USAF B-52. Photo: AFP

Beijing has had enough of Washington’s rhetoric regarding the South China Sea, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying conveyed in a press briefing on Wednesday, during which she turned up the volume of criticisms on the issue.

Responding to a US B-52 bomber flyby near a Chinese-controlled island in the South China Sea, Hua challenged Washington to defend its actions.

“Isn’t America sending B-52 bombers – this kind of offensive strategic weapon – to the South China Sea ‘militarization’?!” Hua pressed, as punctuated by the foreign ministry’s official transcript. “If someone came to your home armed to the teeth, practically every day, showing off their military strength,” she asked, “wouldn’t you […] strengthen precautions and defensive capabilities?!”

“I want to, again, give America some words of advice,” the spokesperson went on, urging the US to “stop hyping this so-called ‘militarization’ of the South China Sea – don’t continue lying through your teeth.”

“China will not be scared by any warships or aircraft, it will only more resolutely carry out any measures needed to defend national sovereignty and security and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Hua stressed.

The past week has seen tensions between China and the US on the South China Sea issue ratcheted up, further complicating the relationship at a pivotal moment both relating to trade and to achieving a diplomatic resolution with North Korea.

On Sunday China criticized the US for sailing two warships near a Chinese controlled outpost in the contested waters, after which US Defense Secretary James Mattis made numerous public statements pledging to continue such operations.

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