Hopefully, ‘carrier killer’ missiles would never be used in the South China Sea: Global Times editorial

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/28 23:28:40

Xisha Islands in the South China Sea Photo: VCG

The US Department of Defense (DOD) on Thursday released a statement criticizing the military exercises of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the South China Sea and the firing of ballistic missiles which "further destabilize the situation in the South China Sea." The statement also claims that these actions "stand in contrast to China's pledge not to militarize the South China Sea." Some Republican senators also called for sanctions against China. The US responded in such a fierce manner because it said that the PLA launched a DF-21D missile and a DF-26B missile into the South China Sea, which are considered "carrier killers."

The DOD talked wildly about China's "coercion" to neighboring countries. But which regional country that has territorial disputes with China owns aircraft carriers? If the PLA really launched missiles into the South China Sea, does this have anything to do with those countries? 

When the Pentagon criticized the PLA exercises, US reconnaissance planes flew over the South China Sea, and its guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin trespassed into Chinese territorial waters off the Xisha Islands. Washington keeps sending warplanes to the South China Sea to flex its muscles and send the message that the US wants to dominate the Pacific. The US militarizes the South China Sea.

Across the Pacific, the US sends its maritime and naval forces to the South China Sea. Meanwhile, it accused the PLA's exercises at China's doorstep as "militarizing" the waters. With such a double standard, Washington has turned its shameless acts into a habit, which is startling.

Militarizing the South China Sea and making neighbors nervous do not fit China's national interests. But when the US increases its military activities in the South China Sea that target China, the PLA must carry out forceful counter-deployment and exercises to dilute US pressure. China did not admit or deny the missile launches, but this silence is a stance. The US should feel pressure from the PLA. It is unquestionable that the US military feels the warnings from the PLA's actions when it flexes its muscle in China's coastal waters. The South China Sea is not the Caribbean, where the US military can act wantonly.

If US warships navigate and pass through the South China Sea with no harm, they should not worry about PLA exercises, as the Chinese army will not threaten foreign ships passing by. But the US' intention is malicious when it sends warships to the South China Sea. They should have thought about how the PLA will launch DF-21D and DF-26B missiles in the worst-case scenario. In other words, the two missiles are prepared for US aircraft carriers if they were to attack the PLA in the South China Sea.

The situation in the South China Sea is turning increasingly tense. China would like to strengthen management of military frictions. China does not want any conflicts between the two militaries in the South China Sea, but the Chinese military will firmly respond when provoked. PLA exercises are prepared for the worst-case scenarios.

If the US really doesn't want to push forward "militarizing" the South China Sea, it should not send its fighter jets and warships to the South China Sea, and the activities of the PLA will be reduced accordingly. But US actions do not match its words. It is turning the South China Sea into a geopolitical stage and maritime frontline to suppress China. 

We can tell the US military that the PLA will not fire the first shot, but the DF-21D and DF-26B may be the second.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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