China’s Global Times propaganda newspaper warned the United States in a piece published Thursday that Beijing could “deploy military combat equipment to the islands and reefs” of the South China Sea if Washington continues to reject China’s illegal claims in the region. China already boasts fighter jets, surface-to-air missiles, and military-grade surveillance equipment on the islands it has illegally constructed in Vietnamese and Philippine territory in the South China Sea. Chinese officials have repeatedly insisted, however, that the artificial islands were constructed for civilian use and they have not militarized the area.The Global Times article is a response to the United States flying long-range nuclear-capable B-52H Stratofortress bombers in the region this week. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told reporters on Wednesday that such behavior “just goes on” and that the only thing he considers different about the flights from prior years is that China loaded the region with illegal military assets. “If it was 20 years ago and had they not militarized those features there it would have been just another bomber on its way to Diego Garcia or wherever, so there’s nothing out of the ordinary about it,” Mattis remarked. The Global Times nonetheless objected to the flights. “There are Chinese… Read full this story
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