U.S. politicians need to stop counterproductive meddling
By Liu Chang
BEIJING: Designedly turning a blind eye to Japan’s recent reckless and provocative actions of “buying” China’s Diaoyu Islands, some U.S. lawmakers brazenly blamed China for the flaring tensions in the region.
Republican Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehitinen of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday groundlessly rounded upon China, saying China was a “schoolyard bully” towards its maritime neighbors and aspired to dominate the region.
Such remarks would not only do no good to the worsening ties between Beijing and Tokyo, but also embolden the Japanese government and some other countries in the region that have maritime disputes with China to take even more actions that could undermine stability and peace in the Asia-Pacific.
The Philippines has already attempted to fish in the troubled waters. Manila on Wednesday unilaterally renamed as the “West Philippine Sea” a portion of the South China Sea that includes waters around some Chinese islands, a serious breach of China’s sovereign rights.
In fact, it would not be necessary to employ complicated high technology to determine who is both right and reasonable in these territorial disputes in the region. There are plenty of historical texts and records that can effectively prove China’s ownership of these islands and waters.
Therefore, the only reason why a handful of U.S. politicians always stand against China’s legitimate ownership of these islets is that they purposely choose to do so.
In fact, since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Washington has been inclined to pin China on its combat chart and take it as a potential challenger to its so-called strategic interests and self-claimed leadership in the Asia-Pacific area.
However, with misgivings about Beijing’s rapid emergence onto the world stage, the United States still wants to grab a big share of China’s extended and lucrative markets for business profits.
And it would be self-deceiving that China could not see through Washington’s calculations, and such a two-pronged policy of containment and engagement towards China could never possibly underpin a stable and constructive China-U.S. relationship.
Moreover, for generations, there have always been some U.S. politicians trying to make political capital out of China-bashing games. They have also helped to boost America’s half-hearted China policy.
China has demonstrated to the world that it seeks no regional domination. It is dedicated to developing its economy and improving the Chinese people’s livelihood. Therefore, there is no reason for China to undermine the regional stability and thus disrupt its development.
In the meantime, it has been China’s steadfast policy and long-term practice to resolve the maritime disputes in the region through bilateral talks.
Nevertheless, that does not mean that China would allow any alien trespasses over its sovereignty. China has the will and ability to safeguard its territorial integrity.
U.S. politicians should refrain from making irresponsible remarks that would serve nothing but to stoke more tensions. Washington needs to heed China’s call that it play a constructive role in the Asia-Pacific.