"Three points" stressed by Chinese defense minister pinpoint crux of Asia Pacific security issue

China Military Online
Huang Panyue
2024-06-06 18:29:17

By Hua Zhang

"We do not allow hegemonism and power politics to harm the Asia-Pacific region, we do not allow geopolitical conflicts or cold and hot wars in the region, and we do not allow any country or force to create war and chaos here," stressed Chinese Defense Minister Admiral Dong Jun when giving a speech on China's approach to global security at the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue on June 2.

The three points pinpoint the crux of the current security issue in the Asia Pacific – some regional countries are trying to bring geopolitical conflicts and cold or hot wars into the region by colluding with outside countries, and a certain super power is attempting to create war and chaos in the region to maintain its hegemony. The Asia-Pacific countries, including China, will not stand by with folded arms. The voice of justice from China reflects the whole region's wish for peace and development and the collective opposition against hegemonism and power politics. 

In recent years, the Philippines has constantly intruded into the South China Sea islands and reefs under Chinese jurisdiction,and created disturbances by playing the victim and then accused China of violating international law. All this time, the US, a country outside of the region, has been rooting for Manila with a view to driving a wedge between China and its surrounding countries and instigating bloc confrontation in the Asia Pacific.

As a matter of fact, the Philippines has coveted China's South China Sea islands and reefs for a long time. It thought about forcefully occupying them as early as in late 1960s and early 1970s when oil and gas resources were detected in waters near the Nansha Qundao, and has always wanted to bring the US onboard to back it up. On April 30, 2012, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clearly stated that Washington held no position on the disputes over the territorial sovereignty of the South China Sea, and supported settling them through cooperative diplomatic procedures. Her remarks were echoed by then commander of the US Pacific Command Samuel Locklear, who supported a peaceful solution to the China-Philippines territorial disputes when visiting the Philippines on December 13, 2012.

However, Washington quickly abandoned this neutral position. It was exactly with Washington's support and agitation that Manila unilaterally initiated the so-called "South China Sea arbitration" on January 22, 2013. When Manila suddenly made trouble on the South China Sea issue around the year 2013, Washington gave up its neutrality and became the master hand behind the Philippines' illegal claims and a trouble maker in the South China Sea as part of its overall strategic adjustment. In 2009, the Obama administration rolled out the "back to Asia Pacific" strategy, followed by the "Asia Pacific rebalancing" strategy in 2012. Both aimed to ramp up its interference in the region to curb China's rise.

The US shifted from a "neutral observer" to an "active trouble maker" in the South China Sea because it takes this issue as a useful and cheap tool to create trouble for China. The Philippines, which has always wanted to get the US involved in the South China Sea, was more than happy to serve as its cat's paw. 

During this year's Shangri-La Dialogue, Philippine President Ferdin and Romualdez Marcos was all about the so-called "rules-based international order" and called for rational competition between China and the US. However, when asked why he mentioned the US so many times in his speech, Marcos embarrassed himself with silence, once again exposing the two countries' sinister ploy to collusively create regional tension and bring geopolitical conflicts and cold or hot wars into the Asia Pacific.

Justice will always prevail.Although Washington and Manila are constantly making waves on the South China Sea issue, countries in the region, as Admiral Dong Jun's remarks demonstrated, will continue to work together with confidence to maintain peace and stability, fend off foreign interference, and resolve regional divergences through friendly consultations. 

Editor's note: Originally published on china.com.cn, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.

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