The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has released a commentary saying that it is stepping up preparations for a potential war against the United States.
According to the commentary, the Donald Trump presidency has increased the risk of hostilities and deterioration in Sino-US ties, especially over the South China Sea.
“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,” the South China Morning Post reported.
“A war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality,” the Morning Post translates the commentary.
The commentary followed remarks by the US secretary of state Rex Tillerson that the US should stop China’s access to artificial islands it has built in disputed areas of the South China Sea.
“I think the US is going to make sure we protect our interests there,” Spicer said. “If those islands are, in fact, in international waters and not part of China proper, yeah, we’ll make sure we defend international interests from being taken over by one country.”
The new US administration has heated up rhetoric over the South China Sea, promising to challege China’s strategy aimed to expand its military presence in the disputed region.
China’s growing amphibious capabilities:
Escalations in the South China Sea: