BEIJING, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Though the United States insists that it won't take positions on the South China Sea issue, all of its actions seem to be targeting China - a naval destroyer sailing within 12 nautical miles off China's Nansha islands is the latest example.
An Associated Press report quoted a U.S. defense department official as saying that "we will fly, sail, and operate anywhere in the world that international law allows."
We should give "credit" to Uncle Sam. As an irrelevant party in the dispute, the country has spared no effort to create fanfare in the South China Sea, accusing China of harming navigational freedom, though evidence has seldom been presented on how harm was done or how shipping lanes have been threatened by China's island construction, which is primarily used for creation of two lighthouses.
China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters is "irrefutable," said Lu Kang, a spokesman of the foreign ministry when commenting on the incident, adding China will respond to any deliberate provocation by any country.
It is understandable for the U.S. to be posturing as a defender of world order, as it always claimed to do so, for itself or for its allies, but sending warships and planes to the islands may have stepped out of the line. Worse still, it is counterproductive to the solution of the disputes.
Such "a show of military force" may only demonstrate its intention to militarize the sea and has weakened trust and ran counter to the consensus the two global giants have built on fostering a new type of major-country relations, said Yang Yujun, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry on Tuesday.
Aside from adding tension to the situation, what's the meaning of this move? Just to protest China's island construction? By sending warships to the area, the U.S. may also embolden some claimant countries, which have been deluged with nationalism.
China will not use force recklessly, even when it comes to issues related to territory and sovereignty, said vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission Fan Changlong at a security forum earlier this month.
But "not using force recklessly" does not mean China will renounce the use of force. Misinterpretation by the U.S. may cause more miscalculation and could lead to crisis.
Both the Chinese and U.S. people should not forget the mid-air collision between a U.S. reconnaissance plane and a Chinese fighter jet in China's Hainan Island airspace in 2001, during which a Chinese pilot was killed.
That tragedy was caused by the prolonged adoption of a "cold-war mentality" by the U.S., which led it to monitor China's every activity.
Such incidents may take place again if the U.S. does not discard its stereotypes of China, though the results may become more unpredictable.
A U.S. P-8A anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft flew over waters off China's Nansha Islands in May, receiving repeated Chinese warnings.
The U.S. should not be overconfident about its ability to steer clear of collision. The sea is no less safe than the airspace. If history can serve as a guide, it should remind people how U.S. cruiser Yorktown was bumped by former Soviet frigate Bezzavetnyy in the Black Sea in 1988, though the U.S. was also exercising its "innocent passage" right.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese ambassador to the United States Tuesday slammed a U.S. warship's sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese islands in South China Sea as a serious provocation that has exposed the absurdity and hypocrisy of the U.S. position on the South China Sea issue.
Cui Tiankai was reacting to the U.S. destroyer USS Lassen's intrusion earlier Tuesday. China has officially lodged a strong protest to the U.S. government over the provocative move. Full story
BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus on Tuesday, lodging "serious representations" and expressing "strong discontent" over a U.S. warship patrol in waters near China's Nansha Islands in the South China Sea.
"This action by the United States threatens China's sovereignty and security interests and endangers the safety of personnel and facilities on the reef, which is a serious provocation," Zhang said.Full Story
BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned the U.S. not to "make trouble out of nothing" in the South China Sea on Tuesday.
Wang made the remarks during a seminar in Beijing when responding to a question on the U.S. Navy's intention of sending a warship within 12 nautical miles of China's islands in the sea.Full Story
BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese navy has warned that further forays by the U.S. naval vessel into the waters claimed by China in the South China Sea may "trigger eventualities."
Chinese navy spokesperson Liang Yang made the comment following a U.S. warship's entering waters near the Nansha Islands on Tuesday.Full Story
BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed "strong discontentment" and "resolute opposition" over a U.S. warship patrol near Zhubi Reef of China's Nansha Islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday.
The United States' actions threaten China's sovereignty and security interests, endanger the safety of personnel and facilities in the reef, and harm regional peace and stability, ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement. Full story