the US anti-ballistic missile systems had a success rate up to 99%, a mini-nuclear warhead could cause serious damage to the US territory or an aircraft carrier.

Xu Zerong, a military researcher who specialized in the Korean War, said in a video on YouTube last month that the US would probably allocate 200,000 of it 375,000 soldiers in the Indo-Pacific region to fight against China and the remaining 175,000 to battle in the Korean peninsula.

Xu said whether the US would win the war with China would depend on how fast it could destroy all the missile facilities on the mainland. He said the US could use laser cannons to shoot down China’s intercontinental ballistic missiles, which could kill up to 20 million people if any of them hit the West coast of the US.

Elmer Yuen, a retired Hong Kong entrepreneur and a pro-democracy activist, said he expected that Beijing would lose if it dared to fight the US. However, he said it was possible that China could set up naval mines fitted with tactical nuclear warheads to try to destroy US battleships.

Meanwhile, a pro-Beijing columnist with a pseudonym “Master” has recently published an article about how China would react in a war against the US. The article was then presented by an anchor in a YouTube video.

The columnist agreed that China’s battleships and aircraft were vulnerable in front of their US counterparts so they would not be deployed at the beginning of a battle. He said China would launch missiles to destroy the US military air bases in Japan and South Korea within an hour so that US bombers would not be able to take off.

He said US fighter aircraft would also not be able to get close to China as their carriers would enter within shooting range of the country’s missiles. The US would ultimately lose its air supremacy due to China’s ground-to-air missiles and be forced to retreat when one of its aircraft carriers was damaged, he said.

However, Wong On-yin, a Hong Kong-based political commentator, said those who were longing to see a battle between the US and China would probably be disappointed as it was near impossible for two countries with nuclear weapons to fight against each other. Wong said a military conflict in the South China Sea would end shortly after several hundred US marine corps troops occupied Fiery Cross Reef.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.