China’s government sought to downplay fears of conflict in the South China Sea after an influential state-run newspaper said on Tuesday that Beijing should prepare for military confrontation.
Editorials in the Global Times newspaper ahead of a July 12 international court ruling on competing claims in the South China Sea by China and the Philippines said the dispute had already been complicated by U.S. intervention.
It faced further escalation due to the threat posed by The Hague-based tribunal to China’s sovereignty, the paper said.
“Washington has deployed two carrier battle groups around the South China Sea, and it wants to send a signal by flexing its muscles: As the biggest powerhouse in the region, it awaits China’s obedience,” the Global Times said.
The paper said China should speed up development of its military deterrence. While it could not keep up with the United States 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 paper said. (Read more from “China Says Wants Peace After Paper Warns on South China Sea Clash” HERE)