As China attempts to blockade Taiwan with its live-fire military exercises in protest over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei, USSC Director of Foreign Policy and Defence, Professor Peter Dean, tells ABC PM radio that any "mistake" from the military could escalate matters even further.
"The risk of triggering a really serious incident is pretty low however ... there's a risk of a mistake. There could be a pilot, a ship, making a miscalculation, making an error and what would the consequences of that could be," Professor Dean said.
"What we have seen is an erosion of the status quo over the past 10 years principally from the Chinese with rhetoric from Xi Jinping and the stepping up of military excercise and the constant incursions into Taiwanese air space.
"ASEAN has called for everyone to de-escalate here and it's put the whole region on tenderhooks."