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China Daily Website

China braves surging waves to guard sovereignty

Updated: 2012-12-24 14:30
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - The East and South China seas have been eventful in 2012 with several of China's neighbors stirring up sovereignty issues. Laudably, China has responded firmly but with restraint.

Beijing has tried to send a clear signal to the world. That is, its resolve to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and marine rights and interests is unshakable. So, too, is its peaceful diplomatic policy to be a good neighbor and a good partner to its neighbors.

Incidents involving islands in China's territory have popped up one after another, mirroring a deep and complex change in today's world diplomacy.

In April, Philippine warships harassed and assaulted Chinese fishing boats and fishermen around the Huangyan Islands, violating China's sovereignty and stirring up trouble.

In June, Vietnam passed a law to include China's Xisha and Nansha Islands in South China Sea within Vietnam's sovereignty and jurisdiction, a unilateral invalid action that complicated the issue.

The move also betrayed a consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

The Diaoyu Islands issue erupted after the Japanese government announced its decision in September to "purchase" part of the Diaoyu Islands, echoing the islands-purchasing motion initiated in April by Japanese right-wing politician Shintaro Ishihara.

China-Japan relations faced their most serious challenge in the 21st century as Tokyo betrayed the consensus reached between leaders of older generations of the two countries and blatantly challenged the post-war world order.

At least two factors lie behind these islands "troubles." One was that the countries involved unilaterally betrayed their consensus with China and took action to escalate the issue; and the other was that the United States played an active role behind the scenes.

Over the past year, Washington has taken advantage of the islands issues and rapidly pushed ahead its strategy to refocus on the Asia-Pacific region, while the other countries took the opportunity to complicate and internationalize the issues with an attempt to "fish in troubled waters."

China has never bowed to external pressures. The troubles only inspired the Chinese government's and people's firmness in safeguarding territorial sovereignty and marine rights and interests.

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