(People’s Daily Online)
China will never allow the US to run amok in South China Sea waters, the People’s Daily asserted in a commentary on Sunday after a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Decatur, sailed through the waters of the Xisha Islands on Friday without the Chinese approval.
What the US did, driven by its hegemonic mentality, cannot increase its influence in Asia-Pacific region, the article said, adding that such acts to stir up enmity and make troubles will only result in the accelerated decline of its global influence.
The Chinese government resolutely opposes such provocative behavior and takes a series of effective counter-measures, added the commentary under the byline of “Zhongsheng”.
The following is the translation of the article:
A US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Decatur, sailed through Xisha Island waters, part of the South China Sea as Chinese territorial waters on Friday without the approval of Chinese authorities. The Chinese government resolutely opposes such provocative behavior and will take a series of effective counter-measures.
In the statement of the Chinese government on the territorial sea baseline issued in May 1996, China clarified the baseline of the Xisha Islands. The Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone and other international laws also stipulates that all foreign warships need to gain approval from the Chinese government before entering Chinese waters.
The illegal entry of US warships into Chinese waters without permission seriously violates China’s sovereignty and security interests, breaches both Chinese and international laws as well, and poses threats to peace, security as well as order in the relevant waters.
What the US did aims to encroach upon the sovereignty, security and maritime interests of regional countries in the so-called name of a “freedom-of-navigation operation.” But such provocative acts once again expose the negative energy of its “Rebalance to Asia” strategy, and at the same time verify the US’ role as a real trouble-maker in the South China Sea.
The so-called patrol launched by the US this time came just as China and the Philippines, a country immediately concerned with the South China Sea issue, were restoring their ties. During Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit to China, the two countries inked a series of cooperation agreements.
This US provocation in Chinese territorial waters, at a time when the improvement of ties between China and relevant countries is pulling the South China Sea issue to a encouraging solution, proves that the US has been destabilizing the South China Sea by playing up tensions.
By launching the so-called patrols, the superpower is telling the world that it can tolerate neither a tranquil South China Sea, nor a peaceful and stable Asia-Pacific. Since it cannot find a puppet troublemaker any longer, the exasperated Washington has to create a disturbance by itself.
President Duterte pointed out in a speech that “the US feels a little anxious over China’s sound ties with the Philippines,” and his remarks revealed the complicated psychology of the US. Its peremptory provocation, as a matter of fact, can be regarded as a way to release its depression and an inertia to maintain its hegemony.
Washington has to realize that it is rightly this hegemonic mentality that has resulted in its declining global influence and inability to provide public goods with positive energy. It also has to admit that the era when one country can dominate an alliance network by creating tensions with lies will never come back.
No one wants to weaken the US’ influence in the Asia-Pacific region, but such influence must be based on a positive dedication to common development of the whole region. Its outdated hegemonic mentality is by no means accepted by regional countries who aspire for peace, cooperation and shared progress.
It is well-known that “freedom-of-navigation,” often cited by the US as a pretext, is actually a falsehood to allow the country to pursue “absolute freedom” of its own security. But the US should bear in mind the ultimate consequences of seeking absolute security as the country has paid enough bitter prices for its arrogance and ignorance.
The arbitrary decision will certainly bring the country to deadlock, and such a stubborn country may obtain some hard power, but never soft power and smart power.
If the US really wants to be a world power, it can never resort to guns, firearms, separation or fishing in troubled waters. Efforts to expand interests can be shared by all countries. Highfalutin words but obstinate and aggressive deeds will win no respect and trust from other countries.
Over the past years, in a bid to cement its maritime hegemony, the US has been destabilizing regional peace and stability by meddling in the South China Sea, challenging China and alienating ties between China and the Philippines.
Washington has not realized that those tricks cannot overturn the regional trend of peaceful development. As the Philippines once appealed, “We can’t be US’ ‘little brown brother’ forever.” Its choice to adjust diplomatic policies and reinforce cooperation with China also proves that an unjust cause committed to by the US finds little support.
What’s more, the US should not bear any fantasy in terms of the South China Sea issue as this is not its first head-to-head game with China. China has a rock-solid determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. China will not ask for anything not belonging to itself, but it will fight for every inch of its territory within its sovereignty.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the gathering commemorating the 80th anniversary of the conclusion of the Long March (1934-36), urged the entire military to remain vigilant and be aware of its responsibilities, stressing that the modernization of national defense and armed forces must advance in a bid to safeguard the country’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.
The US’ consolidation of hegemony with military actions will only highlight China’s necessity to strengthen defense, and activate China’s resolution to improve its capability to safeguard its own interests.
The Chinese army will definitely safeguard China’s national sovereignty and security by stepping up patrols based on demand and optimizing its defensive capabilities. China will never allow the US to run amok in the South China Sea, an issue concerning principles.