According to Press TV and a Chinese state-owned newspaper, China warns that war with the U.S. is “inevitable” unless Washington stops demanding Beijing halt its construction projects in the South China Sea.
Beijing is conducting a massive “land reclamation” program in the Spratly archipelago, further militarizing the region.
“If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea,” The Global Times, an influential newspaper owned by the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper the People’s Daily, said in an editorial Monday.
“The intensity of the conflict will be higher than what people usually think of as ‘friction’,” it warned.
China will finish its work, the paper insisted. It’s the “most important bottom line.”
“We do not want a military conflict with the United States, but if it were to come, we have to accept it,” said The Global Times.
That should be enough to scare Obama into inaction.
According to Reuters, China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.
China lodged a complaint about two U.S. spy planes intercepted over the South China Sea. They are warning the U.S. that it is basically a no-fly zone for the U.S.
The Pentagon’s annual report to Congress this month cast China as a threat to regional and international peace and stability.
Reuters reported that Philippine Defense Minister Voltaire Gazmin said he would meet U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday in Hawaii to ask for a stronger commitment.
“I will ask about the extent of the assistance they will give us, what they can do to help us because right now we are being oppressed,” Gazmin told journalists at a naval base south of Manila.
“We feel concerned about what is happening in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Freedom of navigation, freedom of flight is disrupted so that even U.S. aircraft flying at the international territory are challenged.”
Japan and Malaysia agreed to bolster security ties and start talks on transfers of defense equipment and technology, their leaders said last Monday.
“I’ve agreed with Prime Minister Najib (Razak) to raise our bilateral ties to strategic partnership,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a joint news conference.
“As a concrete step, we’ve agreed to cooperate in defense equipment. Also, by reinforcing support to (Malaysia’s) maritime law enforcement body, we will cooperate for maritime safety.”
I’m sure Obama will draw a red line, probably in Australia.