Chinese Admiral Says U.S. to Pay ‘Costly Price’ for Sea Drills

A U.S. decision to use a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in joint naval drills with South Korea in the Yellow Sea would be “a fresh provocation” to China and its surrounding region, Rear Admiral Yang Yi wrote in a commentary published in today’s China Daily newspaper.

The U.S. will “pay a costly price’ for its “muddled decision,” and its adherence to the “Cold War mentality” will lead to bigger strategic setbacks, wrote Yang, a former director of the Institute for Strategic Studies at the People’s Liberation Army National Defense University.

The U.S.’s show of military strength close to China’s maritime border contravenes the consensus that heads of both nations had reached on an “all-round, active and constructive partnership,” said Yang.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters Aug. 5 in Washington that there will be joint drills with South Korea over the “next several months” in the Yellow Sea, the water between the Korean peninsula and China’s coast.

The drills are aimed at deterring North Korea from further provocations after the communist country was accused of sinking the South Korean warship Cheonan in March.

The large scale military exercise is intended to “send an unambiguous message” to regional countries including China that the U.S. “is still the strongest military power in the world” and that its dominance in the Asia-Pacific region “cannot be challenged,” Yang wrote.

The U.S. should adopt a cooperative approach to cope with the world’s common security challenges rather than embracing “zero sum games,” Yang wrote.

China should send an unambiguous message to the U.S. that it would not pursue maritime hegemony either in the region or globally, and that the country’s normal military development will contribute to world peace and stability, Yang wrote.

There is “wide scope for mutual cooperation” between the two naval forces if the two powers “really want to avoid confrontation,” Yang wrote.