In response to a question about whether the US would enter 12 nautical miles of China’s “artificial islands,” US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is recently quoted that the US will “fly, sail and operate whenever international law permits” in the South China Sea. Barrack Obama, President of the United States of America, echoes this in his one-on-one talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping in his recently concluded state visit last September 2015.
Chinese officials are quick to state that China will not tolerate intrusions in its territorial waters. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying made China’s position very clear when she told reporters on October 14, 2015 that, “We will never allow any country to violate China’s territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight.”
- Is Hua Chunying a Liar?
- China Completes Lighthouses in South China Sea
- U.S. Navy Patrols China Fake Islands: Is This War?
- US Freedom of Navigation Patrols in the South China Sea
In a more firm and aggressive tone, an editorial2 from GlobalTimes, a tabloid published under the supervision of the Communist Party,3 stresses the following points:
“’Artificial island’ is an inaccurate depiction of China’s construction work in the South China Sea. China is expanding, not building these islands out of thin air.”
“Washington’s ceaseless provocations and coercion can only demonstrate that it does not intend to protect freedom of navigation in this region, as China has clearly stated that the right will not be impeded. What the US wants is to play rough against China and stress its hegemony.”
“China’s reclamation work does not contravene international law, so Washington has no sufficient reason to stop China.”
“China has remained calm with self-restraint even in the face of Washington’s escalating provocations.”
Call to action:
“China mustn’t tolerate rampant US violations of China’s adjacent waters and the skies over these expanding islands. The Chinese military should be ready to launch countermeasures according to Washington’s level of provocation.”
The editorial closes with the following warnings:
“If the US adopts an aggressive approach, it will be a breach of China’s bottom line, and China will not sit idly by.”
“If the US encroaches on China’s core interests, the Chinese military will stand up and use force to stop it.”
“If Washington wants to prove it can keep its military edge in China’s offshore areas, then let it come.”
“US military forces will have a chance to test [the deterrence of] its equipment and its willingness to show off its hegemony on China’s doorstep at any cost.”
- US Navy readies sea patrols near man-made Chinese islands in West Philippine Sea – http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/us-navy-readies-sea-patrols-near-man-made-chinese-islands-in-west-philippine-sea/
- Firm reaction for US sea provocation – http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/947237.shtml
- Global Times rattles saber over US warships in S China Sea – http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news/content?