Actions louder than words

Updated: 2012-03-19 08:11

(China Daily)

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Lt. Gen. Burton Field, the commander of US Forces Japan, gave a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, demanding that China respect freedom of navigation and take responsible actions in the South China Sea.

But this is just more double-dealing by the United States.

Ships of all countries, including those of the US, enjoy full freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. The fast economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the US' expanding economic and trade cooperation with countries in the region, prove this, as they would have been impossible without it.

As the Greek historian Herodotus remarked, people trust their eyes more than their ears, and it is the actions of the US that are irresponsible, not the actions of China.

It is the US that is deploying additional warships in the South China Sea, and holding joint military exercises with countries bordering the South China Sea in an attempt to flex its military muscles.

It is the US, which, like a playground bully, is forcing Asian countries to choose between it and China. The last thing Asia-Pacific countries want is to be forced to choose sides between the US and China.

It is those in the US who want to contain China and prevent the emergence of a challenger to US hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region that try to create tensions and drive a wedge between China and other countries in the region.

And it is the US that deliberately seeks to make trouble out of nothing by stirring up the sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea and harping on about the safety of navigation, so as to pave the way for the implementation of its strategy to contain China.

China has remained consistent in its adherence to the principle of putting aside disputes and developing the area together, and it has honored its words with actions. This is anathema to the US, of course, which abides by the principle of let the devil take the hindmost.

It is plain to see that the US is only too happy to let others do its dirty work for it, and countries in the region should be highly vigilant against its efforts to muddy the waters.

Letting the US stir up frictions will only harm regional cooperation and development and harm the interests of all countries bordering the South China Sea.

(China Daily 03/19/2012 page8)