Beijing Puts Army On “Heightened Alert” Over US Warships In South China Sea As Tensions Soar

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While investors from around the globe are desperately looking for clues if the simmering trade war between the US and China is about to get rather hot at midnight on Friday, when as the US Trade Rep warned after the close, the US will hike tariffs to 25% on Chinese imports, the not so veiled geopolitical conflict between the two superpowers which has a far greater chance of mutating into a “kinetic” exchange after China expressed its “strong opposition” on Monday after two US warships sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea.

It was the third time this year that Washington has challenged Beijing’s maritime claims in the region which China has expressly claimed as its national interest, amid escalating rivalry between the two powers.

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Senior Colonel Li Huamin, a spokesman for the Southern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army, said in a message on the PLA Daily’s social media account that the PLA Navy “identified” and “warned off” the US vessels.

The command was on “heightened alert” and would “take all necessary measures” to safeguard China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea, he said.

In a clear escalation compared to recent previous diplomatic retorts, on Monday, Senior Colonel Li Huamin, a spokesman for the Southern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army, said in a message on the PLA Daily’s social media account that the PLA Navy “identified” and “warned off” the US vessels.

Confirming just how infuriated Beijing was with the latest “innocent passage” by US warships, the Colonel said that the Chinese army was on “heightened alert” and would “take all necessary measures” to safeguard China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea. – READ MORE

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