South China Sea: China media warn U.S. over ‘confrontation’

BBC News reports: Blocking China from islands it has built in contested waters would lead to “devastating confrontation”, Chinese state media have warned.

The angry response came after secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson said the US should deny Beijing access to new islands in the South China Sea.

Two state-run papers carry editorials strongly criticising his comments.

The hawkish Global Times tabloid warned that any such action would lead to “a large-scale war”.

Beijing has been building artificial islands on reefs in waters also claimed by other nations. Images published late last year show military defences on some islands, a think-tank says.

Speaking at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Mr Tillerson likened China’s island-building to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that first, the island-building stops and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.” [Continue reading…]

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