US short-range surveillance must stop

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-8-25 0:23:02

The Pentagon on Friday announced that a US spy plane was driven away by a Chinese fighter jet off Hainan Island on August 19, blaming China for instigating a provocative and dangerous midair encounter. The Chinese military denied the allegations, pointing out that this incident was directly caused by the massive US surveillance operations against China.

In 2001, an in-flight collision between a Chinese interceptor and a US spy plane happened 100 kilometers off Hainan Island. Now, a similar incident has occurred 220 kilometers off the island. This means China is pushing the range of the US surveillance off the coastline, a trend which will not be stopped.

Washington always argues that such short-range surveillance of China is conducted within international airspace and waters, and it has every right to do so. But China has made up its mind to force the US to back down from this so-called freedom. If private communications won't work, China has no choice but intercept these surveillance actions, which will increase Washington's risk of continuing such actions.

The large-scale implementation of reconnaissance by US warships and aircraft in the coastal waters and airspace of China is one of the three major barriers that keep impeding the Sino-US military relationship. The others are the US' arms sale to Taiwan and its National Defense Authorization Act posing discriminatory restrictions on China.

But such reconnaissance is posing a threat to China's core security interests, which could be treated as an act of hostility. If the roles of China and the US were reversed on this matter, Washington would not accept it.

The US has gotten used to doing whatever it wants, so it became frustrated and bad-tempered when China responded sternly.

It would be a life and death fight between China and the US if the collisions in the South China Sea became confrontations concerning both sides' core interests. But it is not. China is guarding its national security, and the US is enjoying a kind of complacence as a super power.

If what happened in 2001 happened again, the consequences would probably be much worse. China would have to give up the golden period of strategic opportunity, but we don't know how the US would react. Washington must understand that Chinese society will do anything to protect its national security.

We believe that maintaining dominance is what the US desires most in Asia, but it needs to act like it is playing a game with China, another major power, without showing too much aggression, because it will make the US exhausted.

The US military has the power to sustain the US dominance internationally, but it is unable to command every country or nation. In East Asia, the US doesn't have the determination to be fully committed to things that are not in its core interests.

The US should be prepared to withdraw its spy planes from China's coastlines, as it is violating China's core interests. Or, there will be more clashes in the future.


Posted in: Editorial