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Obama provokes South China Sea tensions

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

11-18-2015 17:20 BJT

By Ling Dequan, researcher, Center for World Affairs Studies, Xinhua News Agency

After arriving in Manila, Philippines on Nov. 17 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) informal leaders' meeting, US President Barack Obama's first move was to board the Philippines patrol boat, an old navy frigate that was delivered four years ago from the US.

 

The move is irrelevant, but the White House had announced it on Monday, demonstrating the act as deliberate.

The 23rd APEC meeting theme is "Building inclusive economies; building a better world." The US should assume its due responsibility, since it holds much influence in the Asia-Pacific.

Accordingly, boarding the Philippines' navy frigate and giving speech to reporters at Manila Harbor, Obama is stirring up strife.

Obama said, "The Philippines was the real victim of the waterway dispute, because other countries had illegally occupied their islands." He used the plural form "other countries." Which countries were he referring to? China is among them, but who else?

Washington has repeatedly claimed that it holds "no position" over sovereignty disputes of the South China Sea islands and reefs. Yet, Washington accused, "other countries had illegally occupied islands there." Wasn’t it a clear position?

Observers believe Obama is provoking the South China Sea dispute. "My visit here underscored our shared commitment to the security of the waters of this region and the freedom of navigation," said Obama, flanked by two dozen US and Philippines uniformed navy personnel.

"Maintaining maritime safety and freedom of navigation" has been frequently uttered in the past several years by the US government. Let’s ask: Are there any problems with safety and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea? The answer is no.

Same as the Straits of Malacca, the South China Sea holds a strong strategic value for coastal nations in the region. Maintaining security and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is related to regional and world stability and prosperity.

China has affirmed its commitment and made important contributions. Beijing advocates "two-track thinking" to handle the South China Sea issue in recent years.

All disputes should be settled through negotiations by countries directly concerned, and China and ASEAN countries should jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Agence France-Presse said, "Obama's move is likely to anger China." Perhaps this comment from Manila revealed the true intentions of some people.

Beijing will give a necessary, legitimate and appropriate response, but not act "outraged." China's South China Sea policy remains clear and firm, said Chinese President Xi Jinping when he delivered a speech at the Singapore Parliament on Nov. 7.

Washington has been frequently challenging Beijing in the waters around Nansha Islands - dispatching cruise ships and even conducting B-52 bomber’s fly-overs. Apparently, Obama is deliberately stirring up turmoil over the South China Sea with malicious intent.

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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