A new journey to make history

Admiral Zheng He

The sincerity, friendship, mutual benefit and win-win outcome which guided Admiral Zheng He still guide Malaysia and China’s bilateral relations today.

IT is a great pleasure to pay my first visit to Malaysia as Premier of the State Council of the People’s Repub­lic of China and attend the East Asia leaders’ meetings. I am no stranger to this beautiful country, as I visited Malaysia in 1996 when the Petronas Twin Towers were just completed. The past 20 years have indeed witnessed impressive and admirable achievements in Malaysia.

China and Malaysia, two neighbours facing each other across the sea, enjoy a time-honoured friendship. Trade between the two countries started over 2,000 years ago.

During the Ming Dynasty (14th-­17th century), Zheng He, a Chinese navigator, came to Malacca five times on seven sea voyages. A record of friendly China-Malaysia exchanges exists with many stories, such as those of Bukit Cina and the King’s Well, still told today.

People today remember Zheng He for what he did. His aspiration, as the records show, was to seek friendship and develop trade with neighbours.

He and his people helped local military and civilians build city walls, drive away pirates, settle conflicts and keep peace at sea. They also passed on agricultural and manufacturing technologies and medical skills to the local people to help with their lives and daily work.

Today, when we look back at that past episode in China-Malaysia exchanges, we also admire Zheng He for what he did not do. When he arrived in this land of prosperity commanding what was then the most powerful fleet in the world, he engaged in nothing like plundering, expansion or colonisation.

Instead, he became known for his goodwill and moves of peace, of which people still keep fond memories. What he did speaks volumes of the Chinese belief that “one should not do to others what he doesn’t want others to do to him”.

It also bears testimony to the Chinese wisdom that “one needs to help others achieve success if he wants success for himself”. Zheng He’s dedication to peace and readiness to reach out and help others show the essence of the Chinese philosophy, where peace and good neighbourliness always come first. It also constitutes part of the cultural legacy that brings countries in the region together.

Today, China and Malaysia are each other’s trustworthy friend. We have formed a comprehensive strategic partnership and enjoy political mutual trust and mutual respect. The leaders of our two countries visit each other often and maintain close communication.

In May last year, visiting Prime Minister Najib Razak and I attended celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations at the West Hall of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the place where the senior generation of our leaders signed the Joint Communiqué in 1974 to establish diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia.

Over the years, our two countries have supported each other on major issues we are concerned with and jointly contributed to equity and justice in the world. Not long ago, the first joint military exercise was carried out by our militaries in Malacca, marking a major step forward in our defence cooperation.

Economically, we have had much to offer each other in win-win cooperation. Our bilateral trade has topped US$100bil (RM436.6bil).

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for seven years straight, and Malaysia is now China’s biggest trading partner among Asean countries.

China’s trade with Malaysia accounts for one-fifth of its total trade with Asean. The foundation is sound for our cooperation in economy, trade, finance, infrastructure, agriculture, forestry and fishery.

Our high-tech cooperation is even reaching to the sky and seas. As a result, not only have our peoples have benefited from such cooperation; the whole region has also shared in the benefits.

People in our two countries are eager to learn from and help each other. In both China and Malaysia, badminton is a popular sport. The names of world-class players such as Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei are known to almost every household.

As competitors and athletes aspiring for excellence, they battle each other on the badminton course. After the games, they are good friends who exchange text greetings on festivals.

China’s great poet Li Bai of the Tang Dynasty (7th-10th century) once wrote of friendship that “true friendship is revealed through adversity, and success becomes nothing when it is not shared”.

A Malaysian saying carries something of a similar effect: Bukit sama didaki, lurah sama dituruni (together we will climb the mountains and together we will cross the valleys).”

When a massive earthquake hit China in Wenchuan, Sichuan province in 2008, Malaysia raced against time to extend a helping hand. Its people from all walks of life raised as much as 200 million yuan (RM136.5mil), making Malaysia one of the biggest donors to the disaster-stricken areas.

And shortly after Malaysia Air­lines Flight MH370 lost contact, I spoke with Prime Minister Najib Razak on the phone for thorough discussions on the search and rescue mission. In times of adversity, China and Malaysia have always stood with and supported each other.

The Chinese community in Malaysia has contributed their share to local economic development, social harmony and amity among ethnic groups. They have served as a special bond contributing to China-Malaysia friendship.

Over the past 40 years, cooperation between China and Malaysia has set a good example of friendly exchanges between countries in the region. Standing at a new starting point for development in our relations for the next four decades, our two countries will continue to view and grow our relations from a strategic perspective, deepen strategic mutual trust, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and carry forward our traditional friendship.

China has set the goal to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020. It has much in common with Malaysia’s Vision 2020.

As China is advancing the initiative of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, encouraging mass entrepreneurship and innovation, and transforming and upgrading its economic structure, Malaysia is gearing toward all-round economic transformation with the New Economic Model aimed at more robust growth.

I see this as offering each other a perfect chance to boost development. We may draw on our respective strengths and conduct more cooperation on production capacity. We may encourage more enterprises to take part in the development of the industrial parks in Qinzhou and Kuantan, enhance infrastructure building and increase connectivity.

Such cooperation will produce huge development dividends to ensure steady growth and make life better for our people. China and Malaysia both play a major role in turning East Asia into a major pole and sustaining steady global growth. I have great confidence that our mutually beneficial cooperation will hold out even brighter prospects.

China-Asean relations are a major cornerstone for peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region. The upcoming East Asia leaders’ meetings will be held at a time when the Asean Community is to be formally established.

This carries a special and landmark significance. Given the lingering impact of the international financial crisis and the generally downward economic trend, it is all the more important for countries in the region to stand in solidarity and work with each other for common development and prosperity.

Ours is a time with interwoven traditional and non-traditional security challenges, on top of which external interference has led to incessant turbulences in some parts of the world and caused serious spillover effects. It falls upon countries in the region to cherish the harmonious coexistence of different cultures and development paths in the region, and work together to uphold regional peace and stability for the long run.

Sincerity, friendship, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes were what Zheng He stood for when his ships took him to Malacca. They are still the principles guiding the growth of China-Malaysia relations today.

They represent the trend of the times and aspiration of the people, not only in China and Malaysia but region-wide. It is our common goal that deserves our common effort.

I am confident that with joint efforts, China-Malaysia relations and cooperation in the region, will grow steadily and become more mature, and will head toward greater mutual benefit, mutual trust, prosperity and common development.


Li Keqiang is Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

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US should not politicize Internet

People pose in front of a display showing the word ‘cyber’ in binary code, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica December 27, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]


Security and other issues related to cyberspace have increasingly affected international relations, leading to a war of words among some major world powers. Openness and freedom are the two basic features of the Internet, through which information freely flows from one person to another and from one country to another, and that is why “freedom” is said to be the founding stone of cyberspace.

But this freedom cannot be limitless and should not challenge the normal order of cyberspace. As Lu Wei, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, once said, freedom is the purpose while order serves to protect it. Freedom and regulation are not mutually contradictory. Instead, they are two sides of the same coin.

Besides, since cyberspace, despite being called the virtual world, is intimately connected with the real world, chaos in the former can lead to disastrous consequences in the latter. The riots that rocked London, Birmingham and several other cities in the United Kingdom in 2011 after the death of a black UK citizen and flared up thanks to social networks are a good example of how lack of order in the virtual world can cause mayhem in the real world.

To prevent such tragedies from happening and since all freedoms come with responsibilities and limits, most countries have enacted laws to regulate cyberspace. But some countries, to fulfill their narrow interests, try to politicize the laws that other countries have implemented as a safeguard against the bedlam the misuse of cyberspace could unleash on society.

Take the US for instance. For the past several years, based on its claim that freedom of the Internet is a universal right, it has been trying to promote cyberspace as a public domain together with the Antarctica, the oceans and space, and has thus been avoiding the issue of national sovereignty.

The US’ efforts reek of hegemonic philosophy. In fact, the US has been spreading its ideology in other countries through many websites and social networks, so as to trigger political disputes in societies that adhere to political philosophies other than that propounded by Washington. We should not forget that countries like Libya have become victims of the US’ promotion of Western-style democracy.

Another reason for the US to talk about freedom of the Internet is to serve its trade and protectionist policies and cause trade frictions with other countries. With its modern technologies and global influence, Washington has been trying to help US-based enterprises enter other countries’ markets on the pretext of defending free trade. When Google was pulled up by the Chinese government for violating the country’s laws, the US government ironically accused China of not being a “free” country.

As a result, politicization of Internet freedom has become an obstacle to international cooperation. With the dispute over Internet freedom already a major international issue, countries with different understandings of cyberspace accuse each other of violating rules. Some of these differences have even led to trade frictions and protectionist measures.

Worse, other political issues are involved in the disputes over Internet freedom, which can easily turn into wider conflicts and make it more difficult for the related countries to resolve the existing issues.

Therefore, to boost global cooperation countries across the world should avoid pointing the finger against each other to prove whose Internet rules are better.

The author is a senior researcher in cybersecurity at China Center for Information Industry Development, affiliated to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

By Liu Quan (China Daily)


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Can France’s daring move eliminate Islamic State? Terrorism is modern society’s cancer !

France vs ISIS 2015 By Li Min

After the brutal terror attacks in Paris, France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called for the “dissolution of mosques where hate is preached.” Earlier this year, French authorities said “Foreign preachers of hate will be deported [and their mosques] will be shut down.” The reiteration is taken by many as a renewed demonstration of France’s tough response to the attacks.

The tougher the stance France shows, the more embrace it will get from the public. Likewise, after the September 11 attacks, the US Congress rapidly passed a bill to launch war in Afghanistan and later, the ousting of Saddam Hussein won bipartisan advocacy. But reality shows that after attacks, the agitated Western society tends to overestimate the effects of fierce retaliation and underrate the complexity of the origins of terrorism.

Closing mosques where hatred is preached may be interpreted by Muslims in a way France doesn’t mean. Frankly speaking, the French government is daring enough to take such a measure and it faces a smaller risk of public opposition than if China and Russia did the same. Countries with which the West has biased opinions have to consider the response from Muslims and primarily criticism from Western opinion.

France’s air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) with its Western allies can have some effects, but the IS cannot be uprooted unless the West sends large-scale ground forces or fully supports the Assad regime to fight them.

Even if the IS could be largely crushed, it doesn’t make much difference. In the Middle East, there are no political strongmen any more, and its political and social structures have been shattered. Built up by extreme forces taking advantage of the rift, the example of the IS can be repeated easily.

More importantly, the West’s bombs can destroy the encampments and ammunition depots, but cannot deal with attire like veils. Nor can the West prevent children from being sent to extreme religious schools or grapple with conservative Islam.

Until now, Osama bin Laden is still deemed by many in the Arabic world as a positive figure fighting the West, which reflects the limitation of the war on terrorism.

Terrorism that originates in the Middle East has been embedded with unbelievable hatred. The West has no measures to counter it, nor can it form a consistent organization to take action. The West has been depressed by the consequences of the Arab Spring.

In the Islamic world, there is no figure or power of authority to advance the regional reforms, and apparently the vacancy cannot be filled from the outside. The Islamic world may be in pressing need of examples where some of its countries completely modernize so as to bring some inspiration.

But such a plan is not realistic in the current situation. In this sense, much of the West’s drastic rhetoric only works to show their emotions with problems remaining unsolved. It is merely a response to public opinion.

Terrorism is modern society’s cancer

A series of terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night have left the world in shock, and all people with a sense of justice will strongly condemn the atrocities. With the Bataclan concert hall, soccer stadium and restaurants as targets, it’s obvious that the terrorist attacks were elaborately planned. These are the most severe terrorist attacks the West has suffered in recent years. They are also the most coordinated and lethal terrorist attacks worldwide in recent years.

Since the 9/11 attacks, the cost of anti-terrorism efforts has been increasingly soaring in both developed and developing countries. However, terrorism continues spreading like cancer. Al-Qaeda has been greatly devastated, but Islamic State, a more brutal extremist group, has emerged. The West is suffering from intermittent terrorist attacks, while in some turbulent underdeveloped countries, terrorist attacks have become commonplace in the fight against their governments. In China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a small number of young people has also embraced terrorism, instigated by extremist ideas, turning Xinjiang into a global anti-terrorist front.

Middle East countries suffering from turbulence and abject poverty are the hotbed of terrorism. Like an airborne virus, it spreads to other regions. Refugees and immigrants from the Middle East have brought some deep-rooted problems to Europe and the US. Europe and the US need new immigrants, but their societies have been resisting the trend, including anti-immigration protests.

People with radical ideas from Europe and the US continue to travel to the Middle East to join jihad. Some of them have returned, carrying the terrorist virus. In many cases, terrorist attacks in Europe and the US are no longer directly launched by terrorist groups from the Middle East. The identity of terrorists and the nature of some terrorist groups have become complicated. It is more difficult to take precautions.

Since it’s virtually impossible to reverse globalization, openness and freedom, the system on which societies operate runs counter to the anti-terrorism system. A dangerous element identified by security authorities could be totally free, which means a much higher cost for preventing terrorist acts.

Every government is trying every means to defend themselves from terrorist attacks, but the general understanding of terrorism remains ambiguous and elusive. Geopolitics and ideologies are driving a wedge between different countries. Some countries have double standards over terrorism, imposing a harsh attitude to terrorists on their own turf, but striking a noncommittal and even sympathetic stand on terrorists in other countries.

The rapid rise of IS, to some extent, is believed to being used by the US and Europe to topple Syria’s Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The US is of two minds in cracking down on IS. Terrorism, by taking advantage of the divergence among major powers, survives and free societies invite intermittent terrorist attacks. Furthermore, terrorism can gain support from some radical forces, and lone wolf attacks could also cause heavy losses as terrorist attacks do.

Terrorism is like a cancer of the world, which requires a long-term fight. As the chance of wars among countries gets slim, terrorist attacks will probably become the most challenging global form of violence.

Source:  Global Times


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Immigration & education drive property prices; Secondary property sales may take lead

Immigration and education are two drivers of property prices in cities in the next 10 years to 2024, said property consultancy Knight Frank International.Its Asia-Pacific reaearch director Nicholas Holt said up to 76,000 Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) from China have immigrated the last 10 years – the highest – while up to 72% of Malaysia’s UHNWI send their children abroad, the highest. (See graphics below).

The cities include London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Holt was presenting his Wealth Report 2015 updated till third quarter 2015 at the 25th National Real Estate Convention in Kuala Lumpur.

He defined UHNWIs as those with US$30mil and above in investible income excluding their primary residence.

In an Attitudes Survey involving 600 advisors of UHNWIs by Knight Frank, the advisors – bankers included – said about 10% of their Malaysia’s ultra-high net worth clients were considering changing their domicile in the earlier part of this year.

“This compares with an overall 12% in Asia who are considering changing domicile,” said Holt.

Data show drop in primary market transactions

SUBANG JAYA: The ongoing slowdown in the local property sector could see transactions in the secondary property market overtaking that of the primary market.

Citing data from the National Property Information Centre (Napic), PPC International Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Siders Sittampalam said the economic slowdown has affected transactions in the primary property market this year.

“Siders: ‘Total volume of transactions in the primary market has dropped, and this has also resulted in values dropping. >>

“Total volume of transactions in the primary market has dropped, and this has also resulted in values dropping.

“As such, there will come a time when the secondary market will lead the primary market,” he said at a press conference after the launch of the 25th National Real Estate Convention (NREC) 2015 yesterday.

Siders said it was difficult to provide a specific timeline on when he expected transactions in the secondary market to exceed that of the primary market.

“In terms of value, the primary market will find it harder to match the secondary market due to rising land and building costs,” he said.

Siders said he expected transactions in the primary market to improve once cooling measures imposed on the local property sector have been relaxed.

“Once the economy picks up and Bank Negara backs off on its cooling measures, the primary market will pick up again.”

He also said a drastic hike in interest rates will have an impact on the property sector.

“Over the last few years, the property market had been steadily growing due to various measures such as the developers interest bearing scheme (DIBS). Because of these measures, pricing in the market has been distorted.

“Now, when people have committed to their loans, especially youths and first time buyers, and there is a sudden hike in interest rates, there will be a dip in the market.

“Loans go bad and many properties will go under the hammer. This will not be a healthy market.” Siders said he was hopeful that any interest rate hike by the central bank would be a “sustainable increase.”

Bank Negara maintained its overnight policy rate in September at 3.25%.

The NREC was organised by the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia and the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector, Malaysia.

The event highlighted major concerns for the future of the real estate industry in Malaysia during the current economic period.


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Penang property market to be resilient on sustained demand

PETALING JAYA: Penang’s property market is expected to stay resilient on the back of sustained demand, especially from Penangites working abroad planning to return and prospective retirees eyeing homes in the state.

“There has been a slowdown in the last year. There are a few categories of investors in Penang; those who are owner occupiers, those who are investors for the cultural developments, those who are in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) and Penangites who work abroad but would like to settle in Malaysia,” said Penang Institute CEO and head of economics studies Dr Lim Kim Hwa (pictured) at the National Real Estate Convention (NREC) 2015 yesterday.

“For the last two categories, the properties in Penang would be priced significantly cheaper, thus I believe the demand in the property sector in Penang would remain rather constant,” concluded Lim during his presentation entitled “Penang: The Next Metropolis”.

In terms of the wider economy, Penang is expected to register a 5% to 6% growth in its gross domestic product (GDP), outpacing the overall country’s growth by 1%, he said, noting that last year, Penang’s GDP grew by 7.4% while Malaysia’s grew by 6%.

According to Lim, Penang contributes 21.8% of the balance of Malaysia’s trade surplus, specialising in machinery, transport equipment and miscellaneous manufactured articles.

“Penang’s economy is more export-orientated, and now there is a better demand for electrical and electronic goods,” he said.

The export sector is expected to improve with the recovery of the US economy and the weaker ringgit, he added.

“It is important that Penang provides the best environment to attract more investments. Penang is the main manufacturing and economic hub for electronic and electrical items. Bayan Lepas is already full. It is important to provide more space for industrial growth.”

Some of the projects and initiatives that are expected to contribute to this growth is the IT-BPO at Bayan Lepas, BPO Prime at Bayan Baru and Changkat Byram, south of Batu Kawan.

Other projects that will benefit Penang overall include the Penang Transport Master Plan, Penang Heritage Arts District – Ilham Penang at Sia Boey, Creative Animation Triggers at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, and Komtar refurbishment. “All of these projects involve the private sector,” added Lim.

“The Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) is the catalyst to [turning Penang into a] metropolis, as it involves alleviating a lot of the problems locally in Penang, especially traffic congestion,” said Lim.

Expected to be completed in 2030, the RM27 billion project would include amenities such as trams for the heritage zones, LRT for the island and mainland, and water taxis.

Lim said Penang is on track to achieving its metropolis status.

“It is an ongoing process, and there is no deadline. Penang aims to transform into an international, intelligent city filled with life. To create a great metropolis, it has to be unique, and it has to attract people to want to live and expand the growth of the city,” he said.

NREC 2015 saw more than 250 participants from the banking, development, property and consultancy industries.

NREC is organised by the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) and co-organised by the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS).

Themed “Homes For Generations – Redefining Development Trends”, the convention highlighted concerns for the future of the real estate industry in Malaysia.

By Hannah Rafee / theedgeproperty.com 

South China Sea tension: US no hope to win, should never play fire at China’s doorsteps !

http://player.cntv.cn/standard/cntvOutSidePlayer.swfVideo: http://english.cntv.cn/2015/10/28/VIDE1446007922107805.shtml http://t.cn/RU5r1N8
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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http://t.cn/RUq2b2l   http://t.cn/RUqAHgxThe USS Lassen on Oct. 27 sailed within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built
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US making trouble & provocation out of nothing; China warns US Navy in South China Sea

 Video:http://t.cn/RUq2b2l http://t.cn/RUqAHgx

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

Video:  http://english.cntv.cn/2015/10/27/VIDE1445955726138180.shtml 

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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