China plans to conduct military drills in the disputed South China Sea ahead of an worldwide court decision on Beijing's contested claims to large swaths of the territory.

"This is common sense in worldwide relations", it added in its op-ed piece.

China has said it would reject the ruling and refused to recognise the Permanent Court of Arbitration's jurisdiction over the issue.

But Dai said China would never resort to force unless challenged with armed provocation, and remains committed to peaceful resolution of disputes through negotiations and consultations with those directly concerned. The Global Times editorial slammed USA deployment of carrier strike groups in the South China Sea and called on China to stand up to the deployment. "Otherwise, China will not sit idle", he said.

"When it's favorable to us, let's talk", he said.

China has already begun naval exercises in the disputed area from today which will end on July 11 a day before the judgement to be delivered by the tribunal.

"If such momentum goes unchecked, accidents could happen and the South China Sea might sink into chaos and so might the entire Asia", Dai said in a keynote speech at a forum held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a USA think tank, one week before an expected arbitral ruling over the issue. "And China does not accept any proposal or action by any country based on the ruling", he added.

Sam Bateman, an Australian expert on maritime security, said, "I believe the United States has complicated the situation in the South China Sea", referring to the US move of sending warships to the South China Sea to conduct its self-styled freedom of navigation patrols.

China set up an East China Sea air defense identification zone in 2013 (an ADIZ, after the North American equivalent) over the disputed chain, requiring advance notice for aircraft entering the area - a measure that has increased tensions in the region and prompted considerable protest, especially from the US and Japan.

Manila has sought to reduce tensions ahead of the court decision but has resisted pressure to ignore it.

It did this over the East China Sea in 2013.

Both chains are essentially uninhabitable, but are claimed by no fewer than seven countries, eager to gain control of the vast oil and gas fields below them, as well as some of the region's best fishing grounds.

The Paracels are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.

"There will be no incident at all if all related parties put aside the arbitration results", one of the sources told the English-language publication.

Around five trillion U.S. dollars in ship-borne trade passes through the energy-rich, strategic waters of the South China Sea.


COMMENTS