By Chengliang Wu, Curtis Stone
Saturday, May 27, 2017
China - Commentary: The wicked are first to complain
By Chengliang Wu, Curtis Stone
The U.S. Navy accused China once again of conducting “unsafe and unprofessional” maneuvers near U.S. military aircraft sent to spy on China. Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a P-3 Orion surveillance plane over the South China Sea on Wednesday, according to reports. How ridiculous it is for the U.S. Navy to complain after jeopardizing China’s security and interests. Such behavior makes one think of a Chinese idiom: the wicked are the first to complain.
While some might chalk the recent incidents up as just more examples of Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, it was the U.S. military that challenged China by conducting reconnaissance activities in China’s backyard. This would certainly force the Chinese to respond in a safe and professional manner.
If you come to China’s door looking for trouble, then don’t complain about it afterward. On the People’s Daily official Twitter account, a follower, a “little pink” digital warrior as some media outlets like to call young patriotic Chinese, responded to the above mentioned news piece: “Not only did the U.S. sneak into Chinese territory, it complained about it.” She added that if China had acted unprofessionally, then the Chinese military would have shot down the surveillance plane instead of drive it away.
This is not the first time that the U.S. has provoked China. This incident comes on the heels of other recent military provocations from the U.S., including a U.S. Navy warship that sailed within 12 nautical miles of Meiji Reef, which is part of China’s Nansha Islands in the South China Sea. In response to that incident, China’s Ministry of National Defense said it had identified the American warship and warned it to leave.
The increasing frequency of American provocation is a troubling sign for the hard-won peace and stability of the region. As recent events show, the long-term goal of the U.S. remains unchanged: ensure that the U.S. military dominates the Asia-Pacific region in order to maximize relative power.
The frequent reconnaissance activities by U.S. military ships and aircraft is the root cause of security issues between the two countries, according to China’s Ministry of National Defense, and China has urged the U.S. to put a stop to these activities.
China remains firmly committed to the path of peaceful development, and its defense policy is defensive in nature. Until recently, the situation in the South China Sea was cooling down, thanks to joint efforts made by China and other countries directly involved in the region’s issues. China is willing to work with relevant parties to make the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship, and cooperation. But China is also firm in defending its security and interests.
If there is any message that the U.S. should take from this latest encounter, it is that the capability and determination of the Chinese military in protecting its sovereignty is growing stronger by the day. Disrupting joint efforts to promote peace and stability in the region serves no one’s interests, and is not the best path forward. If the U.S. is truly committed to helping maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, then it should stop poking the peaceful panda.