Rear Admiral Lou Yuan told an audience in Shenzhen that “what the United States fears the most is taking casualties” before declaring that destroying one of its supercarriers would kill 5,000 navy personnel. Bragging about China’s anti-shop missile capabilities, Lou added that sinking two carriers would double that figure, the New York-based Epoch Times reports. He told a top military summit: “We’ll see how frightened America is.”
In the wide-ranging speech on December 20, Lou discussed China-US relations and the escalating trade war between Washington and Bejing.
The military academic went on to insist that the trade spat was “definitely not simply friction over economics and trade”, warning that the conflict was instead a “prime strategic issue”.
China is continuing to flex its muscles in East Asia, expanding its influence in the East China Sea and strengthening its claims over the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
US warships are deployed in the region with the aim of monitoring Chinese expansion and vessels from the rival nations have come close to colliding with each other in recent months.
Experts have warned that the increased military presence from both sides raises the risk of miscalculation and could spark a conflict between the two superpowers.
Lou told the military summit in Shenzhen that America is open to attack through its “five cornerstones”, including its money, talent, electoral system and fear of adversaries.
He declared China should “use its strength to attack the enemy’s shortcomings” by targeting “wherever the enemy is afraid of being hit”.
Lou claimed Beijing holds three “bargaining chips” which it could use to target President Trump and the United States, including what he described as America’s “second-rate” automotive industry and US soybean exports.
His remarks come as Mr Trump claimed “big progress” is being made in US-China relations.
In a December 29 tweet, the US President said a deal aimed at redressing trade imbalance between the rival nations is “moving along very well”.
Mr Trump said he had spoken to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in a “long and very good” telephone call, but Chinese state media downplayed the significance of the call.
Meanwhile, Beijing has revealed its military top priorities for 2019 include strengthening training and preparation for war.
An editorial published on New Year’s Day in the state-run military newspaper the PLA Daily said: “We should be well prepared for all directions of military struggle and comprehensively improve troops’ combat response in emergencies to ensure we can meet the challenge and win when there is a situation.”
Published at Tue, 01 Jan 2019 20:58:00 +0000