Two Chinese state-run media sites ran harsh criticisms overnight in response to remarks made by prospective U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his Senate confirmation hearing yesterday.
That was when Tillerson told U.S. senators that he would seek to deny Beijing access to its artificial islands. The man-made archipelago in question appears to house anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems.
These statements did not bode well with the media in Beijing…
Beijing: Large-Scale War Is the Only Other Alternative
China's Global Times warned overnight that any intervention from the U.S. in the South China Sea would lead to "a large-scale war."
"Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish," the media site claimed in an editorial.
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The state-run newspaper China Daily focused its attention more on Tillerson himself, suggesting that his remarks showed ignorance of Sino-U.S. relations and diplomacy in general. "Such remarks are not worth taking seriously because they are a mish-mash of naivety, shortsightedness, worn-out prejudices, and unrealistic political fantasies," it wrote.
China's official response, however, from foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang was a bit more muted. He simply said that China had the right to conduct "normal activities" in its own territory.
This is the second warning from Beijing media this week.
On Monday (Jan. 9), Global Times warned President-elect Donald Trump about ditching Washington's long-held commitment to the "One China" policy.
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