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Chinese paper slams Philippines, Vietnam for running to US for help

Publication Date : 18-07-2012


One of China’s top newspapers has assailed the Philippines and Vietnam for their alleged “attempt to grab islands and waters (in the South China Sea), which don’t belong to them by riding the back of the tiger,” apparently referring to the United States.

The Beijing-based Global Times, in a July 16 report, also said Manila and Hanoi “hope to get massive military assistance from the US, which the US can’t afford to provide.”

The report, titled “Clinton’s trip highlights weak points of US return to Asia,” was written by Liu Zongyi, a research fellow of the Centre for South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

It noted that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “made a trip encircling China recently.”

“From Japan to Mongolia then to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Clinton mainly focused on three things: backing Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines in disputes with China over maritime territorial sovereignty, balancing China’s economic influence in Asian by enhancing trade and economic ties with Southeast Asian countries, and promoting support for democracy and human rights as the core of US Asian strategy while attacking China’s development model,” it said.

According to Liu, Clinton’s “every topic targetted China by insinuation. It seems the US is tightening its encirclement of China. But on the other hand, we can see the weakness of the US’ ‘back to Asia’ strategy.”

“The Obama administration’s strategy covers political and military fields, as well as trade and economy. But the strategy seemingly is gradually losing its edge,” said Liu.

From the military perspective, Liu pointed out “the US has enhanced its deployment in the Asia-Pacific region and interfered in territorial disputes between China and relevant countries. The South China Sea disputes and the Diaoyu Islands dispute have been intensified as the US wedges in. But the US aims at checking China by taking advantages of these disputes rather than directly confronting China. Getting involved in an armed conflict with China is the least desirable option.”

“Clinton’s Asian tour mainly focused on promoting trade and economic relations, catering to some Asian countries’ pleasure. The US hopes to block the economic integration of East Asia and compete with China for economic influence. But if the US could really shift its competition focus with China from the political and military fields to the economic field, this would benefit the regional stability and prosperity in East Asia,” the report said.

China “advocates establishing a new type of relationship between China and the US in which the overall pattern cannot be influenced by specific problems.”

“Avoiding conflicts is the first step. The Sino-US relationship should develop based on mutual respect, mutual promotion and peaceful competition,” Liu added.

Last weekend, the Global Times ran a report quoting Liu Weimin, a spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, as having said Beijing opposed Manila’s plan to offer oil exploration contracts in the South China Sea (called by Philippines as the West Philippine Sea).

Liu said China “has repeatedly lodged representations with the Philippines for their bidding out oil exploration contracts in some of the blocks, which have violated China’s interests.”

“Without permission from the Chinese government, oil exploration activities by any country or any company in waters under China’s jurisdiction are illegal,” she also said.

Liu also called on the Philippines to make its due contribution to maintaining peace and stability in the disputed waters.


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