Foreign media: U.S. militarizes South China Sea by sending warships to Nansha Islands

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-02-19 18:06

BEIJING, February 19 (ChinaMil) -- China and the U.S. have carried out fierce debates on February 18, 2016, over China's deployment of missiles on China's Yongxing Island.

The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives also unanimously accused on February 17 that China's move is to "strengthen its militarization in the South China Sea."

Although the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) already expressed earlier that "China's defensive deployment on the relevant islands has existed for many years", some politicians in the U.S. still claimed that China "has unyieldingly ignored the commitment (non-militarization of the South China Sea) to the United States."

As for this issue, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the PRC solemnly refuted some Western politicians and media's ulterior hype up at a press conference on February 18 and stressed that for the past decades, China has been deploying various types of territorial defense facilities on its Xisha Islands, which is nothing new and is neither related to militarization, nor to comprehensive implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, nor to the consultation on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

Liu Feng, a Chinese scholar on the South China Sea issue, expressed on February 18 that the Xisha Islands are China's inherent territory, which were not in the scope of the "U.S. anxiety over the South China Sea."

But now, the U.S.' inclusion of such an issue into the disputes aims to complicate and stir up the disputes over the South China Sea, Liu Feng analyzed.

U.S. fierce reaction reflects its "weak self-confidence"

The clash between China and the U.S. over the South China Sea issue escalated as Secretary of State John F. Kerry lashed out at Beijing after the Obama administration said it confirmed reports that China had deployed advanced surface-to-air missiles on China's Yongxing Island, the Washington Times of the U.S. said on February 17.

The reactions of some long-time anti-China politicians were especially fierce. Republican Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, declared on February 17 that "Any military deployment in any place in the South China Sea, permanent or temporary, constitutes the militarization, not only including military deployment in fixed locations such as radar and surface-to-air missile, but also fighter, bomber and drones."

Surprisingly, at a press conference of the U.S. Department of State on February 17, a reporter of the Associated Press of the U.S. asked a question, when the U.S. State Department spokesman accused China's increasing militarization in the South China Sea, that "Is it the militarization that the U.S. has sent large warships to perform military missions in the South China Sea although it does not build missile-launching silos on the islands in the South China Sea?" The U.S. State Department spokesman lowered his head and replied that "That is the free navigation only."

As for the U.S. unreasonable accusation against China, Hong Lei, the spokesperson of China's MFA hoped at a press conference on February 18 that relevant country should stop its useless or motive-driven hype up and do more things conducive to regional peace and stability.

As for the arbitration on the South China Sea issue submitted by the Philippines, Hong Lei expressed that China's non-acceptance of the arbitration on the South China Sea issue unilaterally submitted by the Philippines is fully based on the international laws.

The practice of the arbitration on the South China Sea issue unilaterally submitted by the Philippines is to deny China's sovereignty and maritime rights and interests over the South China Sea, and the Philippine attempt will never be achieved, Hong Lei added.

Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo, director of the Center on China-America Defense Relations (CCADR) of the PLA Academy of Military Science (AMS), said on February 18 that such a fierce reaction of the U.S. on China's deployment of air-defense missiles on the Yongxing Island reflects two kinds of mentalities of the United States.

One is that the U.S. has a weak self-confidence, namely, the U.S. cares very much about China's any moves and will even hype up two old artilleries it finds on the Yongxing Island from a satellite photo, Zhao Xiaozhuo said.

The other is that the U.S. hopes to ramp up tensions of the ASEAN countries through hyping up China's missile deployment on the Yongxing Island so as to differentiate the relations between China and the ASEAN countries, Zhao Xiaozhu analyzed.

In recent years, there is always a kind of view in the U.S. that China will militarize the South China Sea sooner or later. As a result, any military move of China will be interpreted as China's development towards the militarization, which is conducive to the U.S. hype of "China threat" to the international community so as to exert pressure on China, Zhao Xiaozhuo concluded.

An expert reminded in a media interview that the U.S. and the Republic of Korea (ROK) is now discussing the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system by the U.S. troops stationed in the ROK, and the hype of China's deployment of surface-to-air missiles on the Xisha Islands is also a consideration of the U.S. to shift the world attention.

The article is extracted from the The opinions expressed here are those of the article, and don't represent views of the China Military Online website.

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