Yongshu Reef project not a concern of US

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-11-24 0:03:01

The US military has urged China to halt its vast land reclamation project on the Yongshu Reef in the Nansha Islands on Friday. It claimed the project is one of several pursued by China and that it could accommodate an airstrip. The US hopes that China and other countries around the South China Sea cease such efforts.

According to Western reports, in the past three months, China built an island at least 3,000 meters long and between 200 and 300 meters wide. They believe China is building an airfield, which may change "the strategic landscape in the South China Sea."

In August, the US urged all sides to halt disputed actions, including construction. It seemed impartial, but its real intention was to contain China. In previous years, Vietnam and the Philippines have done whatever they could, such as constructing facilities and allowing people to dwell on the reefs in the Nansha Islands. But when China recently gained the ability to do the same, the US stood up and urged all sides to stop these projects. This shows particular bias.

The US is not a claimant of the South China Sea. China does not support any intervention by external countries in disputes in the South China Sea. The US is even more unwelcome when it acts selfishly. China's construction on the Yongshu Reef will not be affected by US words.

The Yongshu Reef is China's territory and is under actual control of China. Due to the existing competition in the South China Sea, Vietnam and the Philippines are expected to make a mountain out of a molehill, yet they should still restrain their stances.

The Yongshu Reef is becoming a big island, which shows China's prominent construction capabilities. More importantly, it is worth noting that China's projects have avoided direct conflicts with Vietnam and the Philippines. It shows that China cherishes peace in the South China Sea. China will not take the initiative to compete with Vietnam and the Philippines to get the land by force, although China occupies an advantageous military position in the South China Sea.

Vietnam and the Philippines should get used to China's island-construction in the South China Sea. We hope that the US can also get used to China's more frequent presence in the seas. China has never openly urged US aircraft carriers to stop cruising in the South China Sea. US surveillance flights have often flown close to Chinese territory, which is even more unacceptable. Now the Pentagon points the finger at China over its island construction to display its smugness, and we should just ignore it.

China's policies on the South China Sea will remain pragmatic. It is hoped that the US will stay calm and strike a balance when dealing with China over the South China Sea disputes. The world should be able to see that China has tried its best to avoid the sharpest disputes in the Nansha Islands when it acts on the Yongshu Reef.

If one looks at how a powerful party usually behaves over territorial disputes, one will realize that China's reputation for being "tough" is utterly groundless.

Posted in: Editorial

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