Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Thursday, May 12, 2016

US destroyer’s South China Sea show an insipid affair

(Global Times)    10:41, May 12, 2016

US destroyer the USS William P. Lawrencesailed in the South China Sea near the Yongshu Reef in the Nansha Islands on Tuesday and China expressed its "resolute opposition" to the US move. A single warship does not constitute a major threat to the Chinese islands and their facilities, but is a way in which Washington displays its maritime hegemony. Contention over the South China Sea between China and the US will continue.

China's island construction in the Nansha chain has achieved huge progress. The US has no strength to obstruct this, but it is trying to weaken China's strategic triumph by sending more patrol warships, pushing forward the South China Sea arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines and strengthening alliances.

The result of the arbitration is expected to be announced soon. Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines, who has adopted a hard-line approach to China, will leave office soon, while president-elect Rodrigo Duterte has shown flexibility over the South China Sea issue.

As the Philippines' stance toward China and the US remains uncertain, the US is attempting to seize the initiative by sending warships.

China and the US have different focus for their South China Sea acts - China focuses on island-building and the US on putting on a performance. As long as the two do not aim at a direct confrontation, a military clash is unlikely. The US has sent warships time and again, but their effect is diminishing. What is unpredictable is how the ruling on the South China Sea arbitration will paralyze the situation.

What is predictable, though, is that it will bring China more public opinion pressure from the US and Japan, but it won't generate any real impact. It seems Duterte's new administration will have less interest in the arbitration and countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam are not expected to take any concrete actions.

China and the US are competing with each other to win support from ASEAN. The limited contest between the two fits the interests of ASEAN countries who would like to strike a balance between them. Beijing and Washington will not give up on their diplomatic efforts in this regard, but there is little room to break the current situation.

If the South China Sea eventually becomes the main stage for strategic rivalries between China and the US, it will benefit China more. The whole of Chinese society will be more resolute and it means China would have the chance to solve its peripheral and strategic problems at the same time. But the US, whose acts are prompted by greed, will view the South China Sea as its burden sooner or later.

China will invest long-term energy in the South China Sea. It is not an easy task, but we can always handle it. The South China Sea issue is about our territorial disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines, while with the US it is also a strategic dialogue between a rising power and an existing one.

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

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