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China defends sovereignty by ‘combination punches’

(People's Daily Online)

09:03, August 13, 2012

The U.S. Department of State recently issued a statement accusing China of exacerbating tensions in the South China Sea. Since the beginning of 2012, certain countries have frequently stirred up trouble and accelerated their intervention in the South China Sea dispute. In this context, China has taken an array of measures to defend its sovereignty and interests.

Although the United States has emphasized in the South China Sea declaration published on Aug. 3 that it will remain neutral in the dispute, an official from the Foreign Ministry of the Philippines said on Aug. 6 that the Philippines supports the decision of the United States, which shows U.S. support for the Philippines' method of dealing with the dispute.

"The United States hopes that the statement can back up and encourage its allies in the South China Sea region and other countries that it considers can contain China, so that these countries will not be afraid of China in the dispute," said Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations under the China Foreign Affairs University. In his opinion, the statement has led to an uncertain direction for the South China Sea dispute.

In addition, the United States and Vietnam performed non-combat naval exchanges in Danang, central Vietnam in April.

Along with the eastward sift of the U.S. strategic focus, some countries involved in the South China Sea issue began to use the U.S. military presence in Asia-Pacific region to make waves and internationalize the issue, said Wu Shicun, dean of National Institute for South China Sea Studies. "The statement of the United States has at least given a hint to these countries that they can challenge China on the issue of the South China Sea."

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