US dis­plays a dou­ble stan­dard again

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

The re­cent re­marks of a US spokesman over the Philip­pines govern­ment’s provoca­tive ac­tiv­i­ties in the South China Sea re­flects the du­plic­ity of the United States. At the de­part­ment’s daily news brief­ing, Mark C. Toner, deputy spokesper­son for the US De­part­ment of State, gave only a vague re­sponse when asked a ques­tion aboutManila’s up­grad­ing of a mil­i­tary air­port on the Zhongye Is­land that it seized from China in the 1970s.

Toner re­fused to crit­i­cize the Philip­pines govern­ment’s ac­tiv­ity, claim­ing he did not know much about the is­sue.

“I don’t have spe­cific de­tails about what they (the Philip­pines) are plan­ning to do or not do on the is­lands, and we’d have to wait to get more de­tails about that.” he said.

Manila said in 2014 and last year that it had halted work at the air­port on Zhongye Is­land, yet it has sent sub­stan­tial amounts of con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als and var­i­ous types of gaso­line to the is­land.

De­spite this, Wash­ing­ton has failed to act on the fact that its ally has failed to honor its com­mit­ment.

On the con­trary, when China fin­ished con­struc­tion of a light­house on Zhubi Reef in a bid to pro­vide ef­fi­cient nav­i­ga­tion ser­vices to ships, the US State De­part­ment quickly voiced its op­po­si­tion.

The two dif­fer­ent at­ti­tudes can’t help make peo­ple ques­tion the dou­ble stan­dard dis­played by the US, which goes against its prom­ise not to take sides on the South China Sea dis­putes.

For a long time, the US has turned a blind eye to the fact that some coun­tries in­clud­ing the Philip­pines have been beef­ing up de­fense fa­cil­i­ties, con­struct­ing air­ports and sea­ports and set­tling res­i­dents on the is­lands that they il­le­gally seized from China in the South China Sea.

But when­ever China con­ducts any con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties on theNan­sha is­lands and reefs, which fall within the scope of China’s sovereignty, the US al­ways ex­presses its strong op­po­si­tion and sus­pi­cion.

TheUS has the most so­phis­ti­cated weapons sys­tems, de­fen­sive and of­fen­sive, which are de­ployed across the world. But af­ter China de­ployed a mis­sile sys­tem on Yongx­ing Is­land, part of theXisha Is­lands in the South China Sea, theUS said it ex­pected to hold “very se­ri­ous talks” with China. Its al­lies also ex­pressed con­cern over the de­vel­op­ment.

As far as theUS is con­cerned, there is ob­vi­ously one rule for some na­tions and an­other for China. The South China Sea is not the only ex­am­ple of this. TheUS has also shown dou­ble stan­dards on many other is­sues, such as cy­ber se­cu­rity and the set­ting up of air-de­fense iden­ti­fi­ca­tion zones.

The author is a writer with China Daily. an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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