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Commentary: U.S. should stop testing China's bottom line in protecting sovereign rights

(Xinhua)    15:33, October 28, 2015
Commentary: U.S. should stop testing China's bottom line in protecting sovereign rights
File photo: China's Lanzhou Missile Destroyer.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 -- By sending a warship to patrol the adjacent waters off Chinese islands in the South China Sea, the United States was making a dangerous attempt to test China's bottom line in protecting its sovereign rights.

The U.S. claim that it did so to exercise the so-called freedom of navigation rights is totally groundless since China has never violated such rights and has clearly promised to protect the freedom of navigation in the region.

The U.S. move is actually a blatant abuse of the freedom of navigation rights in violation of the international law as it threatens China's sovereignty and security interests.

As ridiculous as it is, the United States, which has so far not approved the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, always cites the treaty as the legal basis for its actions to challenge China's territorial claims.

Through such actions, the lame-duck Obama administration apparently tries to reassure its allies and partners in Asia at a time when its so-called Asia Rebalance policy falters due to financial constraints back home and distraction of crises in other parts of the world.

But Washington has obviously ignored the fact that such provocation has serious negative repercussions.

First, it will complicate the efforts to settle the South China Sea disputes peacefully, because some of the claimant countries, such as the Philippines, a U.S. ally, will be emboldened to take more provocative actions against China.

Moreover, it will strain the China-U.S. relations and damage mutual trust.

The China-U.S. relationship, which is so important and far-reaching to regional and global peace, stability and prosperity, cannot stand disastrous confrontations or conflicts.

Regrettably, U.S. officials indicated that the U.S. Navy will conduct more patrols in the South China Sea in the near future, despite China's firm opposition and warnings.

Decision-makers in Washington need to be reminded that China has little room for compromise when it comes to matters regarding its sovereignty, and it will take whatever means at whatever cost to safeguard its sovereign interests.

To keep China-U.S. ties on a healthy track and preserve stability and peace in the Asia-Pacific region, Washington must honor its promise to maintain a neutral position on the South China Sea issue and stop practices that would further disturb the waters there. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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