S.China Sea should not be Bermuda for US

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/21 23:43:39

US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant vessel east of Singapore early Monday, resulting in 10 US Navy sailors missing and five injured. On June 17, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan, leaving seven US sailors dead.

The two severe collisions within two months show that the US Navy's combat readiness level and military management level have both declined.

The USS John S. McCain passed close to the Meiji Reef of the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea earlier this month. The USS Fitzgerald often conducted "freedom of navigation" operations in the South China Sea.

On China's Internet sphere, there is applause from Chinese netizens about the latest accident. This reflects the sentiment of Chinese society toward the activities of the US Navy in the South China Sea. The missing and injured US sailors deserve sympathy. The humanitarian care between the Chinese and American people is often affected by frictions between the two navies in China's peripheral areas, which is worth attention from the strategic elites of the two sides.

The US Navy and US destroyers which patrol in the South China Sea are not China's enemy. China and the US are engaged in a rivalry in the South China Sea. There is a possibility that the two navies will come to a showdown, but it is more likely that the two countries can avoid such a scenario. Both should work on avoiding clashes, while obviously the US Pacific Command did not do that. Its activities only aim at putting China in check.

US warships are constantly involved in accidents around the South China Sea. On the one hand, the US Navy has behaved arrogantly in the Asia-Pacific region. It lacks respect for huge merchant ships and fails to take evasive action in time, thus resulting in serious accidents.

On the other hand, US warships patrol too frequently in the Asia-Pacific. A large number of merchant vessels, of many types and flagged from many nations, use Asian sea lanes. If the US Navy wants to keep its frequent presence in the waters, it needs to get familiar and interact with these merchant ships, which requires huge expenditure.

But still the US Navy conducts many risky military activities without full preparation.

The frequent collisions of US warships with merchant vessels offer a warning to the Americans that they should restrain themselves.

The South China Sea is not the US Navy's Bermuda Triangle, but the inability of the US Navy to adapt to this region requires research by Washington. The geopolitical pattern in the South China Sea keeps changing, and the US should be aware of it.

The South China Sea should become a sea of peace. Its sea lanes should be the safest. All the countries should contribute to peace rather than being an agent of destabilization. It is hoped that the US Navy can play a constructive role. We would like to see all the US warships and their sailors remain safe.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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