中国海军首位女发言人邢广梅 PLA Navy first female spokesperson Senior Captain Xing Guangmei
Must War Break Out Between the U.S. and China in the South China Sea? PLA Navy Female Spokesperson Xing Guangmei Gives the Inside Story
My translation –
Commentary on the Global Times net from a PLA Navy spokesperson Xing Guangmei “first female spokesperson of the PLA Navy” on whether war can be avoided in the South China Sea.
There is a lot of talk in international society these days about how the “argument between the US and China about rules”. US President Obama ‘s recent comment on the Trans Pacific Partnership, that “we don’t want to let China write the economic rules for the world”. These made discussions on this point even more intense. In this writer’s view, this argument about rules is superficial. This talk about rules is really just an excuse and is very deceptive.
Although there is a “struggle” these days between the U.S. and China, we need to understand that what the US struggles for and what China struggles for are very different. China’s struggle is for the survival of the state and for its right to development. The key point is the expansion of opportunities for China’s development in the world and the rise of China’s influence. The US struggle, however, is to maintain world hegemonism and its place as the #1 hegemon. The US believes that China’s rise threatens its fundamental nation interests. Therefore, its “struggle” is to contain the increase in China’s international influence. This will must lead to a bumping of heads between the US and China and indeed created the collision we see today between the US and China.
Over the short term, the US will strive even harder to achieve its so-called strategic objectives. One of the way it is doing this is, through various means, to strengthen its presence in the region. One example is directly stationing military forces or increasing the frequency of patrols; another is selling weapons and equipment to its allies or partners as well as by holding joint military exercises with countries in the region. By increasing its presence, the US aims to counter-balance China’s building up of military capacity in the South China Sea. Many people are concerned that, as this trend continues, that the South China Sea could become a “tinderbox that ignites” or even that “war is certain”. The most important way to avoid that possibility is for the United States to give up its strategy of world hegemony and its Cold War thinking, accept the fact of the rise of China. However, for now it appears that the US is not doing that. Therefore, China still needs to endure facts of that the US is not willing to accept the development of China and that it is doing its utmost to contain China.
The “US struggle”, which is the US containment of China, is both strong and methodical. Its strength refers is the power it has built up over the past century, its absorptive capacity, and its multifarious soft power. Methods refers to the military alliance system that the US has been running for the past half-century and the pragmatic spirit embodied in it. The “Chinese struggle” face many difficulties and constraints. A new round of big changes for China — new technologies such as the Internet are creating comprehensive changes in society, big changes in the structure of the Chinese economy; big changes in the Chinese military that are underway; and how institutions in the areas of politics, culture, and the law are being improved and made more comprehensive. When we come to the many obstacles that China faces in its development, this refers to the constraints and provocations that China gets from the U.S. and its allies.
Overall, there is more cooperation than opposition and competition in the US – China relationship. However, the tone of US – China relationship these days is becoming the shrill one of opposition and competition, and that trend is becoming steadily stronger. The danger point is at sea, and particularly in the South China Sea. The U.S. and China do have procedures in place to manage crises and clearly both sides are committed to preventing a crisis from breaking out. Fundamentally, this is about the strategic choices the US makes. The choices the U.S. makes in the Pacific region will directly affect the peace and stability of the not only the region but of the entire world. Easing tensions is not just China’s responsibility. Easing of tensions is a big challenge to the U.S. as well. (The author Xing Guangmei is the first female spokesperson for the Chinese Navy.)