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 !


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


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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.

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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



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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

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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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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 –

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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


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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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US warned against ‘provocations’: patrol plan risks ‘escalating tensions’


A J-15, China’s first generation of carrier-based fighter jet, takes off from the Liaoning.

Firm reaction for US sea provocation

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said US ships and aircraft would “fly, sail and operate whenever international law permits” in response to a question about whether the US would enter 12 nautical miles of China’s “artificial islands” in the South China Sea. Carter said the South China Sea would not be an exception.

It was reported by US media recently that US military vessels would enter within 12 nautical miles from China’s “artificial islands” in the South China Sea, and challenge China’s construction work in that region and claims over the Nansha Islands. It is said that relevant plans have been submitted to the president’s office. China may face a grave test imposed by Washington’s escalation of tensions over the maritime disputes.

“Artificial island” is an inaccurate depiction of China’s construction work in the South China Sea. China is expanding, not building these islands out of thin air. The expanding national interest in terms of waters and air space is not yet clearly defined by international law. Whether this ambiguity could trigger major-power conflicts depends on what major powers think.

China has not made any statement about the expansion of its sovereignty due to the construction work, and China has no intention of claiming more sovereignty. Washington’s ceaseless provocations and coercion can only demonstrate that it does not intend to protect freedom of navigation in this region, as China has clearly stated that the right will not be impeded. What the US wants is to play rough against China and stress its hegemony.

In this case, China mustn’t tolerate rampant US violations of China’s adjacent waters and the skies over these expanding islands. The Chinese military should be ready to launch countermeasures according to Washington’s level of provocation.

The US must have known that China’s reclamation work does not contravene international law, so Washington has no sufficient reason to stop China. Despite the legitimacy of China’s construction work and the public good it can provide, if the US adopts an aggressive approach, it will be a breach of China’s bottom line, and China will not sit idly by.

China has remained calm with self-restraint even in the face of Washington’s escalating provocations, but if the US encroaches on China’s core interests, the Chinese military will stand up and use force to stop it.

If Washington wants to prove it can keep its military edge in China’s offshore areas, then let it come. US military forces will have a chance to test the deterrence of its equipment and its willingness to show off its hegemony on China’s doorstep at any cost.

The South China Sea is not a place where countries can act wantonly. Rules should be jointly made by all stakeholders, and US military ships cannot dominate the region. Washington has over-estimated the effect of its military prowess. – Global Times

US patrol plan risks ‘escalating tensions’

Tensions in the South China Sea could spiral out of control if the US starts patrolling too close to Chinese islands, with any military confrontation between China and the US escalating to a dangerous level, analysts said Wednesday.

Speaking after a two-day meeting between US and Australian foreign and defense ministers in Boston, US defense secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that the US would sail and fly wherever international law allows, including the South China Sea.

His remarks were rebuked by China’s foreign ministry, which said China has indisputable sovereignty over certain South China Sea islands and their surrounding waters and that China is not the one that had militarized the region.

“I want to point out that some countries have recently flexed their military muscles again and again in the South China Sea,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing Wednesday.

FM: Construction is our int’l responsibility

China has denied its island-building in the South China Sea would “militarize” the area, after

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http://t.cn/RyBAP3C

“This is the biggest factor in the militarization of the South China Sea. We hope the relevant countries cease hyping up the South China Sea issue and scrupulously abide by their promises not to take sides on the territorial disputes,” she said.

Carter’s statement came a day after The New York Times reported that the US has been briefing its allies in Asia, including the Philippines, on plans to conduct naval patrols near Chinese islands, which could come as close as within the 12 nautical mile limit.
The patrols look more imminent according to a Wednesday Reuters report, which, by quoting some analysts in Washington, said the patrols could happen at the end of this or next week.

Countermeasures

“What will happen is that China will take necessary countermeasures [if the US begins patrolling the area.] The actual measures will depend on how frequently the US decides to enter the airspace or waters close to the islands and what kind of aircraft or ship they plan to send,” Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for the South China Sea, told the Global Times.

According to Wu, the first measure would involve diplomatic and military warnings. If the situation escalates, China may dispatch planes to tail US aircraft to decide if there is hostile intent. If this is believed to be so, the next step would be for the Chinese military to expel the US ships and planes.

Wu warned that there could be considerable danger, and if further measures need to be taken, the risk of a military clash or even casualties, based on either miscalculation or coincidence, would significantly rise.

“I think the bottom line for both China and the US is to make sure there is no open conflict or casualties,” Wu said.
His opinion was echoed by Hu Bo, a professor at the Peking University Ocean Strategy Research Center, who said that both China and the US will remain restrained to prevent any confrontation from evolving into a full-blown war.

“The problem is, both countries need to demonstrate their strong will to the world while trying to keep their heads cool. This makes controlling the situation difficult,” Hu said.

Although entering within 12 nautical miles of Chinese islands may not be technically difficult for the US military, analysts believe the important question the US should ask itself is whether it will face a better situation in the South China Sea if it decided to take such action.
“China is unlikely to let the US get away with it. A likely outcome would be a long-term military stand-off in the South China Sea,” Hu said.

Civilian use stressed

The US intervention could also change what China plans to do with the South China Sea islands, experts said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said last month during his visit to the US that China did not intend to militarize the islands.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua on Wednesday re-iterated that China’s purpose of island construction is for civilian use.

She noted that China is only deploying limited military equipment for necessary defensive purposes, which is “understandable given that some countries are flexing their muscles and frequently conduct targeted large-scale military exercises with allies.”

“The proportion of military facilities on these islands depends on how much threat the US and its allies exert on China,” Wu said.
“If the US military comes within 12 nautical miles of these islands, it would only be more reasonable for China to speed up its construction of military facilities, which at the moment is restrained,” Hu said.

By Bai Tiantian (Global Times)

How hard do Chinese work?


Workers in China put in the hours

Recently, foreign media reported on the Chinese work ethic, such as The Guardian article “How hard does China work?” . (Photo/Screenshot)

Recently, foreign media reported on the Chinese work ethic, such as The Guardian article “How hard does China work?” on Oct. 6, suggesting Britons needed to pull up their socks and work hard “in the way that Asian economies are prepared to work hard”. On Oct. 8, Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao cites The Guardian’s statistics, saying the average Chinese worker puts in somewhere between 2,000 and 2,200 hours each year.

The earliest survey data is published on Wall Street Journal last year. It claimed, citing official statistics that nearly 85 percent of migrants worked more than 44 hours a week, earning an average of just £270 per month.

China is one of the countries with the longest average working hours in the world, equivalent to the level of the countries such as the UK, Germany and France in the 1950s, according to data. In addition, survey data reflect the general working hours of European and American countries per capita is shorter than of developing countries.

According to figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,in 2013, working hours in Germany and France were 1,388 hours and 1,489 hours respectively, well below China’s per capital working hours at the same period. Compared to the UK average of 1,677 hours last year, the average Chinese worker put in 320 more hours last year.

Why do Chinese workers have to put in longer hours than their counterparts in European countries and the United States? Director of Research at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, Ding Li, said that China’s per capita level of work depends largely on the strength of the domestic economy.

Chinese workers have to work longer hours than their peers from the more developed countries, such as the UK and US, because in China the average wage is low, while the domestic prices are relatively high, noted celebrity financial expert Larry Hsien Ping Lang in 2013.

Last year, the labor market research center at Beijing Normal University released a report, noting employees in 90 percent of industries in China work over 40 hours per week. Those working in the construction industry, resident services, repairs and other services have a working week of over 49 hours and the longest hours in China are worked by those in hospitality and catering, racking up over 51.4 hours.

For more than half of all industry sectors, including accommodation and catering industry, employees do over four hours’ overtime per week.
In recent years, Chinese people pay more attention to health problems caused by growing pressure from work, such as fatigue, obesity and insomnia.

However, long working hours will persist for a certain time as Ding Li pointed out, because China is still at the developmental stage of chasing GDP growth and increasing total production.

By Gao Yinan (People’s Daily Online)  

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