World / Opinion

US needs to readjust attitude regarding South China Sea issue

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-07-06 10:15

US needs to readjust attitude regarding South China Sea issue

Xinhua photo

BEIJING -- The South China Sea used to be a peaceful region before the United States poked its nose into the area. Instead of its "Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific" strategy, what the United States really needs is to "rebalance" its attitude toward the issue.

Small frictions in the South China Sea date back to the late 1960s when some American scientists reported the discovery of rich gas and petrol resources in the region. Some coastal countries started to occupy the islands for that reason since then.

Fortunately, in the following years, China maintained overall peace in the waters via constant and friendly negotiations with concerned countries, and reached the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in 2002.

Taking no sides on the South China Sea issue was the US position in the past.

However, the Obama administration launched the Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific strategy in 2009 and started to brazenly meddle in the area, which is far from US shores.

In 2010, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said openly that her country "has a national interest" in the South China Sea. This May, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that China's action could create a "tinderbox" in the region, ignoring other countries' provocative actions a long time ago.

Freedom of navigation, respect for international law and strategic security are the terms most frequently used by the United States to disguise its private interests in the region.

The freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has never been a problem as nearly a hundred thousand boats freely sail across the waters every year, making up the majority of global maritime trade.

However, since 2015, US warships and military aircraft have repeatedly approached the Nansha Islands without Chinese permission. This in fact reveals provocation and hegemony behind the US claim of navigational freedom.

Calling for respect of international laws, the United States on the contrary hasn't ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the prestigious international treaty over the use of the world's oceans.

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