(NationalSecurity.news) A op-ed published in a Chinese state-run media outlet this week warned the United States it had “picked the wrong opponent” as Washington deploys additional naval and air assets in the South China Sea as a means of countering Beijing’s aggressive expansion in the region.
“Two American aircraft carriers conducted practice drills in the waters not far from the coast of the Philippines islands in recent days. John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations let it be known on June 20 during a meeting at the Center for a New American Security that it was not at all ordinary for the United States to dispatch two aircraft carriers to one single ocean region, and that it represents the commitment of the U.S. to maintain security in this region, and that it also serves as ‘deterrence’ for related countries,” said the op-ed, by Zhong Sheng in the People’s Daily Online.
“Conveying a so-called message about security through the exhibition of military might, and furthermore describing the events as an act of deterrence is something that the U.S. has done far too many times,” the op-ed continued. “Regardless of how many times it may have gone smoothly in other parts of the world the U.S. has chosen the wrong opponent by selecting China for this type of game. Behind all of this is lack of patience and brassy moves and it also reveals a nature of hegemony beneath the surface.”
The Chinese government often uses state media organs to send messages and respond to geopolitical situations, as a means of appearing to be detached from the issue. But U.S. intelligence officials and other geopolitical observers are well aware of the tactic and understand that the message comes directly from Beijing.
“Statements from high ranking officials in the U.S. military as well as the aircraft carrier drills themselves once again demonstrate that the U.S. is definitely not a regional security safeguard, and instead precisely a trouble maker. In the regard of the South China Sea issue, the U.S. is playing an extremely destructive role,” the op-ed continued.
“The United States is a country outside the territory of the South China Sea, coming from one side of the Pacific Ocean all the way to the other side of the Pacific Ocean to demonstrate their military power is for the purpose of intensifying the situation and to provoke disturbances and break peaceful stability and then to fish in troubled water and make an effort to maintain hegemony thereat at all costs. This deceitful business is despised in the regard of international law, and it is also harmful to the security benefits of the country,” Zhong wrote.
The Pentagon’s and the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” – the repositioning of military hardware and increased naval presence – is meant to reassure allies in the region that Washington is committed to their security. The presence is also meant to inform China, which has few real allies, that Washington intends to observe well-established international law governing the freedom of navigation. About one-third of all global trade passes through the South China Sea.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said the U.S. will remain the preeminent security power in Asia for the foreseeable future. In May 2015, he urged caution in the region and said that despite Chinese efforts to militarize manmade islands it has reclaimed in the region hundreds of miles from its shores, the U.S. isn’t planning on abandoning its commitments.
“First, we want a peaceful resolution of all disputes and an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by any claimant,” the secretary said. “We also oppose any further militarization of disputed features.”
Carter added, “Second, and there should be no mistake: The United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world.”
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