China ‘steps up preparedness for possible military conflict with US’

A file picture of China’s sole aircraft carrier Liaoning taking part in a drill last month in the South China Sea. Photo: Reuters

 

Donald Trump’s election as US president has increased the risk of hostilities breaking out, according to Chinese state media and analysts

China is stepping up preparedness for a possible military conflict with the US as the Donald Trump presidency has increased the risk of hostilities breaking out, state media and military observers said.

Beijing is bracing itself for a possible deterioration in Sino-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security.

The People’s Liberation Army said in a commentary on its official website last Friday, the day of Trump’s inauguration, that the chances of war have become “more real” amid a more complex security situation in Asia Pacific.

The commentary written by an official at the national defence mobilisation department in the Central Military Commission said the call for a US rebalancing of its strategy in Asia, military deployments in the East and South China Seas and the instillation of a missile defence system in South Korea were hot spots getting closer to ignition.

“‘A war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality,” it said.

The official People’s Daily said in another commentary on Sunday that China’s military would conduct exercises on the high seas regardless of foreign provocations. China’s sole aircraft carrier Liaoning passed through the narrow Taiwan Strait last month.

New White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a press conference on Monday that the US would prevent China from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea.

Spicer told the press “the US is going to make sure that we protect our interests there,” when asked about US President Donald Trump’s position on the South China Sea. “It’s a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yeah, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country,” he said.

Full article: China ‘steps up preparedness for possible military conflict with US’ (South China Morning Post)

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