BEIJING: Blocking Chinese access to islands in the South China Sea would require the US to “wage war”, an influential Chinese state-run tabloid said on Friday, after US secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson suggested the strategy on Wednesday.
Tillerson told his confirmation hearing before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he wanted to send a signal to China that their access to islands in the disputed South China Sea “is not going to be allowed”. He did not elaborate.
The United States would have to “wage a large-scale war” in the South China sea to prevent Chinese access to the islands, the Global Times said in an English language editorial.
The paper, which is known for writing strongly-worded, hawkish and nationalist editorials, is published by the ruling Communist Party’s flagship paper. It does not reflect Chinese policy.
“Tillerson had better bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories,” the paper added.
The editorial also said that Tillerson, an Exxon Mobil Corp chairman and former chief executive, was the most likely of US President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks to be vetoed by congress.
“It is suspected that he merely wanted to curry favour from senators and increase his chances of being confirmed by intentionally showing a tough stance toward China,” it said.
The paper did not elaborate on either point.
A similar article was also carried in the paper’s Chinese language website that receives thousands of hits every day.
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