World / Opinion

Might does not make right

By Shen Dingli (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-10 08:34

Washington should reflect on its words and actions if it is sincere about wanting to maintain stability in Asia

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel started his first visit to China since taking office on Monday, expressing the wish that his visit will help promote China-US military exchanges and stabilize relations between the two powers. If Washington is sincere in wanting the two nations and their militaries to work better together, China welcomes the gesture.

However, Hagel made remarks in Japan before coming to China that suggest otherwise. He implicitly accused Chinese of redefining boundaries, adding "coercion and intimidation is a very deadly thing that leads only to conflict. All nations, all people deserve respect no matter how large or how small." He said he will talk to China about having respect for its neighbors.

Hagel also welcomed the Japanese cabinet's move to change the interpretation of the Japanese Constitution so as to allow the country to exercise its right to collective self-defense, and the two countries reached an agreement on opposing what they claim is China's unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force.

China certainly agrees with the Hagel's statement about not violating territorial integrity and the sovereignty of nations by force, coer-cion and intimidation. China is committed to peaceful development and adheres to the road of peaceful development, and it has always taken peaceful means or a political solution as the first choice when safeguarding State sovereignty and dealing with international disputes. Even in handling the maritime territorial disputes concerning the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea and its islands and reefs in the South China Sea, China has actively advocated the position of shelving disputes and carrying out joint development.

In fact, it is not China, but the US that is used to violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation. For example, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, but the US regardless of its formal diplomatic relations with Beijing places its domestic law above international law and repeatedly exports arms to Taiwan, which violates China's territorial integrity and sovereignty by force. It is also the US that in the absence of any hard evidence and authorization of the United Nations Security Council launched a war against Iraq in 2003, which caused an unprecedented humanitarian disaster in the country. Although the US has withdrawn troops from Iraq, still there has been no apology or compensation from the US government and no one has been held accountable for the war. It is clear that what the US has done is a violation of territorial integrity and the sovereignty of a nation by force, coercion and intimidation.

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