Chinese officials took a belligerent tone toward conflicts with the U.S. over the South China Sea, according to a published report.
The Global Times said officials brushed aside any right of the United States to interfere with Chinese dominance in the disputed region. The newspaper is published by China’s government.
The Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam all have claims in the region, which has been the site of major Chinese activity to build islands that appear to be designed for military purposes.
The island-building began during the administration of President Barack Obama, according to The New York Times.
The U.S. routinely sends military vessels through the disputed region on what the U.S. calls freedom of navigation operations. These invariably trigger an angry verbal response from the Chinese government, Reuters has reported.
On Saturday, one leading Chinese official said the time has come to do more than talk.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 10, 2018
“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,” said Dai Xu, president of the Institute of Marine Safety and Cooperation and a People’s Liberation Army Air Force Colonel Commandant.
“In our territorial waters, we won’t allow U.S. warships to create disturbance,” he said.
The U.S. has also sent ships through the Taiwan Strait that separates China from Taiwan, the island to which China’s government took refuge after the Communist government took power in 1948. The last voyage through the strait took place Nov. 28.
“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement.
“The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” the statement said.
— AMTI (@AsiaMTI) December 10, 2018
Dai referred to Taiwan in his remarks, saying that some provocation in the region might result in an attack on Taiwan.
“It would boost the speed of our unification of Taiwan … Let’s just be prepared and wait. Once a strategic opportunity emerges, we should be ready to take over Taiwan,” he said
Speaker Huang Jing of the Beijing Language and Culture University called Chinese policy “firm but flexible” in the region, and said most nations in the region support China’s territorial claims.
He also noted the importance of the region in terms of military expansion.
“Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor after it took control of the South China Sea,” he said.
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