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  • China Mocks America As A ‘Paper Tiger’ After US Sends Destroyer To South China Sea

    State-run media outlets in China have run editorials bashing Washington’s decision to send the USS Lassen to the South China Sea and saying that Beijing is “not frightened to fight a war.”

    The U.S. deployed the destroyer USS Lassen near the Spratly archipelago Tuesday, prompting immediate backlash from China, who ordered their own ships to shadow the Lassen on its pass.

    Another editorial on the subject, published exclusively in Chinese by The Global Times, used slightly different language, arguing that “the US truly is only a ‘paper tiger,’” the BBC reports.

    The editorial argued out that the U.S. is incapable of finishing the situation in Iraq or Afghanistan, lacks the confidence to do anything but make noise against Russia and certainly can’t take down North Korea. An English-language editorial by The Global Times said that China should prepare for the worst and deal tactfully with Washington, in order to defend its interests and dignity.

    News agency Xinhua also claimed that by sending in the destroyer within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island, the U.S. had transformed the South China Sea into “tumultuous waters.”

    Still another publication, the People’s Liberation Army Daily, blamed the U.S. for spreading chaos throughout the world because it “recklessly uses force and starts wars, stirring things up where once there was stability, causing the bitterest of harm to those countries directly involved.”

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter has been blunt about the fact that the U.S. “will fly, sail or operate wherever international law allows,” a message reiterated by President Barack Obama. But instead of sending a combination of ships, the U.S. only sent in a single destroyer with no accompanying aircraft.

    At risk of being accused of deploying a lackluster force, the Pentagon intends to repeat the exercise, which took place without any trouble. China has summoned U.S. ambassador to China Max Baucus to provide an answer as to why the U.S. sailed through the Subi and Mischief reefs. China claims these reefs as its own territory.

    Meanwhile in September, China sailed five naval ships just off the Alaskan coast in international waters. The Pentagon, unperturbed, told The New York Times through an anonymous official that the pass-by wasn’t something “we are very worried about.”

    An official statement through spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis was more matter of fact, pointing out “the freedom of all nations to operate military vessels in international waters.”

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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