China warns US of nuclear war if Trump doesn’t back off

Chinese state media has taken aim at Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, after he suggested a more aggressive strategy toward Beijing in the contested waters of the South China Sea. In his confirmation hearing Wednesday, Tillerson, the former CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil, said that China should be denied access to the islands it has built. The Global Times, a provocative but state-sanctioned tabloid, said that “unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish.” “Tillerson had better bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories,” the unbylined opinion piece said on the paper’s English-language site. It concluded that Tillerson’s statements were “far from professional.”