CHINA has sparked World War 3 fears after warning it will sail warships into US waters near Hawaii.
Tensions between Beijing and Washington DC are reaching boiling point over the South China Sea after US Naval ships cruised into the contested waters.
The US Navy announced last week that the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group had entered the area for the first time during its current deployment.
The group's commander, Rear Admiral Dan Martin, said in a statement: "The freedom of all nations to navigate in international waters is important, and especially vital in the South China Sea, where nearly a third of global maritime trade transits each year."
It fuelled tensions further when one ship in the group, the USS Benfold, conducted a "freedom of operation" exercise near the Spratly Islands that came within 12 miles of a reef claimed by China.
Retaliating, China's state media hit out at the deployment of the ships in the highly contested area – warning US warships will sail towards the US.
Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, tweeted: "Hopefully when Chinese warships pass through the Caribbean Sea or show up near Hawaii and Guam one day, the US will uphold the same standard of freedom of navigation.
"That day will come soon."
The US Navy responded to his comments by saying they have "upheld the standards of freedom of navigation longer than the PLA navy has existed".
China claims almost all of the 1.3 million square-mile South China Sea as its territory.
In response, the United States and its allies, including the UK, sail warships through the sea in freedom of navigation operations to challenge its claim.
Former US admiral says the allies should be concerned about China's "aggressive" actions in the disputed waters as he branded Beijing "their own worst enemy".
"I think it's very important that we do everything that we can to prevent an escalation and open warfare with the PRC [People's Republic of China]," retired Admiral Harry Harris told ABC.
"I think no one wants that. We don't want that. The Chinese don't want it. No one wants it, really. But we have to be alert to aggressive Chinese behaviour, both in the military space and in the economic space.
"The PRC, its own bad behaviour, that demonstrates to others just how bad it is. And so, you know, they are their own worst enemy."
It comes after Japan's defence ministry warned on Sunday that a submarine believed to be from China was spotted in waters near its southern islands.
On Friday, Japan's navy identified a submerged vessel sailing just outside territorial waters near Amami Oshima island, the ministry said in a statement. A Chinese destroyer was also spotted in the vicinity.
Tokyo has complained of numerous intrusions by Chinese vessels of its territorial waters and near disputed islands in recent years.
Meanwhile, China has been ramping up island “invasion” war games – while Taiwan has been developing a new “carrier killer” warship.
This year Beijing has worryingly been ramping up naval drills to test their ability to seize an Island.
In the first half of 2021, China carried out 20 exercises involving island capture – compared to just 13 in the whole of 2020.
And now China’s Maritime Administration has announced that an area in the west of the Leizhou Peninsula will be cordoned off to traffic on Thursday and Friday, because of “live-fire exercises”.
It comes after Taiwan’s president this month oversaw the commissioning of a new warship amid heightened tensions.
The ship – nicknamed the “carrier killer” – is designed to have air defense capabilities and can carry anti-ship missiles.
China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has long threatened to use force to bring it under its control – and has also repeatedly warned the US against offering any support Taipei that could threaten its claim.
Now, Beijing has warned of "severe" military consequences against Taiwan if Washington allows the self-ruled island to change the name of its representative office in the US.
On Friday, a Financial Times report said that Joe Biden was considering allowing the office to change its name from the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office" (TECRO) to the "Taiwan Representative Office."
But state-run paper Global Times warned that this sort of change would anger China and cause "severe" military consequences.
The piece read: "If the U.S. and the Taiwan island change the names, they are suspected of touching the red line of China's Anti-Secession Law, and the Chinese mainland will have to take severe economic and military measures to combat the arrogance of the U.S. and the island of Taiwan.
"At that time, the mainland should impose severe economic sanctions on the island and even carry out an economic blockade on the island, depending on the circumstances."
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