Beijing has hit back at the U.S. after Washington sailed a guided-missile destroyer near the disputed Huangyan Island—otherwise known as Scarborough Shoal—last Wednesday without permission from the Chinese government.
The USS Hooper warship was spotted within 12 nautical miles of the island and described as part of “routine” operations in international waters by the Pentagon. However, on Monday, Global Times, China’s ruling Communist Party official newspaper, responded with a commentary that threatened Washington with “complete humiliation” if it continued “provocations” in the South China Sea.
“China has exercised restraint against U.S. provocations in the South China Sea, but there are limits. If the U.S. doesn’t stop its provocations, China will militarize the islands sooner or later,” the editorial read, in a report titled “U.S. No Longer Predominates in South China Sea.”
“Washington will be left with no countermeasure options and suffer complete humiliation,” it continued.
Earlier on Monday, People’s Daily, another official Communist Party newspaper, criticized the U.S. for carrying out its “freedom of navigation” operations, saying that they damaged China’s efforts to “enhance peaceful cooperation” in the region. The paper also stated that Huangyan Island and its waters were Chinese territory; however, the Philippines and Taiwan also lay claim to the area.
People’s Daily also repeated the threat of militarization made in Global Times, stating, “Against this backdrop of peace and cooperation, a U.S. ship wantonly provoking trouble is single-minded to the point of recklessness.