The paper was released just after an editorial in the state-run Chinese tabloid Global Times said conflict between China and the U.S. will be unavoidable if Washington doesn’t stop harassing Beijing for building islands and military facilities in disputed parts of the South China Sea.
“We do not want a military conflict with the United States, but if it were to come we have to accept it,” the paper said.
In a briefing, PLA senior Col. Wang Jin commented, “The maritime battlefield has been broadened, and China’s navy needs to react to protect its rights globally,” Bloomberg noted.
The white paper stated, “Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs; a tiny few maintain a constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China.
“It is thus a long-standing task for China to safeguard its maritime rights and interests,” Bloomberg reported.
China has been expanding its reach in the South China Sea with land reclamation projects in the Spratly Islands, and it has overlapping claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei,
“We will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked,” the paper said, The Wall Street Journal report