US ramps up military provocations despite calls to set 'guardrails' in high-level meeting
Internal chaos, hypocrisy in policymaking exposed: expert
Published: Jul 17, 2022 08:30 PM
USS Benfold DDG-65 file photo:cnsphotos

USS Benfold DDG-65 file photo:cnsphotos

The US has approved new arms sales to the island of Taiwan and sent a warship close to China's Nansha and Xisha islands in the South China Sea, only a week after a five-hour high-level bilateral meeting on July 9, which analysts believe fully demonstrates the internal chaos of US policy and its hypocrisy. 

The US destroyer USS Benfold sailed near the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea on Saturday, Reuters reported, citing a US Navy statement.  

The provocation near the Nansha islands came after the same US warship was warned away on Wednesday by naval and air forces of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command for illegally entering Chinese territorial waters of the Xisha Islands also in the South China Sea.

On Friday, the US State Department approved the possible sale of military technical assistance to Taiwan for an estimated cost of $108 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a press release. 

The deal is the US' fourth arms sale to the island of Taiwan in 2022 and the fifth under the Biden administration.

These recent military provocations fully demonstrate the US' hypocrisy in calling for "guardrails" for bilateral relations, a Beijing-based expert on international relations, who requested not to be named, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

The US shouts about the need to manage divergences and prevent conflicts, yet it continues its dangerous provocations over the most sensitive topics including the Taiwan question and South China Sea, which conforms to the US' tradition in foreign policy -  talk the talk but not walk the walk, the expert said. 

Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times in an earlier interview that the Washington-proposed "guardrails" are entirely self-serving, as it wants to keep the bottom line of China-US relations stable and free of high-intensity conflict. But at the same time it seeks to contain China's development.

Observers pointed out the internal conflicts and chaos in the US' policymaking, as different US departments and officials send out different, sometimes opposite signals over a range of issues. The widening gap between US words and deeds has made the US "not trustworthy at all" in international affairs.  

Yet China has fully recognized the US' nature and is prepared for all scenarios - China is always open for dialogue and communication but the same time is on high alert over US provocations. 

A sequence of frequent interactions between senior officials from China and the US since June, including the meeting between Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Bali, have underscored the two sides' consensus on avoiding escalating confrontations. But Chinese analysts still urged the US to take more concrete actions, rather than just lip service, to reduce twists and turns impacting bilateral relations.

On Wednesday, the PLA Southern Theater Command warned away the USS Benfold and for the first time published photos of the operation, in a move that analysts said reflects the PLA's growing confidence and readiness against US provocations. 

China no longer has unrealistic illusions over the US, and the PLA is preparing for the worst-case scenario in which a cross-Straits conflict would take place in order to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, analysts said.

Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, pointed out that in addition to a hegemonic mentality behind its intensifying military provocations, the US also feels anxious over China's growing capabilities to defend itself. 

The US military's warplanes and warships approach the waters and airspace near China to flex their muscles, show off their presence and assert US hegemony, Wei said. "But the US will end up lifting a stone only to drop on its own feet," the expert said.

China is holding military exercises in a large area in the South China Sea from Sunday to Wednesday, according to a navigational notice released by the Maritime Safety Administration on Friday.