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China Wants Peace as Newspaper Warns of Clash Over South China Sea

China and Philippines will be competing for claims over territory in  South China Sea on 12 July.

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China’s government sought to downplay fears of conflict in the South China Sea after an influential state-run newspaper said on Tuesday that Beijing should prepare for military confrontation in the area.

Global Times published joint editorials, as tension mounted ahead of a 12 July ruling by an international court, which will hear competing claims of China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.

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The newspaper said the dispute had already been complicated by US intervention and now faced further escalation due to the threat posed by the tribunal to China’s sovereignty.

Washington has deployed two carrier battle groups around the South China Sea, and it wants to send a signal by flexing its muscles: As the biggest powerhouse in the region, it awaits China’s obedience. China hopes disputes can be resolved by talks, but it must be prepared for any military confrontation. This is common sense in international relations.
Global Times

Asked about the editorials and whether conflict could break out in the South China Sea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the government was committed to peace.

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We’ve pointed out many times recently that as for the relevant dispute, China does not accept any decision imposed by a third party as a means of resolution, nor any solution plan that is forced upon China
Hong Lei, Spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry

The Global Times is published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, and while it is widely read in policy-making circles it does not have the same mouthpiece function as its parent and its editorials cannot be viewed as representing government policy.

It is also well-known for its extreme nationalist views.

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Topics:  US   South China Sea   Phillipines 

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