China should prepare for war in the South China Sea, a Chinese state-run paper said Tuesday, ahead of a major impending international tribunal decision on South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines.
The state-run paper Global Times said the international tribunal’s ruling would be a violation of Chinese sovereignty, and blamed the United States for involving itself in East Asian affairs. “China hopes disputes can be resolved by talks, but it must be prepared for any military confrontation. This is common sense in international relations,” the editorial said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei sought to downplay the editorial, affirming Beijing’s commitment to peace. Lei however doubled down on Chinese rejection of the international tribunal ruling saying, “China does not accept any decision imposed by a third party as a means of resolution, nor any solution plan that is forced upon China.”
Global Times is a nationalist paper published by China’s ruling communist party. The Global Times editorial slammed U.S. deployment of carrier strike groups in the South China Sea and called on China to stand up to the deployment. “Even though China cannot keep up with the U.S. militarily in the short-term, it should be able to let the U.S. pay a cost it cannot stand if it intervenes in the South China Sea dispute by force,” the editorial said.
China announced it would commence military exercises in the South China Sea on July 6, in response to U.S. deployments. The U.S. deployed two carrier strike groups to the South China Sea to deter China from unilaterally exercising power against smaller Asian countries and longtime U.S. allies, like the Philippines and Vietnam. The U.S. also wants to protect the nearly 1.2 trillion dollars of U.S. bound goods that move annually through the South China Sea, the Council on Foreign Relations noted in 2015.
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