‘War inevitable’ unless US backs down: China state paper
A war between the United States and China is “inevitable” unless Washington stops demanding Beijing halt its construction projects in the South China Sea, a Chinese state-owned newspaper warns.
Washington accuses Beijing of undergoing a massive “land reclamation” program in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, and says China’s territorial claims of the man-made islands could further militarize 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.
The paper also asserted that China was determined to finish its construction work in the South China Sea, calling it Beijing’s “most important bottom line.”
Tensions have been rising between Washington and Beijing over China’s activities in the disputed waterway and US surveillance flights over the islands.
“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, which is among China’s most nationalist newspapers.
Beijing last week said it was “strongly dissatisfied” after a US spy plane defied multiple warnings by the Chinese navy and flew over the Fiery Cross Reef, where China is reportedly building an airfield and other installations.
The Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday that US surveillance flights over its islands and reefs posed a threat to peace in the region, “making it highly possible to lead to misjudgment, which could cause maritime or air accidents.”