Updated: 2012-08-06 08:07
The press statement the White House issued this weekend has deservedly evoked curses on the street and angry diplomatic representations from Beijing. Despite all the endeavor to leave the impression that the United States is a disinterested third party committed solely to peace in the South China Sea, that statement convinced us of the very opposite.
To enhance the image that White House has tried hard to build for itself, the statement repeated the same old high-sounding words that portray the US as angel of peace.
We know all the speculations and allegations about US intentions in Asia and the South China Sea. And we know the White House knows best what it is truly after. Still, here in China, we see an accommodating official line that welcomes a constructive US presence in the area to share not just the fruits of prosperity, but also the responsibilities for the region's, and, in some ways, the world's, well-being.
So, despite all the rhetoric about outsider plots to contain us, we have been talking about partnership.
But the White House is unwilling to give up its Cold War-era thinking. The US foreign policy rhetoric has been updated by introducing such post-Cold-War catchwords as peace and opportunity sharing. But its actions lag far behind.
The White House's criticism against our Sansha city, for instance, displays stunning disregard for the principle of non-interference in another country's internal affairs. China has had effective administrative control of the Sansha area for centuries. The White House has no business criticizing us for what we do on our territory.
Rather than criticizing the countries creating trouble in the South China Sea, the US statement dumps dirty water on China, the true victim of the disputes there.
If the White House is truly devoted to fair and peaceful resolution of the disputes, it must respect a few facts.
China's sovereignty, both in international law and maritime practice, over the South China Sea islands has been undisputed until very recently.
China has been bullied and is reacting to other countries' provocations lately.
If the White House is interested in restoring peace in the South China Sea, it should talk the real trouble-makers into behaving. The truth, however, is that it has been instigating the other countries in the disputes and even arming them, while blaming China for its defensive moves.
That is outright trouble-making.
(China Daily 08/06/2012 page8)