Recently, U.S. Department of Defense officials said that, within this year, the U.S. will not send any warships to the South China Sea that will navigate within 12 sea miles of China’s artificial reefs. Also, an anonymous official said that the next voyage will be in January of next year. Chinese military expert Cao Weidong, in an interview with the CCTV "Today’s Focus" program, said that the U.S. military action of cruising the South China Sea is just for show. China has always insisted on an active defense policy. China will not fire the first shot, but will never give [the U.S.] a second chance either.
Talking about why the United States would postpone its patrol in the South China Sea, Cao expressed that, in principle, military operations should be kept confidential. On the contrary, the U.S. deliberately uses the media to hype its warships patrolling the South China Sea, which is clearly contrary to the law of military operations in the true sense. We can say that the U.S. military action is just to show off.
Cao pointed out that China’s attitude toward the U.S. is very clear. When a U.S. warship went to the South China Sea in October, China clearly told the U.S. that if it came close, we would verify, track and monitor. If it took further provocative and threatening actions, we would give warnings and an eviction. If there were violations or offensive actions, we would fire back.
Source: People’s Daily, December 19, 2015