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People's Daily Online

Op-Ed: Underwater drone just a sample of US military action against China

People's Daily Online

By Hua Yiwen (People's Daily Online) 16:09, December 19, 2016

The U.S. unmanned navy vehicle in the South China Sea has quickly become the focus of international attention. President-elect Donald Trump participated in this public discussion through Twitter, first accusing China of stealing the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), and then saying that China can "keep it."

In recent years, the U.S. has tried to strategically contain China through the South China Sea issue. In this case, the U.S. claimed that the UUV was collecting "military oceanographic data" in international waters "according to international law." Reports stated that China found the device in its territorial waters in the South China Sea, thus earning the responsibility and right to identify the device in order to avoid potential hazard to passing ships.

China dealt with the issue professionally and with due diligence, and it has agreed to return the vehicle to the U.S. after an investigation. The U.S., on the other hand, has used this issue to hype up speculations, which does not help to solve the problem.

The U.S. cannot hide its real agenda by downplaying recent events. The unmanned drone was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to U.S. military actions against China. The U.S. has been developing UUVs for a long time, treating them as a "power enhancer" for its military and a crucial part of its weapons system. The U.S. even increased its investment in the research of UUVs in recent years.

The fact that the U.S. released Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, in the South China Sea was another example of its years-long attempt to keep a close watch over China. The U.S. military routinely sends ships to Chinese waters to conduct close-in reconnaissance and military surveys. This demonstrates the country's doubt toward and even hostility against China. So-called free navigation would not only increase the risk of accidents, it would also create obstacles for strategic mutual trust between China and the U.S.

Both cooperation and competition will co-exist in bilateral ties for a long time. It is precisely this dynamic that has made China stronger and stronger.

This article is edited and translated from 美无人潜航器背后有啥名堂 Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition

The author is an foreign affairs expert.



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