US sea meddling makes trouble for itself

By Ge Hongliang
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Global Times, March 3, 2016
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A fisherwoman waits for her husband on the coast on the Zhaoshu Island in Sansha City, south China's Hainan Province, Dec. 11, 2015. (Xinhua/Zhao Yingquan)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid a three-day visit to the US last week at the invitation of Secretary of State John Kerry. The South China Sea issue was high on the agenda during their meeting. This came as a result of Washington pursuing a "rebalance" to the Asia-Pacific region and interfering with the South China Sea in recent years, which, however, has not only imposed strategic pressure on China but also invited trouble for the US itself.

The South China Sea issue has been hyped since 2009, gradually escalating into a regional security hotspot and a key topic of Sino-US competition. Although an external player, the US has been playing a primary role in internationalizing the South China Sea issue.

Washington has launched a "rebalancing" policy with its "return" to Southeast Asia to further consolidate and expand its relations with countries in the region. Meanwhile, it has also kept meddling in the South China Sea disputes.

Instead of keeping a neutral position in territorial disputes, the Obama administration accuses China of worsening the scenario over the waters through political dialogues with the Philippines, Vietnam and other states who boast rival claims.

In addition, the US has carried out a series of dialogues with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), expecting it to adopt a united and powerful stand in the South China Sea controversy and making it an issue between China and the whole bloc.

Manila gained the White House's support in launching the arbitration case in the South China Sea in 2013. At the two-day summit between Chinese President Xi jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama in Sunnylands, California in early June of the same year, the South China Sea issue was put high on the agenda.

Since then, senior US government officials have blamed China for bullying smaller and weaker nations on many regional and international occasions. The US navy has conducted patrols in the waters in the name of safeguarding the freedom of navigation and over-flight.

Washington has accused Beijing of land reclamation activities outside the scope of Beijing's sovereignty, and called for it to halt the ongoing projects and stop militarizing disputed areas. Besides patrolling at the sea frequently, the US has also increased defense dialogues with Southeast Asian countries and deepened military cooperation with them.

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