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China warns US it can become an enemy

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - China yesterday hit back at the US, saying it is “absolutely prepared” to become an enemy of the US if that’s what the US wants, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Chinese Major General Zhu Chenghu and Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong told the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore yesterday that US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s speech accusing China of destabilizing actions in the South China Sea was “full of hegemony, full of words of threat and intimidation” and part of “a provocative challenge against China.”

“The Americans are making very, very important strategic mistakes right now,” Zhu said in an interview with the paper. “If you take China as an enemy, China will absolutely become the enemy of the US. If the Americans take China as an enemy, we Chinese have to take steps to make ourselves a qualified enemy of the US. But if the Americans take China as a friend, China will be a very loyal friend; and if they take China as a partner, China will be a very cooperative partner,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

Zhu accused Hagel of hypocrisy in his assessment of the region’s security landscape, suggesting that in his view “whatever the Chinese do is illegal, and whatever the Americans do is right.”

“The Chinese are not so stupid as to believe that Washington wants to work with China, or that the US government is truly neutral when it comes to territorial disputes between China and American allies,” Zhu said.

He went on to tell a Chinese-language broadcaster that US power was declining.

In his speech on Sunday, Wang said Hagel’s speech was designed to “create trouble and make provocations.”

“China has never taken the first step to provoke troubles,” Wang said, deviating from his prepared remarks. “China has only been forced to respond to the provocative actions by other parties.”

China’s disputes in the South China Sea with both Vietnam and the Philippines have escalated in recent months, as well as tensions with the Japanese government over a set of uninhabited islands known as the Senkakus.

The Vietnamese government recently accused China of ramming ships into and eventually sinking a fishing vessel that had been navigating the disputed waters near a new Chinese oil rig. The Chinese government has asserted that China “cannot lose an inch” of its territory and that drilling will continue over Vietnam’s objections.      

The Philippines, meanwhile, disputes a series of reef and island territories in the South China Sea. Tensions escalated as the Filipino government arrested eleven Chinese fishermen for fishing sea turtles against Filipino law, in waters that China asserts belong to it. The Philippines has also accused the Chinese government of beginning to build an airstrip on Johnson South Reef, which it claims.

  

 

CHINA

CHINA AND AMERICAN

CHINESE

CHINESE MAJOR GENERAL ZHU CHENGHU AND LIEUTENANT GENERAL WANG GUANZHONG

DEFENSE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL

HAGEL

SOUTH CHINA SEA

WALL STREET JOURNAL

ZHU

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