China Warns Tillerson On South China Sea

China’s state-run (propaganda) media has issued a warning to potential incoming US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

During Tillerson’s senate committee meeting, he said that China’s building of artificial islands in defiance of territorial claims in the South China Sea “would not be allowed.”

China Warns Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson

China has been building artificial islands in disputed territory, including islands that are being stocked with military equipment and turned into bases.

China’s state media called Tillerson’s comments “intimidating,” and also added “Such remarks are not worth taking seriously because they are a mish-mash of naivety, short-sightedness, worn-out prejudices, and unrealistic political fantasies. Should he act on them in the real world, it would be disastrous.”

The editorial was written in China Daily, a state-owned newspaper (China has no free press).

China Daily is seen as speaking for the Chinese leadership, meaning they may as well be the words of their leaders (instead of using Twitter).

Tensions between the United States and China are on the rise, with the incoming Trump administration planning to crack down on China’s currency manipulation and trade practices. Trump also took a call from the leader of Taiwan – seen by some as a provocation – though I think it’s good to embrace the democratic Taiwan rather than repressive China.

China has responded with editorials like the one in the China Daily, but also with the threat of force, passing a large fleet close to Taiwan.

Spencer Fernando

Photos – Twitter