Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times has again invoked the likelihood of a war with the United States over the South China Sea dispute, saying Beijing will display a “fearlessness to fight”.
Entitled China must insist on island-building, the editorial begins by asserting that China values “regional peace” and is merely seeking to encourage economic development. Washington believes Beijing is militarizing the disputed islands in a bid to expand its geopolitical hegemony and get access to lucrative gas and oil reserves.
However, the rhetoric soon becomes more jingoistic, with Beijing re-asserting the fact that it is prepared to go to war if the U.S. continues to interfere.
“China needs to make broad plans including countermeasures against more US intrusions. Beijing should be fully prepared, both mentally and physically, for possible military conflicts with the US. China needs to clearly express its unwillingness as well as fearlessness to fight,” states the editorial.
The piece is similar in tone to an editorial by the same publication last week that warned “war is inevitable” if Washington doesn’t halt its demands that Beijing stop building artificial islands.
Last week, CNN revealed how China’s Navy has repeatedly issued warnings to U.S. surveillance planes flying over the region.
Experts have warned that an accidental collision between aircraft, similar to a 2001 incident which sparked an international controversy, could spark a deadly conflict. According to Michael Auslin, a war between the two superpowers is more likely than at any point in the last 20 years.
Billionaire investor George Soros also recently cautioned that the ruling Communist Party may see fit to rally its population around an external threat in order to head off a societal collapse in the aftermath of an economic implosion.
“There is a real danger that China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then the threat of third world war becomes real,” said Soros.
In a related development, the secretary of the Australian defence department, Dennis Richardson, said today that China’s military build-up in the region, “Has been at a pace and scale in the last two years beyond anything we have previously seen. It dwarfs what the other claimant states have done, and the size of the land reclamation does raise questions about its purpose.”