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Chinese tabloids warn U.S. of “large-scale war”

Jan 13, 2017, 6:36 AM EST
U.S. Naval vessel in the South China Sea.
(Source: Naval Surface Warriors/flickr)

Reacting to U.S. Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson’s comment that China should be denied access to new islands in the South China Sea, two state-run tabloids in Beijing warned America that such an action could lead to “devastating confrontation.” Tillerson, who made the remarks at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, compared China’s land reclamation activity in the sea to Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The China Daily lambasted Tillerson for his “naivety, shortsightedness, worn-out prejudices and unrealistic political fantasies,” which as the tabloid described, showed ignorance of Sino-U.S. relations, writes the BBC.

The Global Times, a nationalist Chinese daily, dubbed the “astonishing” comments as Tillerson’s attempt to drum up support from senators and boost his chances of getting confirmed, notes Reuters. However, China resorted to a restrained official reply, with its foreign ministry spokesman saying that “hypothetical questions” need not be answered.