Provocative US move against China

A US navy warship carried out an operation under the garb of freedom-of-navigation on Friday near islands claimed by China and two other Asian countries in the South China Sea. The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur sailed within waters claimed by China and was shadowed by three Chinese vessels. It was the fourth challenge that the United States has made to what it alleges overreaching maritime claims by China in the South China Sea in the past year, and the first since May. However, thanks to the policy of restraint being pursued by Beijing despite repeated provocations that any direct or serious clash has been avoided. The latest US move coincides with the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China where he declared the Philippines’ “separation” from long-standing ally the United States and rebalancing his country’s diplomacy towards China, which is being viewed by analysts around the globe as a very significant diplomatic victory of Beijing. The two countries also agreed to resume talks on their dispute over South China Sea, which meant forward movement towards peaceful resolution of the issue to the dismay of the United States. It is hoped that Indonesia and Vietnam too would demonstrate the kind of wisdom being displayed by President of the Philippines to deny any justification to the super power to make any mischief in the name of safeguarding their interests. The US has also been propagating that fishermen of Indonesia and Philippines are being harassed by Chinese coast guards and naval vessels around disputed waters. It is quite obvious that the United States is trying to complicate the situation but credit goes to President of Philippines who opted not to pick a fight with China, rather engage in dialogue to resolve the issue amicably. Beijing has already declared that it is ready to work with ASEAN countries to safeguard the peace and stability of South China Sea and prudence demands all countries should respond to the goodwill gesture of China so that designs of those who want a military confrontation in the region are frustrated.

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