Fishing for trouble in South China Sea

Updated: 2015-04-11 09:57

By Wang Haiqing(China Daily)

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Fishing for trouble in South China Sea

A formation of the Nanhai Fleet of China's Navy on Saturday finished a three-day patrol of the Nansha islands in the South China Sea. [Photo/Xinhua]

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter's recent remark on the South China Sea issue has again prompted many to wonder whether the self-proclaimed "Anchor of Peace" of the world is really keen on seeing calm waters.

During his just concluded maiden visit to Japan, Carter said he was "especially concerned" over China's land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea. His irresponsible remark, accusing China of creating a "prospect of militarization" not only ignores the fact that the reclamation projects are being carried out around islands that belong to China or in China's territorial waters, but also represents the latest breach of US commitment not to take sides in the South China Sea issue.

Washington has repeatedly violated its pledge of remaining neutral in the South China Sea disputes. It has never missed an opportunity to highlight the "China threat" theory while commenting on the disputes, and has been trying to pit other countries against China.

The United States is making such moves because it wrongly assumes that China, now a global economic heavyweight, could seek to undermine its supremacy in global politics and its overwhelming military presence in many regions.

The truth, however, is that China has honored its commitment to peaceful development and has not competed with other countries, including the US, to spread its influence. Still, the US, with its unrivaled political clout and military prowess, is paranoid about China, perhaps because it suffers from an underlying sense of nostalgia for global dominance.

Moreover, despite geographically being an outsider, the US has intensified its interference in the South China Sea disputes. Its obsession with China-bashing aside, the US' meddling in the disputes shows that the so-called "Anchor of Peace" is in fact stirring up the waters and fishing for trouble.

Southeast Asian countries that have disputes with China in the South China Sea should be wary of the US and realize that it has ulterior motives for repeatedly poking its nose into the issue.

It is in the best interests of all parties involved in the South China Sea issue to find a peaceful solution on their own, instead of being dictated to by an outside power that could easily escape unscathed, even if it does not take advantage, should the disputes escalate into conflicts.

The author is a writer with Xinhua News Agency.