With tensions escalating in the South China Sea, officials in Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have pushed for a more aggressive stance to defend the nation’s territorial claims.
With tensions escalating in the South China Sea, officials in Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have pushed for a more aggressive stance to defend the nation’s territorial claims, Sputnik reported on Monday. In the wake of the Hague Court of Arbitration’s ruling that China has no legal basis for territorial claims within the South China Sea’s nine-dash line, Chinese admiral Sun Jianguo warned of “disaster” for continued US military patrols through the region.
Sputnik quoted officials speaking on condition of anonymity, who said that many in the Chinese military had pushed for an even more hardened stance.
“We should go in and give them a bloody nose…,” one official said, referring to the presence of the US and its allies in the South China Sea. “The People’s Liberation Army is ready.”
According to the defense expert, Liang Fang of the US National Defense University, “the Chinese military will step up and fight hard and China will never submit to any country on matters of sovereignty.”
While the situation has remained calm, there has been a building sense that conflict could be on the horizon. Earlier this month, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) launched combat patrols over the waterway. This was a response to similar patrols conducted by the Pentagon.
At the same time, the Chinese navy held a large-scale “live ammunition” drill in the East China Sea, which involved hundreds of ships and submarines from all three fleets of the People’s Liberation Army. The exercise involving China’s East Sea, North Sea and South Sea fleets practiced both offensive and defensive capabilities of the Chinese naval power. According to the China’s Defense Ministry, the drills are just a ‘routine’ and are not directed against any third party.
“China must take revenge and let [Australia] know it’s wrong,” the article said. “Australia’s power means nothing compared to the security of China. If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike.”
It seems that China is serious about protecting the nation’s territorial claims. What will the US ‘partners’ do in this case?