Chinese media is reporting that a high-ranking military officer recently stated that “accidental discharge” is a possibility if Japan continues its provocative actions, referring to the two countries’ ongoing territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. Major General Zhu Heping’s alarming comment was made on March 3rd in Beijing at the First Session of the 12th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), to which he is a committee member.
Zhu stated that Japan is single-handedly responsible for causing the conflict over the uninhabited islets, while China is merely trying to protect its sovereign territory. The Major General added “We will try to avoid any misfires and safeguard regional peace and stability in the East China Sea. However, if Japan does not change its attitude and further provokes, then accidental discharge is likely to happen.” It seem Zhu doesn’t really understand that an “accident” is something that happens unexpectedly or unintentionally, meaning he has seemingly threatened to use weapons against Japan only a month after China repeatedly denied pointing targeting radar at Self-Defense Force vessels.
This isn’t he first time a Chinese military officer has shot his mouth off with comments implying an armed conflict between the two Asian neighbors. In January, Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu of China’s National Defence University warned Australia not to side with the “global tiger” (United States) or the “Asian wolf” (Japan), or else it may get caught up in the region’s rising tensions. He described China as being “peaceful,” but ready to fight back if pushed far enough.