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China Daily Website

Safeguard territory

Safeguard territory

It all started on April 10, as 12 Chinese fishing boats were pulling into the lagoon to take shelter due to harsh weather conditions, when a Philippine Naval gunboat blocked the entrance to the lagoon, and sent 12 soldiers, six of them armed, to the lagoon, and harassed the Chinese fishermen.

While China has reiterated Huangyan Island is an integral part of Chinese territory, the Philippine authorities have recently claimed sovereignty over the island, which China rejected, and sent vessels to the island waters. 

Safeguard territory

Safeguard territory@Hongguoquan Writer and director at the Military Channnel of China Central Television 

Instead of withdrawing vessels, China should strengthen its sovereignty over Huangyan Island by hoisting the national flag, establishing the monument of sovereignty, building military bases, or at least setting up a fishery base on the island. Huangyan Island should be viewed as a demonstration area for "breaking the deadlock" of the South China Sea. Since the Philippines raised the Huangyan Island issue, we have to show the world how we will safeguard our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Safeguard territory@Caoxinglong Former ambassador to Portugal

It is understandable that people are a little anxious about Huangyan Island. But we can rest assured that our government will deal with it. First, China is a big country, so only by adopting the underdog attitude and striking only after the enemy has struck can we have the initiative and win worldwide sympathy. Second, the best policy is to subdue the enemy without fighting. We should try to avoid the use of force to secure our territory. Necessary deterrent with diplomatic and economic means will be enough.

Safeguard territory@Beijingluge International affairs researcher with Tsinghua University 

Unlike the disputed islands and reefs, Huangyan Island is an inherent part of China's territory, and China's sovereignty over the island has full legal and actual basis. The core is to strengthen the consciousness of sovereignty. While maintaining a low government profile, China should mobilize a high-profile public opinion campaign to make its voice heard and keep the international society from being misled.

Safeguard territory@Fenghuangshipin Official Weibo account of 

Major General Luo Yuan indicates that China not only should "not withdraw fire", but should also take this opportunity to strengthen its sovereignty over Huangyan Island, hoist the national flag on it, establish the sovereignty monument and build a military base. We should show the world how we safeguard our national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The pursuit of a peaceful rise doesn't mean renunciation of war. China should eliminate the mistaken belief that China won't resort to the use of force to ensure the "strategic opportunity period".

Safeguard territory@Huxijin Editor-in-chief at Global Times 

The Philippines is obviously the loser of this crisis over Huangyan Island. Both sides have wanted to tone it down for a while. The Philippines is no longer as aggressive as before, but China has not gained that much, either. The South China Sea dispute will continue for a while, and China will not only rival the Philippines, but also the US. China is in a quandary, but she is not going to back down an inch. If the Philippines become too provocative and break the peace, they can expect a punch in the face from China.

Safeguard territory

Beijing's response to the Manila-instigated standoff at Huangyan Island in the South China Sea has remained restrained and rational. As a responsible power, China has approached the dispute with the overall picture of Sino-Philippine ties and the stability of the region in mind.

However, it by no means indicates that China will not take tough measures if necessary. Indeed, China's armed forces have vowed to "fulfill their duty" to safeguard China's territory in the South China Sea.

But ultimately, we all hope both sides can sit down and settle the dispute peacefully.