A photo taken on April 5 shows the lighthouse on the Nansha Islands‘ Zhubi Reef in the South China Sea. Photo: Xinhua
The US Air Force magazine reported that the MQ-9 Reaper drone was participating in maritime exercises with strike coordination. This was the air force‘s first drone tactical training exercise in the Pacific Ocean. What is particularly eye-catching is that the photo published in magazine shows that the patches on related airmen‘s uniforms feature an MQ-9 superimposed over a red silhouette in the shape of a map of China. This is widely regarded as highly unusual.
It is not surprising that the military has imaginary enemies in its daily training. But the force involving MQ-9 put map of China on patches, and Air Force magazine published related picture. This is an extremely arrogant provocation. According to reports, the last time the US Air Force put a country on the patch was during the Vietnam War. Putting map of China on patches, already a radical move, and publishing the picture, obviously the US military wants to send a strong signal.
Washington is stepping up its war preparations against China, and drones, which have been involved in assassination and other attacks around the world, will also play a role. This is the strategic signal sent by the US Air Force Magazine‘s report on the MQ-9 Reaper drone.
This is a move to further stir hostilities between Chinese and American societies and an extortion against China. The US military is using the drones and patches to stimulate the imagination and create images of China and the US going to war. It‘s also a move to mobilize public opinion.
The US State Department issued a statement on Sunday, once again criticizing China‘s island construction in the Nansha Islands, accusing China of “reckless and provocative militarization” and threatening to hold China accountable. The statement was a series of rude accusations against China. It was also recently reported that the US military would send MQ-9 Reaper drones to launch attacks on three islands and reefs of Nansha, bombing runways and hangars. The combination of these messages brought to the surface a very ambitious American war plan.
Whatever the link between these messages, we must warn the US side: Attacking China‘s Nansha Islands or other Chinese targets using MQ-9 Reaper drones is an act of war. The Chinese People‘s Liberation Army (PLA) will surely fight back, causing the US military to pay a heavy price.
There was speculation that the Trump administration might try to boost their reelection campaign by creating a military crisis. But using drones to attack Chinese targets is a real war, a war crime that destroys peace. The Trump administration can‘t expect China to coordinate with it. To China, that is an invasion and an aggression of war. Our only option is to strike hard at the aggressors and teach them a lesson they will never forget.
China will shoot down incoming US warplanes, no matter they are unmanned or manned. If those planes cause actual damage to Chinese islands and reefs, we will strike the platforms and bases from which those planes take off. The Nansha islands have only a small number of defensive weapons. If they are attacked, those islands would henceforth need to be turned into a fully operational military base to counter any serious threat to them.
The US military and politicians in Washington should take our warnings seriously, and not have strategic misjudgments that they can do whatever they want and China will swallow the anger. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. At that time, Douglas MacArthur proclaimed that China would not send troops, which was widely recognized in the US, but Washington was wrong. In 1950, China had the courage to fight a bloody war with the US army. Today we will not hesitate in the face of extreme provocation and attack.
If Washington wants to try its luck, the Chinese military and Chinese people will surely rise to the challenge and fight to the end.