The South China Sea is a powder keg, and one senior Chinese military officer seems interested in lighting the fuse even further.

Dai Xu, a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) senior colonel and president of the Institute of Marine Safety and Cooperation, suggested last weekend that the Chinese navy use force to counter US freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, Taiwan News reported Sunday. He spoke at a conference hosted by the nationalist, state-backed Chinese tabloid Global Times.

“If the U.S. warships break into Chinese waters again, I suggest that two warships should be sent: one to stop it, and another one to ram it,” he said. “In our territorial waters, we won’t allow U.S. warships to create [a] disturbance.”

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