The role that US played in the South China Sea
FTFU YING, WU SHICUN ROM the perspective of many Chinese people, the US is the invisible hand behind the rising tension in the South China Sea, who further complicated and intensified the situation in the South China Sea and in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.
Since 2014, the US has made clearer responses to China in the South China Sea, in postures of direct intervention in the disputes and often in favor of other claimants, especially its own allies. In February, 2014, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel said that China was “lack of clarity with regard to its South China Sea claims has created uncertainty, insecurity and instability in the region.” He also urged China to clarify its nine-dash line claim. This was the first explicit and official comment made by the US to challenge China on the South China Sea issue. In the same month, US Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral Jonathan Greenert announced US’s support for the Philippines in the event of a ChinaPhilippines conflict.
As well as undermining the US credibility as a potential mediator, the US’s dramatically altered policy on the South China Sea has heightened China’s fears that its interests would be further undermined, thus inspiring its determination and measures to defend them.
Echoing its policy readjustments, the US has accelerated provocative and coercive actions that are clearly targeted at China. For example, the US’s surveillance at the Nansha Islands and its surrounding waters have intensified. Also, as a way to flex its muscle and assert freedom of navigation, the US keeps sending ships to sail within 12 nautical miles of the Nansha Islands or even the non-disputed Xisha Islands. In October 2015 and January 2016, the USS Lassen and Curtis navigated or trespassed within 12 nautical miles of Zhubi Reef (Subi Reef) and Zhongjian Island respectively. US Pacific Command commander Harry Harris even openly declared to take more sophisticated and wide-ranging activities in the future, and send warships to the South China Sea about twice a quarter.
Other deterrent actions taken by the US include the followings: In July 2015, the new commander of the US Pacific Fleet Admiral Scott Swift joined the surveillance mission on board the ASW P-8A Poseidon to conduct close-in reconnaissance at the South China Sea; on November 5, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter cruised on the USS Roosevelt, and when he began to deliver a speech on board, the carrier was churning through the disputed waters south of the Nansha Islands; on November 8 and 9, two US B-52 strategic bombers flew near the Chinese islands under construction; and during his visit to the Philippines on April 15, 2016, Carter landed aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and joined a patrol in the South China Sea. US warships and planes also frequently conducted “innocent passage” through China’s territorial waters and airspace.
The US has also sought to strengthen its alliance system and forces network surrounding the South China Sea. The US has been stepping up deployment of forces around the South China Sea rim, including the Australian port of Darwin, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia. The US is also enhancing cooperation with Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam to conduct intelligence gathering and enhance maritime domain awareness capabilities in the region, and expanding military support to some claimants in the dispute like the Philippines and Vietnam.
The US’s military deployment in the South China Sea has further flared up tensions in the region, giving the disputes in the South China Sea larger than real role on the international strategic chessboard. The apparent China-US rivalry is seemingly taking over other disputes in the region and starts to occupy center stage. The Chinese are thus prompted to ask a question: what is the US playing at in the South China Sea this time? MARIA DUBOVIKOVA HOMAS Mair has won. Jo Cox has failed. No, this is not ascertaining the recent murder of the brilliant British MP, but an allegorical description of the results of the Brexit vote. The British people have rejected the several advantages of life in the European family. They said no to refugees and yes to nationalism; probably yes to disintegration.
The reasons why the majority had voted to leave are numerous, but three major factors played a key role in determining the result. First is the traditional, geographically predetermined, British nationalism, which received a strong boost since the strengthening of Brussels influence and power, since the beginning of the refugee crisis and the rise of xenophobia and Islamophobia. Secondly, it was also about irresponsible attitude toward the referendum itself.
According to recent data, “leave” voters now avow that they would re-vote to “stay” if the second referendum were offered. This is because, while voting to “leave” they could not actually imagine that such a scenario is really possible in their country. Thirdly, it is elementary ignorance of basic understanding of matters related to vote.
Many people voted not by using their mind, but intuition, or just by chance, plunging their country into a crisis in the process. Churchill’s famous quote is relevant here: “The best argument against a democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter!” This average voter has apparently thrown a huge stone in the system that generations have been constructing brick by brick.
In the current situation, the resignation of David Cameron looks like an act of cowardice. He played with the European Union, tried to arm-twist Brussels and pushed it to give Britain more preferences. He basically overplayed the entire thing. It was he who started the Brexit story.
He had to be the one to accept the results no matter what they were. To start a fight and then to retreat after such vote and such decision would have been the true punishment for him.
Matthew Norman wrote in The Independent, that Cameron “will go down in history as the Prime Minister who killed his country”.
It should also be admitted that David Cameron would have hardly launched a debate over Brexit if he had known that the vote would be “to leave”. He was sure of the opposite result.
There is also something wrong with the election survey these days. They depict a false picture to the