Commentary: China plays constructive role in maintaining stability in South China Sea

Source: XinhuaEditor: Ouyang
2015-11-20 11:20

BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China has been committed to preserving the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and to safeguarding peace and stability in the region.

Over the past weeks, the United States has sailed two warships, including one carrying Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, through the South China Sea in what the Pentagon claimed as "freedom of navigation" operations.

The U.S. move of sending navy vessels without China's authorization into waters adjacent to China's Nansha Islands not only threatens China's sovereignty and security interests, but also undermines regional peace and stability.

Carter, however, said in a recent speech that China has posed a threat to the "freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea and taken measures of "challenging the international order."

The U.S. defense chief's arbitrary accusation obviously goes against common sense as the international order should not be unilaterally defined by any single country.

The current international order has been jointly established by the international community with the United Nations as its core, on the basis of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

The fundamental principle regarding the international order is mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, equal treatment and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

Just as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said, China has long played an active role in and made remarkable contribution to promoting world peace and development and properly resolving international and regional issues.

Under relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, China launched the task of carrying out anti-piracy escort missions in the Gulf of Aden off the waters of Somalia in late 2008.

In addition, China has also completed the operations of escorting the shipping of chemical weapons out of Syria for destruction and helped many countries deal with natural disasters.

The Chinese navy's pragmatic exchanges and cooperation with other countries have ensured the safety of some strategic maritime passages in the world.

As most of the region's flow of commerce in foreign trade passes through the sea lanes in the South China Sea, it is in the fundamental interest of all coastal countries, including China, to preserve the freedom of navigation in the area.

In order to make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been endeavoring to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and striving for the signing of a full code of conduct (COC) in the waters as soon as possible.

Moreover, a lot of countries in the region and the Asia-Pacific as a whole will benefit from the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, a development strategy promoting openness, inclusiveness and win-win results.

Facts have proved that China, instead of doing any harm to the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, has provided public services to ensure the safety of all vessels sailing in the waters.

At a time when the whole world is pursuing peace, development, cooperation and win-win results, China will firmly stick to its path of peaceful development, which serves its fundamental interests and meets the common aspiration of all countries and people in the region.

It is advisable for Washington to contribute more to regional peace and cooperation, rather than making waves in the South China Sea and then pointing a finger at others on trumped-up charges.

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