U.S. tells lies on South China Sea issues

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-03-17 17:03

BEIJING, March 17 (ChinaMil) -- Always taking itself as the "chosen one" with a strong "missionary complex", the U.S. has taken frequent moves in the South China Sea recently and even played the trump card of the carrier strike group.

This may be because of its deeper strategic concern over its declining domination or the growing strategic mistrust over China's fast development.

It's fine if the U.S. is honest about its intention to make trouble or demonstrate, but it tries to deceive the world by telling lies. Those lies are not even worth refuting, but we decide to refute some of them in order to give the public a right perception.

The first is "militarization of the South China Sea".

In today's world, the U.S. is the last country that can accuse China of "militarizing the South China Sea" because it has deployed a large number of nuclear submarines, stealth warplanes, large warships and nuclear-powered carrier strike groups in Guam and Hawaii.

Isn't that militarization too? If there are signs of "militarization" in the South China Sea, the culprit is exactly the U.S. because it is the movement of American vessels and warplanes and the intensive joint military exercises carried out by the U.S. that have muddied the waters in that region.

More than that, it has also established a network of military bases in the West Pacific that comprises the First Island Chain, the Second Island Chain and the Third Island Chain, and military bases in Northeast Asia, Guam, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Alaska, almost expanding the militarization from the South China Sea to the entire West Pacific. How can it have the face to accuse others of militarizing the South China Sea?

The second is "international waters".

American military vessels entered the South China Sea and surrounding waters without authorization and even blatantly invaded China's territorial waters, but the U.S. argued that they were sailing on the so-called "international waters".

That's ridiculous. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), there are territorial waters, open sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, but "international waters" is a concept never heard of. Priding itself on being a so-called "law-based" country, the U.S. had better go home and brush up on the international law.

The third is "freedom of navigation".

The South China Sea is one of the busiest sea routes in the world. Statistics show that more than 7,000 ships pass that route every day, and ships, as long as they are not pirate ships, have never had any problem with the freedom of navigation during their normal sailing, so this is an excuse concocted by the U.S. to suit its own purpose.

The South China Sea is the "ancestor sea" for China and Chinese people have lived on the islands there from generation to generation, and the South China Sea route is a traffic hub in China's foreign communication and exchange. China cherishes the freedom of navigation in the region more than anyone else in the world and is a staunch protector of it.

The "freedom of navigation" that the U.S. wants is actually the deprivation of others' "freedom" of normal voyage and the assertion of "freedom" for its gunboats to run wild in other country's territorial waters. The international law doesn’t seem to have granted the U.S. such "freedom".

The fourth is "acceptance of arbitration".

While assigning warplanes and warships to make waves in the South China Sea, the U.S. has also schemed and directed the "South China Sea arbitration case" enacted by the Philippines.

The U.S. not only provided personnel and money, but also drafted the "indictment", showing more interests in the case than the Philippines itself.

Before the arbitration was awarded, the U.S. also colluded with Japan and other lackeys to manipulate its dominant power of say and hype up the topic, trying to force China to "accept the award unconditionally".

In light of Article 298 of the UNCLOS, China has exercised the legitimate right of a sovereign nation to not participate in or accept the arbitration, which safeguards the authority of UNCLOS.

The U.S. is neither a country in the South China Sea region nor a claimant of maritime rights and interests there. It has refused to join the UNCLOS to date, and has refused to accept the arbitration awarded by international court over disputes with neighboring countries. How dare a country like this force China, a UNCLOS member, to accept the arbitration award by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea?

By Peng Guangqian, an expert on military strategy. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of the China Military Online website.

Next page