S.China Sea quieter without US dabbling

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-4-10 22:13:01

US President Barack Obama on Thursday pointed his fingers at China's recent construction and maintenance work on islets in South China Sea, accusing China of using its "sheer size and muscle" to bully around its small neighbors such as Vietnam and Philippines in the region.

On the same day, US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at a briefing that China's land reclamation activities could "militarize outposts on disputed land features in the South China Sea."

Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, just wrapped up his four-day visit to China on Friday. The visit has warmed up the two countries' ties, as both sides agreed to better manage maritime disputes.

The US government's accusations against China run contrary to this positive trend.

Look at how much Vietnam and the Philippines have done in the past in constructing outposts and moving in residents on the islets. The US did not ever utter a word about that.

When China began to build something on the islets, the US immediately jumped out to warn of the "serious situation."

The world is clear about the US role in the South China Sea. Washington may no longer feel comfortable in stressing its neutrality or fairness. It is trying to "rebalance" this region with an open bias.

The constructions China builds on the islets do not necessarily bring regional tension. The facilities can bring benefits, as the Chinese authorities said, they can be used to shelter fishermen from storms, help with shipping, search and rescue and meteorological observation.

It is natural for all parties involved in this region to stay on alert and be suspicious. But as time goes by, the countries will be more able to distinguish the good intentions from hostility.

The US is an external force that damages the regional countries' attempt to solve disputes through dialogue. When Vietnam and the Philippines are incited to confront China, the US is the only winner.

However, the US did not score as much as it had wanted. Most of the Southeast Asian countries applied to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank proposed by China.

The One Belt, One Road initiatives raised by China to boost cooperation with countries on land and at sea, is also attracting more countries.

Geopolitics does not dominate everything in the South China Sea, as diversity, optimism and reason are still the themes in this region.

China's activities on the islets are unlikely to be affected by Obama's speech.

China is capable of managing the differences in this region.

Posted in: Editorial

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