Asia Times: Beijing Reacts Harshly and Steps Up Threats in South China Sea Dispute

South China Sea / AP


China reacted more harshly than expected to the passage last week of the warship USS Lassen that skirted within 12 miles of one of Beijing’s newly-created and increasingly militarized South China Sea islands.

Chinese spokesmen issued sharp and threatening statements in response to the ship passage, unlike statement expressing less heated "serious concerns" of the impending passage of a ship through the sea in a US show of force designed to bolster regional allies and undermine Beijing’s questionable claim to most of the waters as its maritime domain.

The harshest statements came Oct. 29 when Adm. Wu Shengli, commander of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, warned US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson in a teleconference of dire consequences from the Navy warship conducting a freedom of navigation operation three days earlier.

Read the entire article at the Asia Times.

Bill Gertz   Email Bill | Full Bio | RSS
Bill Gertz is senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon he was a national security reporter, editor, and columnist for 27 years at the Washington Times. Bill is the author of seven books, four of which were national bestsellers. His most recent book was iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age, a look at information warfare in its many forms and the enemies that are waging it. Bill has an international reputation. Vyachaslav Trubnikov, head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, once called him a “tool of the CIA” after he wrote an article exposing Russian intelligence operations in the Balkans. A senior CIA official once threatened to have a cruise missile fired at his desk after he wrote a column critical of the CIA’s analysis of China. And China’s communist government has criticized him for news reports exposing China’s weapons and missile sales to rogues states. The state-run Xinhua news agency in 2006 identified Bill as the No. 1 “anti-China expert” in the world. Bill insists he is very much pro-China—pro-Chinese people and opposed to the communist system. Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld once told him: “You are drilling holes in the Pentagon and sucking out information.” His Twitter handle is @BillGertz.

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