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US Navy's provocative maneuvers testify duplicity of guardrail claim: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-01-24 19:51

Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, China's Taiwan. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's move to send 39 warplanes into the Taiwan island's "air defense identification zone" on Sunday, the largest number this year, can be viewed as a response to the war games staged by the United States and Japan near Taiwan. After all, the People's Liberation Army will never tolerate any infringements on China's sovereignty and national security.

High-ranking US officials, US President Joe Biden included, have frequently talked about the need for the two countries to build "guardrails" in order to prevent the intensifying strategic competition between the US and China veering into conflict.

But judging by its acts, such words are not sincere, and his administration has little, if any, willingness to work with China to build those guardrails. Instead, it is worsening the security environment on China's periphery with its provocative moves.

On Thursday, a US warship, USS Benfold, trespassed in Chinese territorial waters around the Xisha Islands without permission from the Chinese government. In response, the Chinese military sent air and naval forces to monitor and warn it off.

Two days later, the US and Japanese navies put together the flotilla, including two US Navy aircraft carriers and two US amphibious assault ships, that is staging a naval exercise in the Philippine Sea, which is the area of the Pacific Ocean east of Taiwan. Such a show of force, coming hard on the heels of a summit between the US and Japanese leaders in which they discussed the Taiwan question and other internal affairs of China, shows the duplicity of the US in calling for guardrails.

To maintain its regional supremacy, the US has upped the ante in instigating fierce geopolitical confrontation against China on issues that concern China's core interests and territorial integrity.

In the past few years, the US military has frequently sent warships, including aircraft carriers, to enter disputed waters in the South China Sea and sail through the Taiwan Straits under the pretext of "freedom of navigation".

According to a South China Morning Post report last week, which quotes research findings from Peking University's Institute of Ocean Research, the US Navy's aircraft carrier strike groups have not only increased South China Sea transits since last year, but their routes and drill patterns are becoming more complicated and unpredictable.

The US military's maneuvers in China's surrounding areas, instead of promoting regional peace and stability, pose the biggest threat to them.

The US should have no doubts that the PLA has both the capability and resolve to safeguard China's core interest, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The best way to erect the guardrails the US talks of is for it to cease its provocations lest it embolden the secessionists on the island to recklessness.

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