(BGF) – China had blamed the United States for emboldening the Philippines and Vietnam to challenge its claims over the South China Sea. It has adopted more aggressive stance to assert “its sovereignty” over territorial disputes. The Reuters reported it formally established a military garrison for the South China Sea.
China’s hawks gaining sway in S. China sea dispute
July 25, 2012| by David Lague
(Reuters) – China has adopted a more aggressive stance in recent weeks on territorial disputes in the South China Sea as hard-line officials and commentators call on Beijing to take a tougher line with rival claimants.
China’s supreme policymaking body, the Politburo Standing Committee, is made up entirely of civilians, but outspoken People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers, intelligence advisers and maritime agency chiefs are arguing that Beijing should be more forceful in asserting its sovereignty over the sea and the oil and natural gas believed to lie under the sea-bed.
Most of them blame the United States’ so-called strategic “pivot” to Asia for emboldening neighbouring countries, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, to challenge China’s claims.
“China now faces a whole pack of aggressive neighbours headed by Vietnam and the Philippines and also a set of menacing challengers headed by the United States, forming their encirclement from outside the region,” wrote Xu Zhirong, a deputy chief captain with China Marine Surveillance, in the June edition of China Eye, a publication of the Hong Kong-based China Energy Fund Committee.
“And, such a band of eager lackeys is exactly what the U.S. needs for its strategic return to Asia,” he wrote.
Most Chinese and foreign security policy analysts believe China wants to avoid military conflict across sea lanes that carry an annual $5 trillion in ship-borne trade, particularly if it raises the prospect of U.S. intervention.
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