A Chinese military official has said that war with the US has become a practical reality, signalling Beijing’s preparedness for a possible military conflict with Washington.
In a commentary on the official website of People’s Liberation Army, the official at the national defence mobilisation department in the Central Military Commission has said that US rebalancing 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 hotspots 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,” South China Morning Post quoted the article.
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.
Tensions between the two countries have been on the rise after Donald Trump won the US presidential election. The Republican President has infuriated China by challenging it on the issues of Taiwan and South China Sea.
The real estate mogul also contested “One China Policy”, which considers Taiwan as part of the mainland. No US government has raised such questions in the last four decades.
Trump has openly challenged Beijing’s sovereignty over the energy-rich South China Sea while his predecessor Barack Obama maintained neutrality over the dispute. Obama had, however, sent US warships to the contested waters, citing the freedom of navigation.
The commentary referred to remarks by the Trump’s nominee for 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.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer told a press conference the US would prevent China from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea.