China May Resort to Force in Sea Disputes, Global Times Says

Oct. 25, 2011 (Bloomberg). China’s neighbors should prepare “for the sounds of cannons” if they don’t temper their positions in territorial disputes over the South China Sea, the state-run Global Times newspaper said in an editorial today.

Countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines and South Korea should not take China’s “mild diplomatic stance” for granted as they seek to resolve conflicting territorial claims, the newspaper said. The government distanced itself from the report today, saying it didn’t represent its views.

“If these countries don’t want to change their ways with China, they will need to prepare for the sounds of cannons,” the unsigned editorial said. “We need to be ready for that, as it may be the only way for the disputes in the sea to be resolved.”

The Global Times is owned by the People’s Daily, a mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party. The editorial said China’s current understanding is that such disputes should be resolved via negotiation. “But if a situation turns ugly, some military action is necessary,” it said.

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