US is bringing storms to Apec and ploy in South China Sea

Stirring up a storm

US is bringing storms to South China Sea

The 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting starts in Manila, the Philippines on Wednesday. The suspense is to what extent the US will foist the South China Sea disputes into this economic and trade meeting. Manila has made clear that territorial disputes will not be included on the agenda, but Washington is not resigned to letting it go, but apparently will bring forth the issue on the sidelines of the meeting.

Compared with the horrible terror clouding Europe, the bone of contention in the APEC meeting – the South China Sea disputes – is unworthy of equal attention. France has shut its borders, and several European countries and half of US states are considering whether to shun Syrian refugees. Chaos and turbulence caused by relentless wars continue in the Middle East, and with the path of fleeing blocked, hatred and resentment among the refugees will thrive.

Many believe the US should assume the primary responsibility for the turmoil in Europe. The US has managed to keep terrorism away from of its own turf after rounds of strong interventions in the Middle East with the aid of its European allies after the 9/11 attacks. However, unable to extend their reach to American soil, terrorists have sabotaged Europe time and again, from Madrid to London and recently, Paris.

Now, Washington sets its sights on the South China Sea. It is trying to provoke regional tensions like it did in the Middle East by waving a larger banner reading “pivot to Asia.”

The West has been eager to fan the flames everywhere, but excused themselves by claiming they are not cause of the tension.

The question is whether the South China Sea is heading toward turmoil. If it is, the region will probably be doomed. The raging waves in the South China Sea, argued some analysts, are also likely to jeopardize Washington’s interests, but compared with the much greater threat and dangers a turbulent South China Sea poses to China, Washington might be willing to take the risk.

The South China Sea is not a powder keg, because countries around the sea have established a community of shared destiny in terms of development. This could be a cushion against aggression in territorial rows. No claimant is willing to head for a showdown in the South China Sea. Tension surrounding China’s reclamation of islands in the sea is abating, stretching the elasticity of the other claimants in dealing with the territorial disputes.

Washington is in the middle of instigating more tensions and accepting China’s expanding leverage in rule-making, albeit it has launched vocal protests and flexed its muscles by sending warships in the sea.

China is gaining the upper hand in directing the South China Sea issues, which is a guarantee that the region won’t be out of control due to Washington’s instigation.

For the public good of the entire region, China should exert restraint over Washington’s mischief. – Global Times

US ploy in South China Sea bound to fail

President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting from Nov 17 to 19 has quelled speculations that the maritime disputes with the host nation could make him decide otherwise.

Last week Philippines President Benigno Aquino III assured visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the APEC meeting would focus on Asia-Pacific regional economic cooperation without raising the disputes in the South China Sea, as most members including China had agreed. But the US State Department has hinted that the South China Sea issue could be raised during the meeting despite Manila’s efforts to prevent the agenda from deviating from free trade and sustainable growth in and common prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.

As the world’s second-largest sea-lane that connects the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, the South China Sea is of great strategic importance to all countries in the region, as well as the US and European countries.

Nearly 80 percent of global trade depends upon maritime transportation, and about one-third of it is carried out through the South China Sea, which sees the passage of at least 40,000 ships a year. The number of oil tankers that sail through the Strait of Malacca, a critical passage through regional waters, is almost three times that of the Suez Canal and five times of the Panama Canal. Two-thirds of the global trade in liquefied natural gas is also conducted through the waterway.

China has more stakes that any other country in safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea, because it is a major channel of its global economic network. So ensuring smooth transportation (of energy sources) and navigation through the South China Sea is not only conducive to the shared interests of all Asia-Pacific economies – such as China, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – but also economies elsewhere.

China passed the Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone in 1992, and the Law on the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf seven years later. It ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1996 and publicized the territorial baseline of its mainland and Xisha Islands.

True, it is yet to disclose the territorial baseline of its Nansha Islands, but that does not nullify its legal rights in the surrounding waters, including territorial sea, exclusive economic zones and continental shelf. This makes the entry of US guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen into the waters near China’s islands in the South China Sea last month a violation of international law.

The US’ attempt to justify its action on the pretext of “freedom of navigation” is a rather clumsy argument that ignores some specific clauses in international law, for instance, innocent passage in territorial seas, transit passage in straits used for international navigation, and sea-lane passage through archipelagoes.

Also, the freedom of navigation clause in international law is neither unconditional nor beyond international regulations. Freedom of navigation can neither be above an affected coastal state’s laws and rights in the exclusive economic zones nor can it override other countries’ interests in the high seas.

Washington’s recent provocative moves have infringed upon Beijing’s maritime sovereignty and security in the South China Sea, the United Nations Charter as well as international law. They were also intended to show the US’ military muscles on the pretext of practicing freedom of navigation.

But China is not one to give in when it comes to its territorial, maritime and security interests, and the US is unlikely to succeed in its designs by instigating ASEAN countries to challenge China’s maritime rights in the South China Sea.

The author is deputy director of the China Institute for Marine Affairs attached to the State Oceanic Administration.

By Jia Yu (China Daily)

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Xi-Ma meeting in Singapore is for the next generation, deserves the world’s applause


Chinese mainland authorities announced Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou will meet in Singapore on Saturday to exchanges views on peaceful development across the Straits. The Xi-Ma meeting is a major breakthrough in relations between Taiwan and the mainland. It will exert a positive influence on the island’s future policy toward the mainland and lay a firm foundation for the way the world perceives this relationship.

Since the Wang-Koo meeting in 1993, the level of meetings between leaders from the two sides has been getting higher, but no breakthrough has been made yet, mainly because it is difficult to define their identities and titles. Taiwan has hoped to identify its leaders as “president,” to which the mainland cannot agree since this is not only a matter of identity, but of the nature of mainland-Taiwan relations.

According to Zhang Zhijun, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, Xi and Ma will meet as the “leaders” of both sides upon negotiations in line with the one-China principle when political differences between the two sides remain.

Xi and Ma will call each other “Mister,” which will be a unique phenomenon in top meetings.

This practical arrangement will create space for both sides to seek a solution in future. The Taiwan question can generally go into three directions – maintaining the status quo, stepping into unification, or realizing so-called “Taiwan Independence.”

It is unlikely that the cross-Straits relationship will maintain its current exact status quo as it is changing all the time. “Taiwan independence” has been driven by interior extreme forces. Meanwhile, the counter thrusts include the mainland’s increasingly powerful clout and the positive mainstream forces from Taiwan itself. The world is also anticipating closer cross-Straits ties. These forces shape the big picture of closer cross-Straits relations.

Xi’s political appeal has impressed both sides of the Straits and the whole world. The long anticipated meeting will be finally realized in his first-term. His appeal is essential for taking key steps to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Ma deserves warm applause for his willingness to have the meeting. With seven months left in office, during his term the 1992 Consensus has been well upheld and cross-Straits cooperation prospers. Despite his controversial governance of Taiwan, the positive factors of cross-Straits ties may have a longer influence on Taiwan’s future path than Ma’s term.

The opposition camp in Taiwan has made immediate objections, hoping to control public opinion. But they should be aware that the historic meeting is supported by the whole world, including the US, and they are displaying jiggery-pokery from a small circle. Such extremism is bound to be stigmatized.

The Xi-Ma meeting has excited Chinese people worldwide. International society is also interested in seeing the two sides taking a pragmatic step forward. Applause will be heard globally for the victory of peace and rationality. – Global Times

2 structures collapse due to incompetent engineers and irresponsible officer of MPPP

Three slammed over finwall tragedy

GEORGE TOWN: An incompetent engineer, a irresponsible one and a neglectful senior civil servant have come under fire in the report on the collapse of the finwall from the top of the 21-storey Menara Umno building in Jalan Macalister here.

A car driver and a lorry attendant died in the incident on June 13, 2013. Several vehicles and property were damaged. The body of the motorist was never been recovered.

The Commission of Enquiry, headed by Datuk Yeo Yang Poh, recommended that the Board of Engineers take action against finwall design engineer Lee Ah Yew and Dr Gerry Wong Kong Ming who signed and submitted the engineering drawings to the then Penang Municipal Council.

The report stated that (the then) North-East district officer Azizi Zakaria ought to have played a central role as the person in charge of emergency responses under ‘Arahan 20’, but had totally ignored and abandoned his duties.

It said Azizi was unfit to hold his post and “should have the honour of resigning, failing which he should be removed from office.”

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng distributed copies of the 312-page “Report of The Commission of Enquiry into the Failure of Two Civil Structures in the State of Penang” to pressmen yesterday.

The report also details investigations into the ramp collapse at the Batu Maung Interchange of the second Penang bridge on June 6, 2013.

On the Menara Umno building, the report said the collapse of the finwall was due to “grossly inadequate design.”

The finwall, which was called “a lightning arrester” by the media, is a reinforced-concrete structure weighing about 200 tonnes.

“The engineer Lee has no experience in designing a slender cantilever column on top of a tall building.

“He committed multiple serious errors when designing the structure,” it said.

On Dr Wong, the report said that he signed and submitted the engineering drawings to the council without checking.

“As such, the errors and inadequacies in the design of the finwall are deemed to be his; for which he must bear equal responsibility.”

The report said Azizi’s dereliction of duty was “so complete that it is difficult to imagine anyone who could have done worse”.

“His lack of remorse or contrition when he testified before the Commission and his unabashed downplay of his total neglect of duty are very disturbing,” it said.

Lee and Dr Wong could not be reached for comments. It is learnt that Azizi has retired.

BY K. SUTHAKAR and CHRISTOPHER TAN The Star/Asia News Network

Inquiry into 2013 mishap at Menara Umno in Jalan Macalister blames engineers

GEORGE TOWN: The Commission of Inquiry into the failures of two civil structures in Penang has come down hard on the engineer who designed the fin wall atop the 21st storey of Menara Umno in Jalan Macalister.

The engineer, Lee Ah Yew, was “grossly incompetent and grossly negligent” and had committed multiple serious errors, which resulted in the reinforced-concrete structure weighing about 200 tonnes collapsing on June 13, 2013.

In its report, the three-member commission headed by Datuk Yeo Yang Poh said Monday that Lee, who designed the fin wall in 1995, was then a graduate engineer with no experience in designing a “slender” cantilever column on top of a tall building.

The commission has recommended that the Board of Engineers (BEM) initiate disciplinary action against Lee.

It said the board should also take disciplinary action against Dr Gerry Wong Kong Ming, the submitting engineer who signed and submitted the engineering drawings to the local planning authorities.

“As such, the errors and inadequacies in the design of the fin wall are deemed to be his; for which he must bear equal responsibility, though he signed them without checking,” it said.

The commission rapped the North-East district officer Azizi Zakaria for abandoning his duties as the person in-charge of emergency responses under Arahan 20.

“His dereliction of duty was so complete and that it is difficult to imagine anyone who could have done worse.

“Encik Azizi’s lack of remorse and contrition when he testified before the commission and his unabashed downplay of his total neglect of duty, are very much disturbing,” the report stated.

In the incident, the fin wall collapsed and hit a passing car and buried it (together with its driver) beneath the ground. A lorry attendant nearby was also killed. Several vehicles and properties were damaged.

The commission also submitted its findings into the ramp which collapsed on June 6, 2013 at the Batu Maung interchange leading to the second Penang Bridge.

BY K. SUTHAKAR/ The Star/Asia News Network

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South China Sea tension: US no hope to win, should never play fire at China’s doorsteps !
China blasts US show ‘to militarize’ the sea

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun has blasted the US warship’s foray as “a show of military force intended to militarize” the South China Sea.

US no hope to win S.China Sea showdown

Calling the USS Lassen’s intrusion a “regular occurrence,” the US military put a gloss on its recent brazen provocation against China in the South China Sea, implying that more warships might be sent within the 12 nautical mile-limit around China-controlled islands. China will have to escalate its countermeasures if Washington does so, and the situation will worsen for the US.

If such provocations continue, China’s warships will have to engage in more face-offs with their US counterparts in the South China Sea. Beijing will be forced to accelerate military deployment in the region, including a quicker militarization of the islands to the extent that China can confront the US militarily in this region.

If the US is determined that these provocations are going to be regular events, it is possible that China will deploy fighter jets on these new islands.

China has reiterated that the expanded islands in the South China Sea will serve peaceful and civilian purposes, supporting economic development around the South China Sea. China has no intention to militarize the region, but the US, despite China’s assertion is pushing, even forcing, China in that direction.

US military policymakers are so narrow-minded that they cannot look at the big picture, cherishing the illusion that it could show off its might, embrace allies’ cheers and frustrate China’s confidence by sending a warship to the South China Sea.

It is hard to believe that these shortsighted wonks have not considered China’s response, like Beijing has no cards to play. If it wasn’t for our restraint, China could have driven away every Filipino and Vietnamese from the islands they took from China, but it didn’t. Almost every move China has made in the South China Sea is a response to the provocations of these aggressors.

Washington should keep in mind that it really doesn’t want China to transform these reclaimed islands into outposts to deal with the intrusions by US warships.

Even in the worst scenario, if China decided to militarize all these small islands, what could the US do? Perhaps US President Barack Obama will have everything but the guts to wage a real battle with China for these small islands.

The Americans must keep in mind that when it comes to China’s core interests, their determination to preserve certain strategic interests will have no chance to win in a showdown against China’s determination to protect the integrity of its sovereignty. After flexing its muscles and bragging about its military prowess at China’s doorstep, Washington should know when to stop. Enough is enough.- Global Times

Commentary: The U.S. should never play with fire in South China Sea

Commentary: The U.S. should never play with fire in South China Sea

File photo – China Navy

U.S. warship USS Lassen illegally entered waters near Zhubi Reef, part of China’s Nansha Islands in the South China Sea, on October 27, 2015. China has monitored, tracked and issued warnings to the U.S. warship.

The U.S. move was long planned. U.S. media said in May that the U.S. navy wanted to “challenge” China’s construction projects in the South China Sea, and since September the U.S. navy has been laboring its views on South China Sea disputes and claiming to send a warship within 12 nautical miles of China’s islands. The U.S. has long caused trouble in South China Sea disputes even though it is not one of the parties concerned to the South China Sea issue.

There is no doubt that the U.S. made such a move for strategic reasons: first, it deliberately created tensions in the South China Sea so as to impede China’s safeguarding of its legal rights in the area; second, the move contributes to the implementation of U.S. regional strategy of “Asia-Pacific Rebalance”; third, the U.S. can take the chance to cozy up to its allies.

The U.S. claimed “freedom of navigation” for other purposes . It is the U.S. actions that have worsened tensions in the South China Sea.

China has responded to U.S. warship provocation with a clear-cut stand. What China does is legitimate. China’s sovereignty in the South China Sea has historical and legal grounding. Its construction, salvage and disaster prevention in this area demonstrate it is a responsible country.

China is determined to defend its sovereignty and safety and has taken actions to cope with the move of the U.S. warship which has threatened China’s sovereignty and safety. China warned the U.S. not go further, otherwise China will take all necessary measures. China hopes the U.S. will keep a clear mind. Troublemakers are bound to be condemned.

China also reminds the U.S. to consider the bigger picture in terms of Sino-U.S. relations. The two countries are working together to build a new type of major-country relations, and so they should focus on advancing this win-win cooperation. China never fears troubles, but the U.S. should never create troubles. If the U.S. plays with fire in South China Sea, the consequences will be very serious.

The article is edited and translated from《美国务须保持头脑清醒(望海楼)》, source: People’s Daily Overseas Edition, author: Su Xiaohui, deputy director of the Department for International and Strategic Studies at China Institute of International Studies.


[2015-10-31 08:02]The “rebalancing to Asia” strategy runs counter to the development trend across the world and the US needs to rebalance its mentality, instead.

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US making trouble & provocation out of nothing; China warns US Navy in South China Sea


The USS Lassen on Oct. 27 sailed within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built and claimed by China. © AP

By sending its warship within 12 nautical miles of China’s isles in the South China Sea, the United States is raising tensions in the waters and sending a dangerous signal to the region.

On Tuesday, the US warship USS Lassen illegally entered waters near Zhubi Reef, part of China’s Nansha Islands, without the permission of the Chinese government. Such a blatant provocation was naturally met with strong condemnation from China, which deems the US move as a threat to China’s sovereignty and security interests.

To justify this reckless move, high-ranking US officials have been raising their voices recently accusing China of militarizing the South China Sea and claiming the US operation is to exert “freedom of navigation” in the waters.

These are just pretexts the US is using to mislead the public and confuse right with wrong.

China has repeatedly said it has no intention of militarizing the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea. All its deployments at the islands and reefs are necessary, limited and defense-oriented. As a nation that relies heavily on the sea lanes in the waters, militarization would threaten, instead of serving, its interests in the region.

As to freedom of navigation and overflights in the waters, they have never been a real issue of concern. China has reiterated many times that its reclamation work is primarily for civilian purposes and does not in any way hamper freedom of navigation.

Yet, these words have apparently fallen on deaf ears. By challenging a threat that does not exist, the US move is creating a bigger and more real threat itself. By flexing its muscle on China’s doorstep, the US is using coercion to challenge China’s legitimate territorial claims.

The US warship displays exactly who is the real hand pushing the militarization of the South China Sea.

The US’ so-called freedom of navigation operations also go against its own public statements that it takes no stand over the territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The US calls itself a Pacific country and claims it too has a stake in peace and stability in the region. If that is the case it should be playing a more constructive role in the waters, rather than stirring the waters at the risk of regional peace and stability.

If the US still deems itself a responsible power, it should refrain from making further provocations. – China Daily

China warns US over incursion

File photo: China’s Lanzhou Missile Destroyer.

  • Chinese warships gave warnings to US navy ship

  • Chinese warships gave warnings to US navy ship. Chinese Defense Ministry has also slammedUS over its warship patrol near Zhubi Reef. It says two Chinese warships, Lanzhou guided missile destroyer and Taizhou patrol ship, gave warnings to US warship USS Lassen. The ministry has lodged serious representations…
China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday expressed “strong discontent” over a US warship’s “illegal entry” into waters near a reef in the South China Sea, threatening to take whatever measures are necessary against any deliberate provocations.

Experts said the announcement represented a warning from China, but that the nation is not willing to see an escalation into military conflict. Experts called for both parties to resort to legal and diplomatic approaches.

According to a Reuters report on Tuesday, one US defense official said the destroyer USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of Zhubi Reef.

A second defense official said the mission, which lasted a few hours, included Meiji Reef.

Earlier this year, China revealed that it was building civil and military facilities over both reefs, which are part of its Nansha Islands.

The operation was approved by US President Barack Obama, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing an anonymous official as saying that the mission was “routine.”

The US warship was monitored, tracked and issued a warning, said Lu Kang, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday

A guided-missile destroyer and a patrol boat gave warnings to the US warship, Yang Yujun, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said on Tuesday.

He said the reoccurrence of similar incidents should be prevented in the future.

China will continue to watch the situation and “do whatever is necessary,” Lu said during a regular press briefing in Beijing.

Stressing that China’s sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters is “irrefutable,” Lu said China is prepared to respond to any deliberate provocation by any country and urged the US to “immediately correct its wrongdoing.”

Lu said that China is firmly opposed to any action that harms China’s sovereignty and security in the name of freedom of navigation.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui also summoned US Ambassador Max Baucus on Tuesday to protest against the US naval patrol, calling it “extremely irresponsible.”

‘Predictable’ act

The dispatch of the US warship was predictable since the US had reiterated the plan several times, Zhu Feng, a professor of international security at Nanjing University, told the Global Times on Tuesday. He said the US had to follow through with its action to maintain credibility with its allies.

The US will take such measures against any country that is considered by the US as curtailing its freedom of navigation, in a bid to show that it aims at defending the right, an expert at the Academy of Military Science, who asked for anonymity, told the Global Times.

A US defense official told Reuters that “It’s not something that’s unique to China.”

US warships have defended this right against almost all coastal countries, a research fellow at the Chinese Naval Research Institute, who asked not to be named, told the Global Times on Tuesday, citing the passage of US warships from the Mediterranean into the Black Sea during the Cold War as an example.

Given the current situation, the US is unlikely to let go if its demands are not met, said the research fellow at the Chinese Naval Research Institute.

The second US defense official said additional patrols would follow in coming weeks and could be conducted around features that Vietnam and the Philippines have built up in the Nansha Islands, according to Reuters.

Probe reaction

“The US move is more of a probe of China’s reaction rather than a showdown,” Zhu said, adding that China needs to have a well-considered plan in response, such as getting ready to monitor US warships or planes, or driving them off when necessary.

But China should move carefully to avoid military conflict, he said.

The expert at the Academy of Military Science said the passage of the USS Lassen is the least serious move available to the US, compared with other options like conducting military drills and joint passage of Japanese and Philippine warships.

China also made a minimal response, he said.

Unlike the intense relationship between the US and former Soviet Union, the US is also worried that radical military actions would harm Sino-US cooperation, the research fellow at the Chinese Naval Research Institute added.

The research fellow suggested setting up a “security alert zone” by China in the controversial waters in order to prevent further conflicts.

China and the US in September signed two documents on “notification of military crisis” and “encounters in the air” in a bid to avoid military conflicts caused by miscalculation over the seas, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

It has to be noticed that China has already carried out construction work in the area. This is the concrete achievements Beijing has gained. Completing building the islands still remains as a major task for China in the future. At present, no country, the US included, is able to obstruct Beijing’s island reclamation in the region.

In face of the US harassment, Beijing should deal with Washington tactfully and prepare for the worst. This can convince the White House that China, despite its unwillingness, is not frightened to fight a war with the US in the region, and is determined to safeguard its national interests and dignity.

Beijing ought to carry out anti-harassment operations. We should first track the US warships. If they, instead of passing by, stop for further actions, it is necessary for us to launch electronic interventions, and even send out warships, lock them by fire-control radar and fly over the US vessels.

Chinese should be aware that the US harassment is only a common challenge in China’s rise. We should regard it with calm and be confident of our government and troops. It is certain that the Chinese government, ordering the land reclamation, is able and determined to safeguard the islands. China is gradually recovering its justified rights in the South China Sea. China has not emphasized the “12 nautical miles.” It is the US that helps us to build and reinforce this concept. Then, it is fine for us to accept the “12 nautical miles” and we have no intention to accept 13 or more than 13 nautical miles.

By Chen Heying Source:Global Times

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Sino-UK ties herald golden time with West

  • Buckingham Palace prepares for Xi Jinping visit

    President Xi Jinping’s visit will also receive a warm welcome from the British Monarchy. Queen Elizabeth the second, who has met with some of the most famous leaders in recent history, is expected to greet President Xi at Buckingham Palace.

, , , , , ,,

Cameron’s meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2012 was a turning point in Sino-UK relations. For 18 months, Beijing gave London the cold shoulder, while at the same time developing cordial relationships with Germany and France. The low ebb in bilateral ties happened when Europe was deeply troubled. Although China had struggled with Germany and France over the same problem in 2007 and 2008, by 2012, China was much stronger and was deemed more influential. Now, China has become more attractive to Europe than ever, and that has served to transform the foundation of China-EU relations.

The UK has shown its adept diplomatic skills while re-calibrating its relationship with China. It was the first European nation to announce that it had applied to join the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, an international financial institution proposed by China. This decision thawed the previous discord. Since then, the UK has committed itself to turning London into the biggest offshore yuan center other than Hong Kong. Cameron has received Ren Zhengfei, president of Huawei, one of China’s biggest telecommunications companies. He also invited Chinese companies to invest in a new nuclear power station project. Such actions have set examples in Europe.

As an old empire, the UK has declined, but its foundation is solid. With a special relationship with the US, London knows how to communicate with Washington over China issues.

London making a friendly gesture to China shows that Western countries are trying to redress their deep-rooted political prejudices and explore more potential to develop relations with China.

To a large extent, London’s friendliness toward China stems from the pursuit of more benefits, but it shows that the spillover of China’s development in many respects has become an irresistible attraction. Nothing can guarantee that country-to-country relations will develop on a certain course without having to worry about derailment. So far, historical experience has shown us that the bond of interests is one of the most reliable mechanisms that can maintain a reciprocal bilateral relationship.

China and the UK need each other. As the US is becoming weaker in exporting interests to Europe, China is providing more opportunities to the UK, while China also needs a Western country to set an example for a new China-West relationship.

It must be noted that political and ideological misunderstandings will remain a challenge for both sides. How to deal with them is a long-term issue.- Global Times

Xiangshan defense forum: PLA prowess persists without tough talk; US provocative risks destabilizing region

Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan (4th right) claps next to his counterparts from Asean during the China-AseanDefense Ministers’ Informal Meeting in Beijing, China, October 16, 2015. China’s Xiangshan defence forum followed the informal Asean meeting today. — Reuters pic –

At the sixth Xiangshan Forum on Saturday, Fan Changlong, vice- chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, said China has always advocated dealing with disputes through peaceful means and will not use violence recklessly, even if it comes to territory and sovereignty. The quote was soon singled out and garbled by netizens without mentioning the context, resulting in the wrong impression that the Chinese military is “too weak.”

The commitment of the forum is to facilitate communication between governments and militaries in security policies, but the ordinary Chinese people have also shown much interest in it. It is difficult for top Chinese military officers to please every one of them.

In fact, Fan’s remarks have more clearly reflected China’s stance over territorial issues. China does not use force recklessly, but, as it always insists, will use whatever is necessary to safeguard sovereign integrity.

China’s military building has garnered worldwide attention, and its construction works on some of the Nansha Islands are misunderstood to be a process of militarization. This misunderstanding is the bone of contention in the South China Sea disputes, and a focus of the Sino-US rivalry in this region. Concerns arise due to the simmering tensions, and how to soothe neighboring countries is of strategic significance for China.

China is not at the appropriate moment to emphasize its military prowess. It is more important to declare to the world that China will utilize this power with caution. In this way, the international community will put more faith in China’s rise as a responsible global player.

China needs to coordinate military building with the publicity about the prudent use of force in the future. As a rising power, this could put China on the moral high ground, where it can avoid becoming a focal point of political conflicts.

An unreasonably tough stance, used as an emotional outlet for the public, is not what a government should adopt. A deliberate show of strength can only reveal a country’s lack of confidence in regional and international affairs. Powerful countries seldom deliver harsh words in most circumstances.

The Chinese must understand that on the road to rejuvenation, China needs strength as much as it needs wisdom and an open mind. The country is more than able to defend itself by force, but it needs more than force to deal with many other kinds of conflicts. The US for example, which has the most powerful military, still cannot handle every security issue without using other leverage. We need to put more trust in both the Chinese military and diplomats. They know how to do their job well, and they cannot be disrupted by radical nationalists. Global Times

Planned U.S. provocative move in S. China Sea risks destabilizing region

Fan Changlong (right), vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, and Hun Sen, prime minister of Cambodia, at a welcoming dinner for Xiangshan Forum participants on Friday. FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY


WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 — The United States could shoot itself in the foot if it proceeds with planned naval patrols in the adjacent waters off China’s islands in the South China Sea, as such provocation will risk creating miscalculation and destabilizing the region.
U.S. military officials and government spokespersons have recently indicated the country’s intention to send navy ships to sail within 12 nautical miles of the islands where China has recently done reclamation work, in a move deliberately designed to challenge China’s territorial claims.
The U.S. government is having a hard time trying to justify such provocative step.
Firstly, such a plan obviously contradicts Washington’s public statement that it takes no stand over the territorial claims by six parties in the South China Sea region.
Secondly, the United States says it will do so in order to exert so-called rights of freedom of navigation as the international law allows. But, the fact is China has never done anything to infringe upon the freedom of navigation in the region.
On the contrary, China has a vested interest in protecting such rights as most of its flow of commerce in foreign trade passes through the sea lanes in the region.
Thirdly, it is a fallacy for Washington to claim that such step is designed to prevent the militarization of the South China Sea while China has already pledged that it has no intention to pursue militarization of the newly reclaimed islands.
Beijing has clearly stated that its construction of facilities in the region is mainly for the purposes of maintenance, improving living conditions for the stationed personnel and providing common goods to the international community by offering service to foreign ships sailing in the region.
The U.S. move, if carried out, will leave China no choice but to beef up its defense capabilities.
Furthermore, it will be a slap in its own face if the United States resorts to military intimidation to exert its alleged rights, because it has been calling for the claimant countries to settle their maritime disputes through peaceful means.
No doubt that if Washington goes ahead with the patrol plan, it should bear responsibility for escalating tensions in the region, raising danger of miscalculation, and complicating the efforts to seek diplomatic resolution of the disputes.\
Washington should also be clear-eyed to the fact that some claimants in the region, such as the Philippines, a U.S. ally, will be encouraged by the U.S. move to take more provocative steps to challenge China and destabilize the region.
China has already urged the United States to avoid taking the provocative step in the South China Sea at a time when the China-U.S. relationship has just improved due to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s fruitful state visit in late September.
During the visit, Xi and his U.S. host Barack Obama renewed their commitment to building a new model of major-country relationship featuring no confrontation, no conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
They also promised to further enhance military-to-military ties and expand cooperation on a wide range of issues for the benefit of both peoples and the world as a whole.
So, it will be a grave mistake for the United States to use military means to challenge China, as it will inevitably damage the newly-generated positive momentum in the bilateral ties and could lead to dangerous misunderstanding between the two militaries.
Washington boasts the strongest military power in the world, but this by no means justifies its act of bullying any other country at its will.
China has every right to defend its rights and strategic interests, and will respond to any provocation appropriately and decisively.- Xinhua
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