China has demanded that the United States stop making provocations and sensationalizing China's supposed “militarization” of the South China Sea, saying that continuing to do so could bring serious consequences.
Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said during a press conference that the deployment of U.S. warships and bombers to the region will not intimidate them and that China will do whatever necessary to “defend its sovereignty.”
The United States, on the same day that two bomber jets flew over the region close to China's mainland, threatened to deploy a warship to the region.
Hua demanded an explanation for the flyover of two B-52 bombers from the United States to the region. The United States deployed the bombers to the region in the name of “freedom of navigation.”
“Are we supposed to stay quiet without increasing our guard and strengthening our capacity of alert and defense to confront those who frequently challenge us with arms at our own door?” Hua asked.
Meanwhile, the United States frequently criticizes and condemns China's own military presence in the South China Sea. Just a few days before sending B-52 bombers to the region, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called China's own military presence in the region "intimidation and coercion."
China's state newspaper, the Global Times, criticized the possible presence of U.S. warships in the region, saying they are “unwelcome.”
The threat to send warships constitutes “psychological warfare against China. Putting pressure on China from all directions has lately become the general US attitude toward Beijing,” the Global Times wrote.
“From time to time, elites from Washington threaten to be tougher on China. The Chinese side has responded with a low-key attitude and avoided proactively escalating friction between the two. But if the US takes practical actions, it will be another story. Beijing will not yield to Washington's real provocations,” it continued.
The military activity by the United States in the region has been seen by many as implicit support for Taiwan, over which China claims sovereignty.