BEIJING, January 6 (ChinaMil) -- “The territorial disputes in the South China Sea re-emerged at the beginning of the new year. China shares opposite views with the United States and Japan towards this issue, while members of the ASEAN go their own way,” reported Seoul's Yonhap News Agency on January 5, 2016.
The report said that the test flight of China at the new airport in the South China Sea has triggered strong criticism from the United States and Japan, and members of the ASEAN held different attitudes towards the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Among the ASEAN members, Vietnam and the Philippines publicly requested China to immediately cease such action, while Cambodia attributed the tension to intervention of powerful nations that are not related to this issue, which is actually criticizing the United States for incitement of the disputes and aggravation of contradictions in the South China Sea.
As China enhances sovereignty over the South China Sea, the U.S., Japan and the Philippines will further take joint military actions to counter China’s sovereign claim. The U.S. destroyer will probably come within 12 nautical miles of Chinese South China Sea islands. As a result, the situation in the South China Sea may enter a vicious circle this year, according to analysis.
With regard to the disputes in the South China Sea, China will not choose military conflict, and the United States wants to stick to the present status. Both countries are watching their steps to avoid over-stimulating each other. Though being opposites, they act temperately. In addition, countries around the South China Sea have different opinions on and interests claims to the issue of the South China Sea, according to the Toyo Keizai on January 5, 2016.
What will the situation in the South China Sea develop into this year? 2015 is the year when the disputed South China Sea drew great attention, pointed out Zhuang Guotu, professor from the Xiamen University, in an interview with Global Times on January 5, 2016.
On one hand, China’s substantial presence in the South China Sea was evidently improved through island construction, which was closely related to its acceleration of economic globalization. The South China Sea is extremely important for China as a main channel for foreign trade. It is incontestable to have sovereignty over these islands and maintain waterway security, said Professor Zhuang.
On the other hand, though Vietnam and the Philippines have continuous disputes with China in 2015, no direct confrontation has arisen. The main focus was on the involvement of such extraterritorial countries as Japan under the lead of the United States. China’s construction in the South China Sea islands will be promoted in 2016. But such issues as terrorism may evolve to distract more energy of the United States, resulting in less serious disputes in the South China Sea in 2016, according to Professor Zhuang.
The United States has claimed to patrol in the South China Sea quarterly. It should consider what it will benefit from such provocation against China, pointed out an Americanologist in an interview with the Global Times.
The U.S. presidential election will be held in 2016, and it will initiate a lot of events, including frequent intervention in China’s affairs. Therefore, China should make full preparation to determinedly resist intervention and keep unimpeded diplomatic channels, as well as respond to the potential intervention, said the Americanologist.
This article is extracted from the Chinese edition of the Global Times, and translated into English by China Military Online. The opinions expressed here are those of the writers and don't represent views of the China Military Online website.