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Uncle Sam's more frequent military moves only escalate tensions in South China Sea

Editor: Zhang Pengfei 丨Xinhua

05-30-2016 08:44 BJT

Full coverage: South China Sea Is Indisputable Part of China

The United States' more frequent military moves in the South China Sea in violation of international law and in defiance of protests from a sovereign country concerned, only leads to escalation of tensions in the region.

Over recent years, the United States has insisted on its military operations across the South China Sea, with some senior U.S. officials making statements saying that such moves will be even more frequent in future.

Some Western media on Sunday called the recent U.S. military moves in the South China Sea the "new normal" in spite of continuous opposition from China.

A former U.S. defense official, quoted by media reports, said what's the United States doing was for "freedom of navigation" and "following the rules."

By launching frequent moves in the South China Sea one after another, Washington is just deliberately blurring the distinction between commercial navigation and military operation in the region. But such unlawful moves by the United States can never serve to cover up its gross violation of other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity, or to whitewash its excessive ambition of maintaining a dominant presence in the region.

In the name of "freedom of navigation or overflight," Washington repeatedly shows its force as a global sheriff, neglecting the fact that the South China Sea had enjoyed decades of peace and commercial prosperity before the 1970s.

Launching the "Freedom of Navigation (FON)" program in 1979 under the Jimmy Cater administration, Washington just wants to legitimize its undeserved interests around the world depending on its military supremacy.

Furthermore, Washington has always pointed its finger at China, saying the Asian country's development in the South China Sea inflames regional tension. But such accusations can't hold water either.

In fact, despite the complicated territorial rows between China and some of its neighbors, China has kept exercising restraint and has meanwhile devoted a lot to consultation with other related parties in order to peacefully settle disputes.

As an advocate of freedom of navigation, China also views the South China Sea vital to global trade and its own development, and consequently has no reason to unsettle the region.

Ma Zhaoxu, China's permanent representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said on Friday that the South China Sea issue must be resolved peacefully through constructive and meaningful negotiations with neighboring countries.

"To uphold freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea is not only an obligation under the international laws. It is also in line with China's own interests, as well as the interests of all countries in the region," Ma said.

It is advisable for the United States, an outside party, to halt its interference in the South China Sea.

Moreover, Uncle Sam's play of political brinkmanship in the South China Sea should come to an end for the sake of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the hard-won mutual trust with China.

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