The official Communist Party paper Global Times published a lead editorial today warning that the US is preparing for war, nuclear war, against China, and called for China to “accelerate its speed of building up strategic strike capabilities, including a nuclear second-strike capability.”
Titled “Build up defense to thwart US provocation,” the editorial references the US deployment of a warship within the 12 mile limit of one of its islands in the Xisha (Paracel) islands on Jan. 30, noting that this is not an unoccupied island, nor an artificially created island as in cases of the US provocations in the Nansha (Spratly) islands, but rather the Zhongjian Island is “under China’s actual control, and China has released the territorial sea baseline of the Xisha Islands, including Zhongjian Island. Therefore, the US provocation this time is more vicious.”
The Obama Administration used the excuse, in the case of entering the 12 mile territorial limit of the island artificially created by China, that the UNCLOS does not recognize territorial sovereignty around such islands. This is clearly not the case in the case of Zhongjian, and explicitly demonstrates the lie of Obama’s claim that he does not take sides in the territorial claims themselves. The fact that about 90% of the trade which passes through China’s claimed territory of the South China Sea (the “nine-dash line”) is with China itself demonstrates that it is China alone that must be concerned about “freedom of navigation” from the US provocations and the ongoing US military occupation of the Philippines.
The Global Times editorial also notes that “China’s military strength still significantly lags behind that of the US. If the US is ready for a face-off in the South China Sea, it can quickly gather its military strength despite the far distance…. China’s military budget only takes up 2 percent of its GDP, much lower than the US figure of 4 percent.”
They conclude with the above call for a military build up to prepare a response to a nuclear assault from the US.