Huanqiu [under People’s Daily] published a commentary claiming that, in case the conflict between them escalates into war, China will let Japan suffer long-term chronic pain instead of a one-time hit. Below are some selected excerpts from the article.
"Japan announced that it would consider "shooting down" China’s drone if it flew over the Diaoyu Islands. China’s Defense Ministry spokesman responded by saying that, if the Japan were to do so, it would be an ‘act of war.’ The Chinese side would certainly and decisively ‘fight back.’"
"Today, the official exchange of words between China and Japan no longer avoids such words as ‘shooting down,’ ‘war,’ and so on. Japanese media keep shouting about ‘besieging’ China. The possibility of the Sino-Japanese friction escalating into military conflict is becoming more and more real."
"We believe that China must be clear about what we really want to fight for in the conflict over the Diaoyu Islands and what we should insist on in the escalating fight with Japan."
"War is probably a hurdle that China needs to step over. We need to cross it mentally."
"We should not have illusions that, once the war starts, that we can ‘destroy Japan.’ We need to do serious damage to Japan and let its losses be ‘slightly bigger’ than China’s. We should fight a protracted war with Japan and make it suffer long-term chronic pain. China will not use the war to ‘destroy Japan.’ China will ultimately crush Japan with the increase in its strength. In fact, what Japan fears most is China’s calmness and lasting determination."
Source: People’s Daily, October 28, 2013