Some countries will pay for misjudging China's sovereignty

14:40, August 03, 2011      

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"The Southeast Asian Nations that have sovereignty over part of the islands in the South China Sea should work together to turn the disputed South China Sea into a zone of peace, freedom, friendship and cooperation," Philippine foreign minister said in the Bali Islands not long ago. The Philippines has also submitted a related proposal to ASEAN and called on ASEAN member countries to sign an agreement.

The "Peace proposal" is evidently a small hoax played by Manila. The events on the Flat Island of China's Nansha Islands over recent days have shown that what the Philippines did is in contrast to what it said, and Manila obviously lacks the sincerity to peacefully address the South China Sea issue.

According to a report on the Philippine Star website on July 31, the engineering brigade of the Philippine military is about to complete the construction of the second building on the Flat Island of the Nansha Islands, China's sovereign land. It was reported that the Philippine military constructed this building to guard the disputed waters to shelter itself in case of bad weather. This move has severely violated the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea."

China and the 10 ASEAN countries' foreign ministers reached a consensus on the implementation of the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" action pointer. The basic consensus of China and ASEAN countries is that the urgent task of ensuring the stability of the South China Sea situation is to keep self-control and not to take actions that may make the dispute more complex and expansive and affect the world peace and stability. The behavior of the Philippines is the invasion of China's territory and also the destruction of the ASEAN position.

The peaceful settlement of the South China Sea sovereignty issue is a long-term and complex project. It first needs various parties to gradually establish mutual trust through cooperation based on the principle established by the "pointer" to lay the foundation for future bilateral negotiations. China does not oppose launching binding standard negotiations in due time, but the most important thing at this time is practical cooperation. The Philippines' violation of the "declaration" and the damage done to the next cooperation should be met with strict constraints.

China has put forward the principle of "shelving certain disputes for common development" long time ago and has followed this principle. Related parties should fully understand that China's principle and position do not mean that China will allow certain countries to freely encroach on China's territory. Any countries that made serious strategic misjudgment on this issue will certainly pay a high price.

By Zhong Sheng from People's Daily, translated by People's Daily Online

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