Chinese General: South China Sea Disputes May Turn China into ‘Qualified Enemy’ of US


Chinese Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu told The Wall Street Journal this week that he believes the United States is making “very, very important mistakes” with regard to territorial disputes in the South China Sea and that continuing the approach preferred by the Obama Administration will force China to become a “qualified enemy” of the U.S.

Zhu was speaking in particular about comments Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an international security forum. The United States, Hagel asserted, “will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged.” “The Americans are making very, very important strategic mistakes right now,” Zhu told the paper, adding that the aggressive language used against China may prompt the government to begin treating the United States as a confirmed enemy, rather than merely using cautious language and pursuing relations with it:

“If you take China as an enemy, China will absolutely become the enemy of the U.S.,” he warned. “If the Americans take China as an enemy, we Chinese have to take steps to make ourselves a qualified enemy of the U.S. But if the Americans take China as a friend, China will be a very loyal friend; and if they take China as a partner, China will be a very cooperative partner.”

General Zhu also accused the United States of not having its “actions match [its] words” and said that the Chinese government “‘is not so stupid’ as to believe that Washington wants to works with China, or that the U.S. government is truly neutral” in territorial disputes with allies.

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