Warning from state-run China newspaper as Beijing reveals plans for development of disputed South China Sea islands
China’s armed forces are to extend their operations and its air force will become an offensive as well as defensive force for the first time, in a major shift in policy that will strengthen fears of accidental conflict.
The posture risks escalating the tension over disputed islands in the South China Sea and elsewhere in the Pacific, where the United States is determined to protect the interests of allies like Taiwan and the Philippines.
Only last week, a US aircraft ignored repeated warnings from the Chinese military to fly a reconnaissance mission over the islands.
“If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea”, said the paper,