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US should be given only limited say in S China Sea issue

(People's Daily Online)

17:03, June 04, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

The 11th Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, was held in Singapore from June 1 to June 3.

The U.S. media said ahead of the summit that territorial disputes in the South China Sea would be a major topic at the meeting. They even predicted that senior U.S. military officials would take advantage of the South China Sea issue to increase pressure on China, and make a commitment to protecting its Asia-Pacific allies, which are increasingly upset by China's rise.

Such prediction is not groundless. In recent years, top U.S. politicians and media outlets have hyped up the South China Sea issue, and created waves in the otherwise peaceful sea in the name of maintaining freedom of navigation.

It is impossible to keep the United States completely out of the South China Sea issue, but it is becoming increasingly necessary to draw a clear red line for the country. With such a red line, the safety of navigation in the South China Sea will be maintained, the South China Sea issue will be peacefully resolved, and a new security pattern will be gradually established in Asia.

The United States has a stake in the South China Sea issue, but is not a country around the sea. China cannot stop the United States from establishing a military alliance with or providing military support to certain countries around the sea. However, the territorial disputes in the South China Sea are between China and other claimants, and are no business of the United States, so China will not allow it to intervene.

The settlement of the South China Sea issue does not need an arbitrator. China is not a hegemonic state, and will never seek hegemony, especially in the South China Sea issue. China believes that the issue can be solved through negotiations with other claimants, and only negotiations will ensure stability and peace in Asia.

The safety of navigation in the South China Sea, home to some of the world's most important shipping lanes, serves the interests of many countries. China has never claimed the entire South China Sea as its territorial waters.

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