Dai: MacArthur backed return of islands
“Many of you were probably not aware of this, but China’s actions to restore the islands were supported by General Douglas MacArthur,” Dai said.
After Japan’s surrender, China’s military and government personnel were ferried by US-provided military vessels to Xisha and Nansha Islands to hold the restoration ceremony.
“After that, the US filed applications to Chinese authorities on Taiwan to conduct geodetic survey in some of Nansha Islands on many occasions,” he said.
“All this shows that the return of Nansha Islands to China is part of the postwar international order and relevant territorial arrangements,” Dai pointed out.
Ambassador Roy said there are some very constructive elements in Dai’s speech, and he highlighted three points.
“One is both sides try to lower the temperature in the South China Sea, that’s very important,” he said.
“Secondly, he (Dai) said that territory issues should be resolved peacefully through negotiations, not through the use of force; that’s an important part of China’s position, and I think we need to pay attention to it,” Roy continued.
“The third point was China and the United States should work cooperatively on this issue; that’s a very important point also.”
Shi Yinhong, an expert on US studies at Renmin University of China, said that if there are provocations from either the Philippines or the US and others after the ruling.
“China will certainly respond, in both diplomatic and military ways”.
William Jones, Washington bureau chief for Executive Intelligence Review (EIR), said Dai gave an excellent speech and presentation of the Chinese position.
“I hope it is widely understood and widely read by people in the (US) administration, although sometimes I doubt whether they will change their views,” Jones said.
“But I think it’s very important because he addressed on one hand the necessity of avoiding a conflict in the region over this issue.
“But (Dai) also criticized the position that China would have to accept what the US has been calling the international law but which many legal scholars and many countries don’t consider binding on China.”
Myron Nordquist, associate director and editor of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia School of Law, said he believes the US is behind the issue “because it wants to get back to the military base it was kicked out of”.
All this shows that the return of Nansha Islands to China is part of the postwar international order and relevant territorial arrangements.”
Niu Yue in Washington and Chen Weihua in Hawaii contributed to this story.
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Former State councilor Dai Bingguo (center) and Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai (fourth from right) with Chinese and American think tank experts at the China-US Dialogue on the South China Sea held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Tuesday in Washington.