China to respond to US military provocation

Beijing - The People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China will respond immediately and with sufficient force if the United States attacks the islands in the South China Sea with drones or any other device, Global Times reported on Tuesday.

The newspaper charged in an editorial that the US Air Force magazine published for the first time in years a simulated maneuver with the MQ-9 Reaper drone, using a map of China in the background, which is seen here as a signal of war.

Global Times pointed out that the report in the magazine coincides with new criticisms by the US Department of State over construction works on the Nansha islands and information about possibly sending MQ-9 Reapers to destroy some parts of the infrastructure on that territory.

'To China, that is an invasion and an aggression of war. Our only option is to strike hard at the aggressors and teach them a lesson they will never forget,' Global Times noted.

'China will shoot down incoming US warplanes, no matter they are unmanned or manned. If those planes cause actual damage to Chinese islands and reefs, we will strike the platforms and bases from which those planes take off,' the newspaper added.

It noted that the Nansha islands have only a small number of defensive weapons. If they are attacked, those islands would henceforth need to be turned into a fully operational military base to counter any serious threat to them.

'The US military and politicians in Washington should take our warnings seriously, and not have strategic misjudgments that they can do whatever they want (…) In 1950, China had the courage to fight a bloody war with the US army. Today we will not hesitate in the face of extreme provocation and attack,' the newspaper pointed out.

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