A Chinese newspaper has given an ominous warning to the United States, claiming it is “inciting the risk of war on a global scale.”
A Friday editorial from the Global Times, a nationalistic English-language tabloid published by the propaganda department of the ruling Communist Party, criticized the Pentagon‘s annual report to Congress on China’s military power.
The Pentagon’s report, which was released on Thursday, detailed China’s strengthening nuclear capabilities, resistance to military-to-military communications with the U.S., expansion of national power, deepening ties to Russia as well as the country’s provocative actions in the Indo-Pacific region, specifically in and around the Taiwan Strait.
The Global Times, whose views do not always reflect official policy in China, called the intel gathered in the Pentagon’s report “malicious speculations and smears,” adding that the U.S. was trying to “fabricate a terrifying image of China.”
Speaking on China’s heightened showing of military force in Taiwan in recent years, which the Department of Defense (DOD) detailed as ballistic missile overflights, increased flights into Taiwan’s self-declared air defense identification zone and large-scale simulated joint blockade and simulated joint firepower strike operations, the Pentagon’s report outlines six scenarios that could prompt China to take military action.
However, the Global Times claimed in its editorial titled, “China’s military power only makes those with malicious intent feel ‘threatened,'” that it is rather the U.S. who has been provoking tensions in the Indo-Pacific region.
“In the past year, the actions of the US military have made it even clearer who the escalating threat in the Asia-Pacific region truly is and what poses the greatest challenge to peace and stability in that region,” the Chinese media outlet said.
Meanwhile, the DOD has budgeted over $9 billion to the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which aims at keeping the Indo-Pacific region open. In addition, the U.S. has sent “its most modern and capable weapons systems” to the region, according to the department.
Former Indo-Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris warned this week that China might attempt to invade Taiwan within this decade. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said earlier this month that peace with China was “the only option.”
In its Friday editorial, the Global Times also warned that “the real danger facing the US does not actually stem from its imagined challenge to its position of leadership by China. Rather, it arises from its excessive interventions and the blowback resulting from creating tension and inciting the risk of war on a global scale.”
Newsweek reached out to the DOD and China’s Ministry of National Defense via email for comment.
Source : Newsweek