Inappropriate drills intrude on S.China Sea

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-4-21 0:38:02

The US and the Philippines kick-started their "Shoulder to Shoulder" joint military exercises Monday. The drill was abruptly doubled this year, and is located only 220 kilometers away from China's Huangyan Island. Despite Philippine President Benigno Aquino III's repeated stresses that the exercise is not intended to be against China, few believe he means it.

Of all the countries involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the Philippines is the one with the most tricks up its sleeves, but none of its tricks work. Can anyone believe that China can be bluffed to make compromises when others show off their military muscle? We will simply find it laughable while imagining Philippine personnel stumbling after US forces.

US-Philippine military drills have been conducted 31 times. But none has achieved effective leverage for Manila in the South China Sea. However, after being the "cute little submissive" of the US all these years, Manila has gained only a handful of second-hand weapons and an empty sense of security, let alone any real enhancement of its army's combat capability. In the end, it has earned nothing but growing dependency on the US.

Though the South China Sea issue is quite complex, the solution to it is not out of reach. China is always clear in its stance of sticking to the principle of bilateral negotiation to solve existing disputes. However, the Philippines insists on diverting to another path even after meeting obstacles. We wish Manila can deal with the issue with more wisdom.

Nevertheless, the US is truly calculating. Despite its restricted financial capability, it manages to execute the pivot to Asia strategy at a small cost, even creating waves in the South China Sea.

For Washington, the more complicated the South China Sea is, the more advantages the US will get. Yet only win-win cooperation is the irresistible trend in the region, and every country in the area should recognize it.

The South China Sea would actually become more stable if there is no US involvement or stirring up from the Philippines.

But there is no "if" in the reality, and we have to accept the truth. One thing for certain, though, is that the more the win-win cooperation could be expanded, the easier it will be to resolve the island disputes.

Today we also celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference in Indonesia, in which more than 100 state leaders of African and Asian countries, including all claimants to the South China Sea, will participate. It is time to reflect on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence proposed by Chinese premier Zhou Enlai at the Bandung Conference. It is of relevance to today's disputes in the South and East China seas.

The widely proactive responses to the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the "One Belt and One Road" initiative give us hope that we can be confident over peace in the South China Sea. The thunder of guns made by Washington and Manila there is inappropriate and of little use.

Posted in: Editorial

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