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US navy's risky behavior

Updated: 2013-12-17 07:15
( China Daily)

According to US media reports, Chinese and US warships narrowly avoided a collision in the South China Sea last week. The incident is clear proof that the intensive operations of the US navy in China's coastal waters represent a growing risk to China's national security.

Even before the full account of the incident is made available, details revealed by the US media show the US should be held responsible for the incident.

Citing US military sources, Reuters reported on Friday that a US guided missile cruiser in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship maneuvering nearby. The US warship was operating in the vicinity of China's aircraft carrier the Liaoning, which is on a preannounced training mission in the waters.

The Liaoning and its accompanying vessels are conducting training in waters close to China's coast, which is in compliance with international law and practice. Intruding into these exercise zones or keeping close to any other vessel poses risks to all.

Given the behavior of US warships and military planes near China's coast in recent years, it is clear the US warship was spying and even harassing the Chinese ships. And by crying for others to follow its rules, the US is only flaunting its military muscles while reconnoitering on another's doorstep.

In fact, with the Chinese navy increasing its inshore and offshore exercises, foreign warships and military planes, including those from the United States, have been keeping close by and sometimes ignoring the international custom of respecting the preannounced exercise zone. It is the US conduct alone that is dangerous to vessels and personnel from both sides.

The two countries have agreed to build a new type of major-country relations, and deepening mutual trust, better managing their crises and avoiding strategic misjudgments have to be part of that endeavor.

In a speech addressing a forum held in Beijing on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi rightfully summarized that non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation should be the three pillars for China and the US' efforts to build better relations.

Actions born of unfounded suspicions of motive only increase strategic mutual distrust.

(China Daily 12/17/2013 page8)