Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times has published an editorial asserting that Beijing is “not frightened to fight a war with the US” as a result of the passage of a US warship near disputed islands in the South China Sea.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen violated the 12-nautical mile zone China claims around Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago yesterday, a move observers have described as a deliberate provocation.
China responded by warning and following the vessel before China’s foreign ministry characterized the maneuvers as a “threat to China’s sovereignty”.
Chinese state media outlet the Global Times said that Beijing should now “prepare for the worst” and that Beijing “is not frightened to fight a war with the US in the region.”
Speculation on how China should respond to future violations included sending warships out to confront US destroyers.
“Beijing ought to carry out anti-harassment operations. We should first track the US warships. If they, instead of passing by, stop for further actions, it is necessary for us to launch electronic interventions, and even send out warships, lock them by fire-control radar and fly over the US vessels,” states the editorial.
The piece also asserts that the United States has no intention of starting a military conflict with China and is engaging in the provocations simply for “political show”.
China’s Navy has repeatedly issued warnings to U.S. surveillance planes flying over the region.
Experts have warned that an accidental collision between aircraft, similar to a 2001 incident which led to an international controversy, could spark a deadly conflict. According to Michael Auslin, a war between the two superpowers is more likely than at any point in the last 20 years.
Earlier this year, billionaire investor George Soros also cautioned that the ruling Communist Party may see fit to rally its population around an external threat in order to head off a societal collapse in the aftermath of an economic implosion.
“There is a real danger that China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then the threat of third world war becomes real,” said Soros.
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