The sixth-generation semi-submersible CNOOC 981 is seen in the South China Sea, 320 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong. This is the first deep-water drilling rig developed in China. It will begin operations Wednesday in a sea area at a water depth of 1,500 meters, China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) said Monday. Photo: Xinhua
The standoff over Huangyan Island in the South China Sea continues and Manila appears fully prepared to create more tensions.
China's foreign ministry has noted that China is fully prepared to respond to Manila's move to escalate the situation. The remarks are seen as China sending a sign that it will not rule out the use of force.
Repeated warnings have been ignored by the Philippines since it started the standoff in Huangyan Island in April. It appears that tough action is needed as the impasse continues. The Chinese public is puzzled by Manila's continuous provocation. A feeling of indignation is fomenting within the country that has been sticking to a low-profile approach.
Peace will be a luxury if tensions continue to rise. Right now, Manila is keen to stir up the situation with its public opinion showing an overzealous nationalistic tendency, and the current administration is exploiting it to cement its rule. Under the circumstances, the Philippines needs to be taught a lesson for its aggressive nationalism.
For China, the standoff over Huangyan Island is a matter of sovereignty. And now Manila needs to be defeated in this area. Otherwise, harassment from Philippine ships will never end if they think it won't cost anything to humiliate China just to unite its people.
The situation has come to a stage where China has to ensure a victory, even if it means it may cost more than imagined. The lasting crisis will come at the expense of China's unity.
A more determined response will receive wide support from the Chinese public. If the standoff escalates into a military clash, the international community should not be completely surprised.
The political implications of using force against Philippine provocation cannot be exaggerated. China's determination to safeguard its sovereignty needs to be clearly felt by the outside world.
Despite China's efforts, even including the possible military option, disputes in the South China Sea are unlikely to be solved soon. During this lengthy process, Chinese authorities should make a stand and show their principles to the public, not torment their tolerance.
Solving the Huangyan Island crisis may bring complicated consequences, but it will not be serious enough to endanger China's national destiny.
Right now, Manila is keen to stir up the situation with its public opinion showing an overzealous nationalistic tendency, and the current administration is exploiting it to cement its rule.
Global Times Report
Deep-water drilling starts
The nation's first indigenous deep-water drilling rig, the CNOOC 981, will begin operations Wednesday in an area in the South China Sea 320 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong.
The move, hailed by analysts as an effective way to reinforce China's territorial claims in the region, came amid an ongoing standoff between Chinese and Philippine ships in waters near Huangyan Island.
Huangyan white paper a needed step
The standoff between China and the Philippines over Huangyan Island is still going on. The Philippines has threatened to internationalize the territorial disputes by bringing international arbitration against China.
South China Sea Conflict