主题： A dire warning to be taken seriously?
A dire warning to be taken seriously? 2011-08-07 06:12 #1
A dire warning to be taken seriously?
For a long time China has been bending backward to make light of the provocations of the Philippines and Vietnam. This trend of peaceable and diplomatic responses has emboldened these two countries to step up their provocations even more. It appears that the Philippines has recently announced the completion of a naval installation on one of the islands in the Nansha A. that allegedly would provide shelter for the Philippines naval vessels in the S. China Sea. This apparently has angered the Chinese government. In response to this last provocation the Chinese government had published a commentary authored by Zhong Sheng (钟声) which is the name of a group of people who contribute to each article published under this name. It is said that this group has significant influence over the policies of the Chinese government and often reflect its sentiment.
The question, of course, is whether the Chinese government is giving a dire warning to the Philippines and other governments occupying China’s sovereign territories that it has reached the limit of its tolerance and that policies are beginning to change with respect to the continued encroachment of these countries on the sovereign territories of China in the S. China Sea. Personally, I would like to think it is. China cannot continue to pursue its unrealistic policy of peaceful joint development in the S. China Sea. Its meaning of “joint development” is baffling. Nobody knows what is meant by “joint development.” Does China mean that all the claimant countries can explore for oil and gas anywhere they please? Apparently not, since China has said that all the archipelagos in the S. China Sea are its sovereign territories and that no other countries can explore and extract oil and gas within its sovereign territories. In which case “joint development” is meaningless.
Personally, I would like China to make an unambiguous publication that it considers Nansha A., Xisha A. and other archipelagos to be Chinese sovereign territories. It should declare that all waters within the boundary of each archipelago as defined by archipelagic baselines to be archipelagic waters and the 9-dotted line to be China’s sea boundary with all the waters between the 9-dotted line and the archipelagic baselines to be sovereign territorial waters. All territories within the 9-dotted line are China’s sovereign territories and no other countries may exploit any resources on, under, or above the sea bed. Other countries may have innocent passage.
Lastly, I hope this article signals a change of policy from one of ambiguous tolerance to one of clearer declaration of the use of force to enforce China’s sovereignty. What exactly does China mean by “pay a high price?” Normally this should mean that China is prepared to use force. If China takes no concrete follow up action, then it will be another empty threat that will lead to even more aggressive actions on the part of the Philippines and Vietnam and other countries. In the end, China cannot continue to make ambiguous warnings. Otherwise its words will confuse other countries and lessen their weight and importance.