Many peo­ple in both coun­tries tend to be­lieveWash­ing­ton and Bei­jing could clash over the South China Sea is­sue. But were such a clash to take place, it would serve nei­ther party’s in­ter­ests.

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

re­gional pow­ers— China and In­dia. As the world’s sole su­per­power, the US is much more pow­er­ful than any coun­try in the re­gion and be­yond. There­fore, the more it chooses to show off its force, the more peo­ple would in­ter­pret it as lack of con­fi­dence in its power pro­jec­tion in the fu­ture.

Send­ing a spy plane to China’s coast, a prac­tice the US has been fol­low­ing for decades, could also re­flec­tWash­ing­ton’s tough­en­ing stance to­ward Bei­jing’s recla­ma­tion and con­struc­tion work in the South China Sea. But Bei­jing sees nei­ther rea­son nor le­git­i­macy in Wash­ing­ton’s ar­gu­ment, be­cause it is car­ry­ing out the recla­ma­tion and con­struc­tion work in its ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters which will have no im­pact on free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion in and fly­ing over the South Chin Sea.

Be­sides, the crit­i­cisms la­beled by the US against China are based on fa­voritism and un­fair­ness be­cause the Philip­pines and Viet­nam have built many fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing mil­i­tary ones, on China’s is­lands and islets in the South China Sea that they are il­le­gally oc­cu­py­ing. Sur­pris­ingly, the US has never seen their ac­tiv­i­ties as trou­bling.

Un­der such cir­cum­stances, Bei­jing will nei­ther yield to what it deems asWash­ing­ton’s bul­ly­ing tac­tics (flex­ing of mus­cles) nor wilt un­der the pres­sure of its un­war­ranted crit­i­cisms. On the con­trary, it will con­tinue with greater de­ter­mi­na­tion to carry out the recla­ma­tion and con­struc­tion work. In short, China will re­main un­daunted to fur­ther provo­ca­tions from the US.

As to the US sup­port for its al­lies’ il­le­gal ter­ri­to­rial claims in the South China Sea, it could prove to be a dou­ble-edged sword; it could end up be­ing coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. For one thing, a mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion be­tween the world’s largest and sec­ond-largest economies in the South China Sea can be good for nei­ther side or, for that mat­ter, any other coun­try.

Last week’s in­ci­dent has ob­vi­ously raised ten­sions in the re­gion and af­fected Sino-US ties. Many peo­ple in both coun­tries tend to be­lieveWash­ing­ton and Bei­jing could clash over the South China Sea is­sue. But were such a clash to take place, it would serve nei­ther party’s in­ter­ests.

Wash­ing­ton ob­vi­ously needs a se­ri­ous re­think be­fore it an­nounces a ma­jor change in its pol­icy and de­cides to openly con­tain the rise of China, be­cause the price of do­ing so could be very costly.

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