“China is not isolated, neither it was in the past and nor will it be future. China has undisputed sovereignty over the South China Sea and neither will it be bogged down by the US nor does it have any fear of trouble in the ‘South China Sea’ region.” China’s retorted US. “Also, it does not think the international court ruling was binding”, warned a senior Chinese naval officer, Admiral Sun Jianguo.
Observers the world over, had their glance fixed on the ‘Shangri-La Dialogue’, Asia’s largest security summit, that took place in Singapore. To the exception of a handful, all prominent nations have slammed China for its military movements in the South China Sea. The US too has lodged its protest against China’s military manoeuvres in this region. At the Shangri-La Dialogue, Ashton Carter, the US Secretary of Defence claimed that the US was by far the greatest power in the waters of this region. On the last day of the summit, China’s senior naval officer taking an aggressive stance, clarified his country’s position on the matter.
“China has neither made trouble in the South China Sea region nor does it need to fear any, should it be challenged in this region. Claiming complete authority over the South China Sea, the Chinese official severely criticized the US. Certain countries were trying to create tension in this region but China was not going to allow them to succeed, he said.
Earlier, the US had claimed that as far as the South China Sea issue was concerned, China was erecting a wall of isolation around itself. Reacting to this statement, Jianguo informed that China had cordial relations with its neighbours and that it had signed 17 bilateral agreements over the past six months. Besides, in 2015, China entered into 13 pacts with South-East Asian countries which fact only indicated that China’s ties with its neighbours were in fact warmer than they were last year.
Some countries, he said, were still stuck with the cold war mentality and if this continued, it would be these nations who would end up isolating themselves.
On the occasion of this summit, the Chinese naval officer invited Philippines, Vietnam and other South East Asian to engage in talks with his country. China, he said, would always be open to a bilateral dialogue with Philippines on the South China Sea issue and took the opportunity to appeal to Rodrigo Duterte, the President Elect of Philippines, to discuss the matter.
It was a few days ago that Rodrigo Duterte had asserted the authority of Philippines over the Scarborough islands and had stated in no uncertain terms that there was no question of compromise on this right.
In the next few days, the international court at ‘Hague’ is slated to give its ruling on the Scarborough islands.
Last year Philippines initiated proceedings against China in the International court, alleging infringement into its maritime boundaries. The international court had instructed China to clarify its stance and withdraw from the maritime boundaries of Philippines.
However, Jianguo has made it more than clear that China did not recognize the ruling of the international court.
US does not recognize ‘air defence identification zone’
Slamming China for preparing to establish an air defence zone over the South China Sea like the one it already has over the East China Sea, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry said that the US would view this move as provocative and destabilizing.
The international court ruling over a case initiated by the Philippines against China over its South China Sea claims is expected in the next few days. The US feels concerned that China could express its ire over the ruling which, in all probability is going to shatter its claims to authority over the South China Sea region. A Chinese military official had hinted at this decision in the course of his talks with the media.
The US Secretary of Defence has cautioned China saying that the establishment of an air defence zone could fuel tensions in the region. Moreover this move would call into serious question, China’s commitment to diplomatically managing the South China Sea issue, warned Kerry while on a visit to Mongolia. He urged China not to take unilateral decisions and not to escalate tensions.