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People's Daily Online

America's irresponsible actions detrimental to stability of the South China Sea

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 14:13, May 29, 2015

The United States has been aggravating the situation in the South China Sea recently through a series of irresponsible actions which have interfered with regional stability.

Several senior US officials, on various occasions, have played up the South China Sea issue and seriously distorted the purpose of China's legitimate construction activities on the islands there. On May 20, 2015, the US carried out close reconnaissance over some islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands.

As one of the Pacific Rim countries, the United States has its own perspective and concerns around the South China Sea issues. However, willful acts in the name of international law are not appropriate. It is inevitable that endless harassment of another country will meet a stern response.

Insist on coming across the vast Pacific Ocean to spy on other countries with a long-focus lens, and what follows may be more than just verbal confrontation. As we all know, China's armed forces, in accordance with the regulations, issued warnings by radio and drove off the American reconnaissance aircraft.

No country in the world will allow military aircraft from other countries to engage in such harassment near its own home. The close reconnaissance of the US posed a potential threat to the safety of China's reefs, which could easily lead to miscalculation and accidents at sea or in the air. On this point, the US knows perfectly well what could be the results of its conduct. The action was both irresponsible and very dangerous. China will firmly safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and no one should take any chances. China will continue to keep close watch on the situation, taking appropriate and necessary measures to guarantee the safety of China's islands and reefs and to prevent sea and air accidents.

As for the navigational safety of the South China Sea, China has more concerns than the United States. China has always advocated freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, but on the premise of international law and practices, not so that foreign warships and military aircraft can trespass over any country's territorial waters and airspace. China is engaged in construction in the South China Sea precisely to provide services in maritime search and rescue, safety of navigation, and disaster prevention and mitigation, and finally to better fulfill China's international responsibilities and obligations. All the vessels of all countries, including the United States, will benefit from these peaceful and public welfare establishments.

The situation in the South China Sea today is totally different from the Cold War period. Development is the first aspiration of neighboring countries in the South China Sea, and an irreversible trend there, thus none of the regional countries wants these disputes, which could result in a serious breakdown in cooperation. Based on such a common aspiration, we should be able to sit down together and discuss solutions to any problems. The US should think more about how to provide positive energy to peace and stability in the South China Sea, participating more actively in regional development by telling the truth and acting practically. That will give the 'leadership' that the US craves some kind of solid foundation. Conversely, the US will become an unpopular troublemaker in the region if Washington insists on creating rumors and indulging in provocation.

China and the US are both major powers. Sino-US cooperation can be beneficial to both and to the wider world, while confrontation will bring nothing but disaster. Washington needs to strengthen its awareness of how to handling disputes with proper management, and avoid destroying relationships.

The article is edited and translated from《美国不负责任之举有损南海稳定(钟声)》, source: People's Daily

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