Will China wage war on Aussies over South China Sea?

CHINA is threatening war against "paper cat" Australia after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop opposed the Asian powerhouse's bid to secure South China Sea entitlements.

In an editorial, the state-run Global Times urged authorities to "revenge" the decision, saying Australia had "double standards" and was a weak country whose power was "nothing compared to the security of China".

Calling Australia a "paper cat", the newspaper said Aussies must "learn their lesson" while deriding Down Under as a "delirious country" with an "inglorious history".

"Australia has unexpectedly made itself a pioneer of hurting China's interest with a fiercer attitude than countries directly involved in the South China Sea dispute," the paper said.

"China must take revenge and let it know it's wrong.

"If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike."

The South China Sea has vast oil and fishing reserves and China faces intense competition for these resources from both the Philippines and Vietnam.

The Chinese defence minister Chang Wanquan urged his nation to prepare for a "people's war at sea".