The editor of China’s hawkish Communist Party newspaper has insisted the United States “will be defeated” if it engages in combat with the nation in its adjacent waters.
Hu Xijin, Global Times editor-in-chief, called for more expansion of China’s military in order to counter Washington’s strategy of containment and force a change in attitude among key U.S. partners.
The drills will last through next Monday, when their respective navies will train in the East China Sea.
“The purpose of the exercise is to pressure China and send a signal that the U.S. and Japan could bring more allies together to contain China,” Hu wrote, adding that he felt the administration of President Joe Biden has been testing China’s response to the multilateral defense strategy.
Beijing’s should respond by making clear the country’s ability to triumph over the U.S. militarily, the prominent state-media personality suggested.
“With China’s strength, it needs to make the U.S. be increasingly sure that if the U.S. launches a war with the People’s Liberation Army in China’s adjacent waters, it will be defeated,” said Hu. China’s armed forces are “sufficient to overwhelm U.S. troops and its allies,” he added, before hinting at Beijing’s own “nuclear deterrent” against Washington.
He followed the Cold War-style warning by advocating for further expansion of China’s military, economy and technology for the sake of national security.
“China’s growth of strength will gradually disintegrate the U.S.’ will to strategically contain China and prompt a change in the U.S. allies’ attitude,” he predicted.
Following a marked downturn in U.S.-China relations in the final year of former President Donald Trump‘s term in office, the Global Times had hinted at a likely rapprochement under Biden and his Obama-era policy advisers.
However, a number of deep disagreements—over issues including Beijing’s ongoing policies in Xinjiang and Hong Kong—have left the relationship as frosty as ever, despite a return to cooperation on climate change.
Analysts have likened Biden’s Asia policy to a continuation of the Obama administration’s “pivot” and Trump’s focus on the wider Indo-Pacific region.
The American strategy to counter Beijing’s rising influence and assertiveness beyond its coastal waters is one involving multilateralism and the successful weaving together of myriad regional disputes—all involving China.
According to Nikkei Asia, exercise Jeanne D’Arc 21 will involve urban warfare and amphibious operations, including the defense of remote islands—an area of increasing concern for Tokyo amid recent assertive actions by the Chinese navy and coast guard around the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands and Yonaguni, off the eastern coast of Taiwan.
The Chinese government has questioned the involvement of European nations such as France in exercises in the Indo-Pacific. France has overseas territories in both the Indian and Pacific oceans, and maintains a military presence in both.
At a daily press conference on Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dismissed the U.S.-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, involving Japan, Australia and India.
Hua likened the Quad to “an exclusive clique” intended to “sow discord” in the region.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in 2018 described the Quad as “sea foam.” “They may get some attention, but soon will dissipate,” he said.
Newsweek has contacted the Chinese embassy in Washington for comment.