This is one of the more blatant threats from China to the United States in recent years. When reading this article, keep in mind the following previous warnings of war from China:
Editorial in Global Times, which is close to Communist rulers, condemns Washington’s ‘ceaseless provocations and coercion’
Chinese media criticised the US on Thursday for “ceaseless provocations” in the South China Sea, with Washington expected to soon send warships close to artificial islands Beijing has built in disputed waters.
An editorial in the Global Times, which is close to China’s ruling Communist party, condemned US “coercion”, adding: “China mustn’t tolerate rampant US violations of China’s adjacent waters and the skies over those expanding islands.”
It said China’s military should “be ready to launch countermeasures according to Washington’s level of provocation”.
Tensions have mounted since China transformed reefs in the area – also claimed by several neighbouring countries – into small islands capable of supporting military facilities, a move the US says threatens freedom of navigation.
Following a meeting of American and Australian officials on Tuesday, the US defense secretary, Ash Carter, warned Beijing that Washington would continue to send its military where international law allows, including the South China Sea.
Senior officials in Washington have indicated that the US military could sail by these islands in the coming days or weeks.
The warship or ships would pass within the 19km (12-mile) territorial limit China claims around the structures, to demonstrate that US commanders do not recognise it.
Such a move, the Global Times suggested, could be a “breach of China’s bottom line”.
“If the US encroaches on China’s core interests, the Chinese military will stand up and use force to stop it,” the paper warned.
Full article: Chinese media: military must be ready to counter US in South China Sea (The Guardian)