Deluded Western media see slap in the face for Beijing

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/6/15 16:56:07

The Special China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on Monday and Tuesday in the southern Chinese city of Yuxi, Yunnan Province. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN dialogue relationship, and both sides are preparing for a commemorative summit. Meanwhile, the South China Sea issue remains a heated topic while the final ruling of the arbitration case over part of the waters will soon be unveiled. This has placed the meeting under a spotlight.

During a gathering of this kind, it is natural to hear different opinions. Yet the West, which has failed to find any divergence between China and the ASEAN for a long time, finally found something special and reported on a so-called joint statement on Tuesday evening. 

“We express our serious concerns over recent and ongoing developments, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and which may have the potential to undermine peace, security and stability in the South China Sea. We emphasize the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities, including land reclamation, which may raise tensions in the South China Sea,” the statement said.

According to the Western media, although China was not mentioned by name, the wordings in the statement, seen as a “rare diplomatic slap in the face for Beijing,” were unusually tough.

However, is this an official joint statement made by ASEAN nations? Have all ASEAN members reached a consensus over the content? If there were an actual joint statement, it should be announced by the foreign minister of the current China-ASEAN dialogue relations coordinator, rather than through a groundless report.

What exactly are the “ongoing developments” in the South China Sea? There is no reason to explain it as “China’s unilateral actions.” For the moment, the most unstable factor in the waters is the US gestures of military involvement, which has brought uncertainties threatening regional stability. 

Do all ASEAN nations want to slap China in the face? Do they want to make all the communications during the foreign ministers’ meeting be in vain and raise more tensions in the South China Sea? Obviously not. 

A small number among the Western media have long being trying to express that ASEAN is collectively voicing their discontent toward China. But the unshakeable truth is that China and ASEAN are a community of common destiny. Peace and stability in the South China Sea will benefit both sides. Divergences between China and certain nations should not become a dominant factor of the regional situation, nor should it be utilized by other major powers. 

It is interesting that not long after the “joint statement” was revealed, Western media reported that Malaysia, which released the declaration, retracted it late Tuesday night. It can be argued that the new incident has proved all the points above.

Posted in: Editorial

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