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China's top military newspaper warned the United States on Saturday that U.S.-Philippine military exercises have fanned risks of armed confrontation over the disputed South China Sea.
The commentary in China's Liberation Army Daily falls short of a formal government statement, but marks the harshest high-level warning yet from Beijing about tensions with the Philippines over disputed seas where both countries have recently sent ships to assert their claims.
"Anyone with clear eyes saw long ago that behind these drills is reflected a mentality that will lead the South China Sea issue down a fork in the road towards military confrontation and resolution through armed force," said the commentary in the Chinese paper, which is the chief mouthpiece of the People's Liberation Army.
"Through this kind of meddling and intervention, the United States will only stir up the entire South China Sea situation towards increasing chaos, and this will inevitably have a massive impact on regional peace and stability."
"The U.S. strategy of returning to the Asia-Pacific carries the implication of a shift in military focus, and there is no better strategic opening than China's sovereignty disputes with the Philippines and other countries in the South China Sea," said the newspaper.
"The United States' intention of trying to draw more countries into stirring up the situation in the South China Sea is being brandished to the full," it said.
President Barack Obama declared Thursday that the United States will take an expanded role in shaping the Asian Pacific region, with an increased military presence one step of that policy. "Our enduring interests in the region demand our enduring presence in this region," Obama said in a speech to the Australian Parliament. "The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay." On Wednesday, his government announced an agreement with Australia that will expand military cooperation between the longtime allies and boost America's presence in the region.
Originally posted by surrealist
Some strong statements from China's Liberation Army Daily newspaper. I understand that the media would reflect the views of the Chinese government? What do ATSers think of this, if anything? Genuine warnings? Saber rattling?