China back to talking tough on its sovereignty claim over South China Sea

China's flagship newspaper, the People's Daily, has published a signed commentary warning that relevant countries will see "due consequence" if they make serious strategic miscalculations in the South China Sea.

China's proposal and implementation of the principle of "shelving differences while seeking joint development" in handling the South China Sea dispute does not mean that the country will compromise its sovereignty for other countries to "nibble," said the commentary signed by Zhong Sheng.

The statement particularly criticised a well-publicised move by the Philippines government to complete construct of a shelter on an islet in the disputed area - claiming it is in the "Nansha Islands area, over which China has territorial sovereignty" and a serious violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

China will not rule out binding negotiations at a proper time, but at present, the most important thing is practical cooperation ... Moreover, the move of the Philippine side in violating the DOC and undermining future cooperation should be strictly restrained, the commentary said.

UPDATE: See also "Matching words with deeds" (China Daily, 5 Aug 2011)