Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

US needs neutral policy on sea disputes

By Jin Yongming (China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-11 08:01

At the East Asian foreign ministers meeting last month, Wang Yi said that China and ASEAN had worked out ways to address the South China Sea disputes. China supports and advocates the use of a "dual-track" approach to settle the disputes - disputing countries should resolve their disputes through friendly negotiations while China and ASEAN member states jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Such a "dual-track" approach is not only a direct response to the US Senate's policy proposal and the US Department of State officials' remarks, but also reflects China's basic policy and stance on the South China Sea issue. It is also a continuity and reiteration of China's previous policies.

The US has to change its discriminate policy on the South China Sea disputes if it indeed stands for peace and development.

On Tuesday, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Fan Changlong told Rice that the US should halt its close-in aerial and naval surveillance of China and take the correct view of the development of the Chinese military.

The US should also curb its joint military drills with countries that have territorial disputes with China and reduce its weapons aid to them, and downsize its military deployment in the region and stop interfering in regional affairs. As a superpower, the US has the moral responsibility to adopt a neutral policy and play a constructive role as a mediator in disputes, thereby contributing to regional and global peace.

China is not the troublemaker in the South China Sea. Instead, it is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the region. China's actions should thus be viewed in the right perspective, that is, in relation to the actions of the other disputing parties, for only then can they be correctly judged.

The author is director of the Research Center of China's Ocean Strategy, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

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