China warns USA of nuclear war if Trumps camp doesnt back off "A large scale war"
Published on 14 January 2017
Hong Kong (CNN)Chinese state media has taken aim at Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trumps pick for secretary of state, after he suggested a more aggressive strategy toward Beijing in the contested waters of the South China Sea. In his confirmation hearing Wednesday, Tillerson, the former CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil, said that China should be denied access to the islands it has built. The Global Times, a provocative but state-sanctioned tabloid, said that "unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish." "Tillerson had better bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories," the unbylined opinion piece said on the papers English-language site.
It concluded that Tillersons statements were "far from professional."
"If Trumps diplomatic team shapes future Sino-US ties as it is doing now, the two sides had better prepare for a military clash."
The paper is published by the Peoples Daily -- the ruling Communist Partys mouthpiece. Its known for its hawkish and colorfully-worded editorials but analysts say it doesnt necessarily reflect Chinese policy. The English-language China Daily took a similar stance but questioned whether Tillersons views would translate into US foreign policy.
"Such remarks are not worth taking seriously because they are a mish-mash of naivety, shortsightedness, worn-out prejudices, and unrealistic political fantasies. Should he act on them in the real world, it would be disastrous," it said.
"What happened on Wednesday shows that if and when confirmed, Rex Tillerson needs to first acquaint himself with the ABCs of China-US relations and diplomacy at large."
Trump, Tillerson makes waves for US-China relations
The official response to Tillerson, and Trumps attacks on China, by Chinas Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has been more muted than the fiery rhetoric in Chinas press.
Since winning the election Trump has lashed out at China on Twitter, made clear hes serious about wringing a new trade deal from Beijing and upended US policy toward Taiwan -- an issue of deep sensitivity for China. Lu Kang, the ministrys spokesman, said Thursday MOFA had read the entire transcript of Tillersons remarks. He said that the situation in the South China Sea had "cooled down" and should be resolved by the claimants in the region.