US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'

Chinese state media has warned the US to stay out of territorial disputes in the South China Sea

Caroline Mortimer
Tuesday 26 May 2015 17:43 BST
China is building an artifical chain of islands to bolster its claim to the South China Sea
China is building an artifical chain of islands to bolster its claim to the South China Sea (US Navy)

The US military has been warned not to meddle in China's territorial disputes or “war will be inevitable”.

China has had a long line of territorial disputes in the region, the most of famous of which is the stand off with Japan over the Senkaku, or Diaoyu to the Chinese, an uninhabited island chain northeast of Taiwan which is rich in natural resources.

Last week, the Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the crew of the P8-A Poseidon, a state of the art surveillance aircraft, after it was spotted in the airspace over the artificial chain of islands China is building to bolster its claim to the entire sea.

And now, the Global Times, a state-owned newspaper, issued the war warning amid the rising tensions.

Increased Chinese presence in the region is widely seen to be a sign of its increasing confidence and a desire to create a political sphere of influence. The construction of the artificial reefs caused widespread alarm among its neighbours such as Malaysia and Vietnam.

It comes as the Philippines, which is close to the artificial reefs, has called on the US for a “stronger commitment” to protecting them from Chinese aggression.

Philippine Defence Minister Voltaire Gazmin said he would meet U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday in Hawaii to ask for a stronger commitment: "I will ask about the extent of the assistance they will give us, what they can do to help us because right now we are being oppressed.

"We feel concerned about what is happening in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Freedom of navigation, freedom of flight is disrupted so that even U.S. aircraft flying at the international territory are challenged."

Additional reporting by Reuters

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