Rex Tillerson pointed out that China is a threat to the United States, in response to Tillerson’s comments, a state-run Chinese media outlet released a statement on Friday that warned Trump’s administration to prepare for a military clash.
Tillerson was speaking at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, he condemned China, Iran, and Russia and branded them as threats to the U.S. Adding that China is “declaring control of territories that are not rightfully China’s.” Tillerson also pointed out that Russia’s annexation of Crimea can be compared to China’s deployment of military to other islands.
“The island building in the South China Sea itself in many respects in my view building islands then putting military assets on those islands is kin to Russia’s taking of Crimea,” Tillerson said.
The controversial issue is so delicate and it shows that the soon to be secretary of state has intentions of calling for a blockade of the South China Sea manmade islands. However, this would certainly cause war between the two nations.
The Global Times made a report pointing out to Tillerson’s comments by saying that “The US has no absolute power to dominate the South China Sea. Tillerson had better bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories.
If Trump’s diplomatic team shapes future Sino-US ties as it is doing now, the two sides had better prepare for a military clash.
China has enough determination and strength to make sure that his rabble rousing will not succeed. 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.
Many hope that Tillerson’s comments were just meant to coax the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and that he’ll advocate for a productive partnership with China. In response to Tillerson’s comments, China’s foreign ministry emphasized that geopolitical relations are dependent upon non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual benefit and a win-win co-operation.
In a report made by Analyst Bonnie Glaser to the Business Insider, Tillerson’s words were taken out of context and as a result, he misspoke.
“He was not speaking with notes in front of him, and this is not an issue I think he is very well versed in. He may know oil in the South China Sea, but I’m hearing from some people on the transition team that he misspoke,” Glaser said.