Erdogan speaks with Abbas on Turkish-Israeli deal over Gaza
To be specific, China’s policy objectives in the South China Sea could be read through the following angles.
First, China’s fundamental policy objective for the South China Sea is to safeguard its sovereignty and maritime rights. Tactically, China has been refraining from proactive motions, which means to act with restraint, and to take countermeasures when provoked. As for the current status quo of some of the Nansha islands and reefs under other countries’ occupation, China will not give up its sovereignty stance. However, considering that China has significantly increased its capacity to control the situation and to prevent any further loss, it is highly advisable that as long as no new major threat looms large, China should continue to uphold the policy of “shelving the disputes and seeking joint development”, and to take in store the reality in the field. The outcome of the arbitration initiated by the Philippines could not shake China’s fundamental policy lines. Second, China’s policy on the South China Sea also concerns the freedom and safety of navigation. Being an international pathway of strategic importance, the South China Sea has the busiest commercial shipping routes, allowing 40 percent of the world’s ocean freight to pass through. The freedom and safety of navigation in the area are indispensable to all major economies, China included. As the biggest benefactor of the pathway, China relies on those routes for 70 to 80 percent of its trade and energy supplies. The pathway also serves as an important passage for the Chinese navy to sail to the wider sea.
Third, the common denominator of China and its neighbors in the South China Sea is regional peace and stability. China does not have an agenda or motive to seek hegemony in the region. The very reason that China exercises restraint and keep the disputes and differences under control is exactly for the sake of maintaining peace in the general environment. In this regard, China should continue to make efforts in the following aspects: to provide and share more information with others for better understanding; to offer more public goods for the well-being and safety of all; to complete the “code of conduct” with ASEAN members for a rule based regional order.
Fourth, China and the US share common strategic interests in maintaining the freedom and safety of navigation, and promoting stability and prosperity in the South China Sea area. China and the US are not disputing parties to each other. Therefore, the two countries should avoid the trap of security dilemma and misunderstandings by engaging in dialogues and clarifying each other’s intentions. China and the US need and should be able to work towards cooperation. As China is growing into a maritime power, the wider seas and oceans in the world are increasingly important to its development as well as its global cooperation. Any speculations on its intentions based on conventional land power mentalities may not be accurate.
The future direction of trend would very much depend on the perceptions and choices of the parties involved. If they choose to cooperate, they may all win. If they choose to confront each other, they may only head for impasse or even conflict and no one can benefit totally. ANKARA—Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by telephone on Monday night and told him a deal had been reached with Israel to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, sources from the Turkish presidency said.
The call came as senior officials from both Turkey and Israel said a deal had been reached to normalize ties to end a rift dating to 2010, after the Israeli navy killed 10 Turkish proPalestinian activists involved in an aid flotilla that tried to breach an Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. The presidential sources said Abbas expressed satisfaction with the developments. A deal was expected to be formally announced at 1000 GMT by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Rome and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara.
Israel, which had already offered its apologies - one of Ankara’s three conditions for a deal - for the lethal raid on the Mavi Marmara activist ship, agreed to pay out $20 million to the bereaved and injured, an Israeli official said.
A senior Turkish official described the deal as a “diplomatic victory” for Turkey which accepted Ankara’s conditions, although Israel has not agreed to lift the Gaza blockade, one of the conditions for an agreement. Under the deal, Turkey will deliver humanitarian aid and other nonmilitary products to Gaza and carry out infrastructure projects, such as residential buildings and a hospital, the official said. Steps to tackle the city’s water and power supply crisis will also be taken.—Agencies