The South China Sea dispute has come into focus once again following a Chinese newspaper’s threatening words for the United States while asking China to prepare for “military confrontation.”

Newspaper Global Times published a report with a threatening tone demanding the nation’s initiative of military preparations against the US. The publication is said to have close ties with the Communist rulers of Beijing. The newspaper’s editorial department said that the sea dispute is being complicated by intervention from the US.

The controversial report comes prior to the July 12 international court proceeding, which will deal with ownership claims on the South China Sea by China and the Philippines. “Washington has deployed two carrier battle groups around the South China Sea, and it wants to send a signal by flexing its muscles. As the biggest powerhouse in the region, it awaits China’s obedience,” the Global Times said.

The provocative editorial from the Hague-based tribunal has once again ignited the flames of sovereignty over the sea dispute between China and the US. Even before the court ruling, China has already implemented naval exercise near Paracel Islands, which is nearest to the southernmost coast of China. The editorial further called for rapid development of the nation’s military measures.

The report stated that China should not spare the US for intervening in the sea dispute by force and must let the Americans pay for it. “China hopes disputes can be resolved by talks, but it must be prepared for any military confrontation. This is common sense in international relations,” the report added.

The editorial indicated that the nation is not willing to recognize the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling relating to the dispute. When asked about the overlapping claims of Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei and the Philippines on the South China Sea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that China’s commitment to maintaining peace is above everything.

Meanwhile, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte said that the Philippines will accept whatever is the court’s ruling. “When it’s favourable to us, let’s talk,” he said as quoted by The Telegraph UK. “We are not prepared to go to war – war is a dirty word.”