Freedom of navigation claim no justification for stirring up tensions in South China Sea

Source: XinhuaEditor: Zhang Tao
2016-02-01 09:23

by Xinhua Writer Tian Dongdong

BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Turning a deaf ear to China's repeated opposition, representation and warning, the United States on Saturday flagrantly dispatched one of its destroyers into 12 nautical miles of an island in the Xisha Islands irrefutably owned by China.

The dangerous and reckless move, second of its kind by the U.S. navy since last October, is a serious political and military provocation to China's self-evident sovereignty over the Xisha Islands and its adjacent waters, which dampens hard-won mutual-trust between China and America, shakes stability around the South China Sea and further erodes America's credibility as a reliable stake-holder.

In addition, the incursive and harmful operation is nothing short of a willful and irresponsible sabre-rattling mounted to flex U.S. muscles at China's territory and reassert Washington's juggernaut role in the region.

In parallel, the uncalled and superfluous action, carried out in the name of "freedom of navigation," is actually a blatant abuse of the rights as it violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea by threatening China's sovereignty and security interests.

What's more, the conspiratorial and canny designing, an unclad compromise between the Barack Obama administration and the hawks in the U.S. army, is driven by nothing but the bipartisan politics in Washington, as the Democrats and the Republicans are on the threshold of a mud wrestling for the presidency, during which, they always pick another country as a scapegoat to squeeze suppport from American voters.

In fact, due to the shared resolve of relevant parties to keep the sea peaceful, and in no smaller part thanks to China's restraint, the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has never been a problem in the past nor will be one now or in the future. Such a principle does not provide a pretext or privilege for any country, particularly the United States, to harm sovereignty and security of other countries.

Besides, it is clear and obvious that China does not seek to militarize the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, and its construction activities there do not target any other country and will not hinder the international passages that all countries are entitled to under international law.

Nevertheless, the United States, inobservantly or just deliberately, turned a deaf ear to China's appeals.

So, what is behind Washington's show of force only turned out to be shrewd calculation of geopolitics, dirty bipartisan deals and the pursuing of America's global predominance -- none of which holds morale high ground.

For the sake of healthy development of Sino-U.S. relations as well as the stability of the South China Sea, it is imperative that Uncle Sam stop making waves in the busy body of water and making trouble out of nothing in the currently peaceful area.

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