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Exposing China’s ‘runaway’ game in the East Sea

The mainstream press and “friendly” experts China continues to publish articles to “run away” for its actions in the East Sea.

Recently, the newspaper South China Morning Post published an article by Dr. Mark J.Valencia, who is working for China’s National Institute of Research on the South China Sea, titled What is driving China’s “assertiveness” in the South China Sea? (rough translation: What makes China “assertive” in East Sea).


The article contains content to counter the report of a research institution policy from the US on the situation in the East Sea. Ignoring the criticisms about the report just mentioned, Dr. Valencia’s article aims to explain China’s behavior in the East Sea mainly based on historical lessons and the country needs to ensure the ability to prevent protection against threats – particularly from the US, due to the power competition between Washington and Beijing in the region.

Specifically, the author said: “For China, historically, the South China Sea can be an area easily accessed by Western countries, which seek to control and dominate China.” Therefore, according to the author, Beijing is strengthening its information gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for the above purpose, ensuring the risk of the West “pre-emptive attack”. These fallacies are intended to suggest that in the South China Sea, China is only “defending” threats from the West.

Exposing China's 'runaway' game in the East Sea - Photo 1

The Chinese coast guard ship not only caused trouble but even sank a Vietnamese fishing boat in the East Sea

provided by the fisherman

This is not the first time that Dr. Valencia has written articles that “orient” responsibility for tensions in the East Sea. Reality, Youth has repeatedly reflected on the articles of this “international expert”.

Specifically, in May 2021, Mr. Valencia had 2 articles related to the East Sea issue published in newspapers Asia Times and South China Morning Post respectively “South China Sea: Muddying the waters” (rough translation: South China Sea amid destabilizing actions), and “US-China race for surveillance supremacy in South China Sea risks a needless clash” (rough translation: The US-China race in capacity to monitor the South China Sea risks leading to unnecessary clashes). Before that, in March 2021, Mr. Valencia published an article in the newspaper South China Morning Post titled “With its support for US strategy, France is playing with fire in the South China Sea” (rough translation: Supporting the US strategy, France is “playing with fire” in the East Sea). Or on January 1, 2021, Mr. Valencia wrote an article “US and its allies must be wary of provoking South China Sea conflict over freedom of navigation” (rough translation: The US and its allies need to be careful about provoking conflicts in the East Sea over freedom of navigation) on sheet South China Morning Post, good in November 2020 there is a post “What really drives the South China Sea conflict” (rough translation: What causes the risk of conflict in the East Sea?) above Asia Times.

The basic content of the above articles is still to blame that the actions of the West have caused China must react in the South China Sea, not China actively causing tension.

Come say one thing, do another

Obviously, the US-China power competition in the Pacific region is an ongoing reality. However, it is completely illogical to explain China’s moves in the East Sea as “defensive” only. Specifically, since 2016, satellite images show that Beijing has completed construction of a 3,000-meter runway, large hangar… in Fiery Cross Reef in the Truong Sa archipelago. In the same year 2016, other images also showed a similar situation on the two reefs of Subi and Mischief (Spratly Islands) that Beijing illegally occupied.

After completing the infrastructure, China goes one step further and deploys a variety of aircraft military arrived in the area, although it is not known if it was garrisoned or not. By 2018, in addition to the traces of military aircraft on these rocks, weapons such as YJ-12B anti-ship missile systems, HQ-9B surface-to-air missiles were also deployed to the reefs at Truong Sa. Sa, according to satellite images and analysis published by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) based in Washington (USA).

In addition, throughout 2020 and 2021, China self-enacted new maritime law and maritime safety notification law to seek to illegally control this sea area, in order to achieve absolute control in the area. East Sea. Because Beijing has given itself control, it is ready to attack foreign ships, including fishing vessels of countries in the region. Even without these regulations, a Chinese coast guard ship rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat that was legally fishing in the waters near the coast. Hoang Sa islands in 2020.

In May, the Global Times, affiliated to the People’s Daily of the Communist Party of China, published an editorial on May 18, “China, ASEAN push forward COC talks despite of US’ intervention” (rough translation: China, ASEAN promote COC negotiations despite US intervention; COC stands for Code of Conduct in the East Sea (NV).

“China has been making unremitting efforts for peace and stability in the region and promoting the COC negotiations,” the editorial said. However, exactly one day after the “friendly” editorial was published, China began to exercise in the South China Sea as reported above. Since the beginning of the year, China has repeatedly announced exercises in this area.

Not only that, the Chinese media recently published many worrying information in the East Sea such as: Deploying the stealthy fifth-generation fighter J-20 to patrol; Improve the ability to fly continuously for dozens of hours for fighter pilots; Expand amphibious assault capabilities on islands and features in the South China Sea with transport aircraft and amphibious assault ships; Test firing cruise missiles to attack warships…

The above facts show that China’s actions are not a defense against threats from the West. Moreover, in 2016, the International Court of Arbitration ruled against China’s claims in the South China Sea. Therefore, any military escalation by China in this sea is illegal for whatever reason.

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