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Understanding Beijing's motives of South China Sea policy (I)

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

11-26-2015 16:22 BJT

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

In recent years, lurid articles criticizing China in regards to the South China Seas topic have been published by the Western media. And despite the APEC meeting in Manila and East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur making efforts to promote regional cooperation, some countries had engaged in unnecessary disputes over the South China Sea.


Sensationalizing "China threat theory"

US President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders attempted to draw international attention to the so-called "China threat theory." Nevertheless, Chinese leaders reaffirmed their commitment to peace and declared Beijing's policies on the South China Sea. 
"Sincerity”, "containment and assimilation"

Some outside observers believe Beijing favors diplomatic concepts of "sincerity", "containment and assimilation." Beijing is correcting outside erroneous judgments to maintain friendly relations with other countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke at National University of Singapore earlier this month. He explained the South China Sea islands have remained China's territory since ancient times. Beijing hopes to maintain peace and stability in the area. The South China Sea does not currently struggle with any navigation or overflight problems.

"Although some South China Sea islands have been illegally occupied by others, Beijing insists on settling disputes through peaceful means. China will negotiate with directly concerned countries on the basis of historical evidence, and in accordance with international law, " said Xi.

He added, "We welcome extra-regional countries to play a positive role."  Chinese people are supportive of their neighbors. Concerned parties should handle differences properly. As an ancient saying goes, "the finer details fall into place when they align with the bigger picture ."

Clear principles

At the 10th East Asian Summit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang explained China's principles on the South China Sea. Beijing endorses a dual-track approach, calling for negotiations among sovereign states directly concerned. 

For many years, the South China Sea has maintained peace without external interference. Now we are implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), conducting pragmatic cooperation.

Beijing advocates safeguarding the freedom of navigation and overflight of the South China Sea. China's main trading countries are located in the region.  An unstable situation could harm all involved. China's construction on its own islands and reefs is reasonable and legitimate, not intended to target other countries.

The freedom of navigation and overflight exercised by some countries is supposed to respect to the sovereignty of coastal countries in the region. China would support joint development projects. China wishes to build the South China Sea into a model of peace, friendship and cooperation. All countries should commit to observing the United Nations Charter in the South China Sea.

Sovereign countries should stand in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS of 1982, to settle disputes via negotiations. China and ASEAN countries should implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. Nations from outside the region should uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Reaching consensus on South China Sea

As the host country of East Asia leaders' meetings, Malaysia had contributed to the success of the summit. The chairman's statement mentioned the South China Sea.

The statement was "positive in general," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, demonstrating the political will of all countries present to beef up cooperation and address challenges together. "These are all consensus reached by parties participating in the meetings," he said.

(To be continued)


( 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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