Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times has warned the Trump administration that the People’s Liberation Army is “making preparations” for war after the deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson to patrol the South China Sea.
An op-ed for the Global Times, which is widely regarded as the voice of the Chinese government, references U.S. intelligence assessments that China has “nearly finished building almost two dozen military structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea” in order to deploy long-range surface-to-air missiles.
The article also highlights comments by Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of US 7th Fleet, that the United States is unequivocally “prepared to fight if necessary,” questioning why the U.S. is making “direct military threats” against China.
However, those threats are returned in kind, with Beijing insisting that it will accelerate its military build-up if U.S. officials keep making “condescending” comments.
“If the US military insists on showing that it is capable of taming the China Dragon, they are bound to see all kinds of advanced Chinese weapons as well as other military deployments on the islands,” states the piece.
“US generals said they are ready to fight when necessary. The People’s Liberation Army is also making preparations.”
Earlier today Chinese officials also made it clear that they oppose the deployment of the USS Vinson, asserting that the ship was in the region to conduct surveillance.
Last month, Beijing reacted to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments that the Obama administration had been weak on allowing China to expand operations in the South China Sea by claiming his comments could lead to a “military clash”.