News / Asia

China to Join Naval Exercise as Regional Tensions Rise

China Joins Naval Exercise as Regional Tensions Risei
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June 16, 2014 4:47 PM
Later this month, China will for the first time join the massive U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific international maritime exercise, known as RIMPAC. Beijing's participation comes as tensions over maritime territorial disputes are growing between China and its Asian neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
William Ide
Later this month, China will for the first time join the massive U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific international maritime exercise, known as RIMPAC. Beijing's participation comes as tensions over maritime territorial disputes are growing between China and its Asian neighbors.
   
In recent weeks, Chinese and Vietnamese ships have repeatedly seen clashes like this one in disputed waters in the South China Sea.  In the sky, planes from Japan and China have had near brushes, with each blaming the other.
 
Anti-China protests are spreading.  Residents in the Philippines recently took to the streets.  Protestor Marimi Dela Fuente was with them. "China is infringing upon our sovereignty.  That is why I am here to rally our citizens against China's abuses to the world, and our country and to Southeast Asia," Fuente said.

And it is not just China's neighbors that are concerned.  U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently accused China of taking destabilizing unilateral actions to assert its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
 
In the past, Beijing may have shied away in the face of such mounting criticism.  But its decision to participate in RIMPAC, shows a willingness to be more transparent and highlights the growing maturity of military ties with Washington, said Peking University political scientist Wang Dong.

"Certainly there is a big substantive perception gap between China and the United States and its allies, and it is very important to narrow those perception gaps and I think the best way to do that is through communications and exchanges," said Dong.

The United States has long been a leader in the Pacific, but with growing budget constraints at home and China's rapid rise, the two are adapting to a new situation and growing pains are to be expected, says Lin Chong-Pin, a former deputy defense minister in Taiwan. He spoke to VOA via Skype. "Both are looking for a new relative position. And during this period of testing and adjustment there are pains and that is what we are seeing," he explained.
 
But Beijing's toughness has limits, Lin argued.  He said part of the reason why China is raising tensions with its neighbors is because China's President Xi Jinping cannot appear weak to the outside world. "In order to go forward on reform he needs protection, because these reforms will affect the vested interests of a lot of powerful people in the government and outside the government," Lin noted. "Therefore, he cannot afford to appear weak to the domestic audience."
 
China has sent sent four ships to the month long drills -- a missile destroyer, missile frigate, a supply ship, and its hospital ship the Peace Ark.  During the drills, more than 1,000 Chinese sailors and officers will rub shoulders with their counterparts from more than 20 other countries.

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Comments
     
by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
June 17, 2014 12:33 AM
Facts:
Democratic Taiwan, ROC first published the nine dash line in 1947, then PRC inherited this dash line after wining the civil war. Taiwan is still claiming this nine dash line. Therefore PRC is not the aggressive one, she just want to protect her sea territory!
Viet PM recognized China's sea territory in writing in 1958, This proof has been sent to UN by China already!
Viet geography text book showed the South China Sea belongs to China before 1974!
Treaty of paris, determined the territory of Philippine which didn't include South China Sea at all!
Clearly, South China Sea belongs to China and Taiwan!
In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
June 17, 2014 7:28 PM
@remie.
Viet is a terrible liar! China clearly claimed all xisha, nansha, zhongsha and dongsha as our territory in 1958! And viet PM was answering China's claim by wring the recognition. Viet is still trying to twist the fact! What a liar, what a loser!
And sorry, there is no sympathy for you viet liars! You th ugs deserve to be destroyed!
Btw, in your text book, you used Chinese name for those islands, that IS a strong proof that those islands are Chinese!
Now the whole world know who is twisting facts! Shame on viet! Go he ll!
In Response

by: remie from: canada
June 17, 2014 7:23 AM
Facts: Theses are the propaganda that Chinese site report with vague facts. Taiwan printed a map in 1947 with no evidence of why this is theirs or true. So China took advantage of it. So this is useless proof unlike maps from Europe, Asia including China that are older and real evidence.
-Communist PM(north} did not recognize island belong to China but only 12 nautical mile in letter but Chinese media left that out.
-Geography book did not show that south sea belong to China [more Chinese vague propaganda] but rather that the name of certain island was pronounce close to Chinese name. This proofs nothing.
-The 9 dash line is logically ridiculous , anyone can see that except Chinese bias people. The sea belongs to the international community not greedy China.
-Sure other countries can have ridiculous claim but they do it through peaceful negotiation but China does it aggressively and say they do it peacefully.
- China is in Vietnam 200 EEZ territory [which is not in dispute] and tries to use little island close by as their EEZ. They love to twist everything and be very vague .

-
In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
June 17, 2014 7:09 AM
China's distorted evidence don't fool anyone. U.N. already sided with Vietnam. Why does China reject to go to international court for arbitration against Phillipine?

by: NG from: Canada
June 16, 2014 9:12 PM
Japan is lifting the right of collective self-defence, cannot believe US even support it. Japan is the well-known Fascist/Nazi in WWII, invaded China and killed lots of civilian people, they even use biological weapon (e.g. toxic gas) to kill people (plus doing some tests using live civilians). Japan invaded many Asian countries in WWII. How cruel and brutal they are. Japanese also launched attack to Pearl Harbor in WWII. How can US release such a brutal dog/cur just in order to contain and restrain China?
China is a developing country, Chinese people are kind and merciful, Chinese people never brutally treated other groups of people like Japan did in history.
Don't be cheated by Japanese appearance, they are very mean and brutal in heart. Japan is the real threat to Asian people and to the World peace.
Don't only limit to politics, culture and history evidence are more important. China culture, typically Confucianism and Buddhism, are nice and peaceful, China and Chinese people are not a threat to the world peace, Japan is.
Lifting the right of collective self-defence of Japan is a big mistake and is real threat to Asian and to the World, it really scare all Asian people, Lifting the right of collective self-defence of Japan may lead to more catastrophic consequences compared to normal boundary disputes between China and some countries.
In Response

by: Ian from: USA
June 16, 2014 11:46 PM
"Chinese people are kind and merciful, Chinese people never brutally treated other groups of people like Japan did in history."
Astounding ! I did not know Tiananmen square where the unarmed Chinese students were slaughtered is in Japan .
I was also so wrong to assume that those Tibetans who set themselves on fire protesting Chinese occupation of Tibet . Jeez, They must be protesting the Japanese then !
And for thousand of years the Chinese burning down the Nan Yueh capital , barbecued the Yueh children every time they invaded from the north just to provided the Nan Yueh people with bon fire entertainment .
Oh, I almost forget the Falun gong practitioners who were killed so that China government can harvest their organs for profit ! no no it must be the Japanese !
In Response

by: Adam from: USA
June 16, 2014 10:52 PM
NG:

Full of bs hypocrisy!

WHy on earth is it wrong for the US or any other nations to support Japan's right to self defense by beefing up her military?

Why is it OK for China to increase spending to modernize her Military to bully and intimidate other smaller nations in the region?

If you will admit, China was a much more peaceful nation before this rise in military capability.

It is China who's crying wolf now that Japan has decided that she has enough of China throwing her weights around. China blames other as instigators while she uses her new found military might to harass others.

China and its mouthpiece, Yi XianLiang, will look at you straight faced and say "China will not send military to confront Vietnam, We, the Chinese are offended your irresponsible accusations." China continues to to deny, even with mounting video evidence that Chinese vessels did not sink the poor fisherman's wooden boat.

The whole world can see the truth but these people. They are the only people on the planet who lie and steal as a congenital defect.

I am not the only one who agree that a powerful Japan and our super power US will keep China in check for the good of human kinds decades to come.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 16, 2014 8:22 PM
REMEMBER? -- "Know your enemy, and know yourself, and you can win a hundred battles without losing a single man" from the book "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu... (get close?)..

China would like to know why the US is always interfering in the politics of (non-European Union countries) -- and bringing nothing but violence, killings, destruction and wars to them, like in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and now Ukraine -- (AND?) -- while they in China believe in non-interference in the politics of other countries, and always seek and want to settle disputes, through a peaceful dialog? -- (but they can't understand the US acts of aggression?)

NOW? -- Is the US way of doing things to solve world problems, (creating peace), or bringing more violence, killings, destruction and wars? -- (THINK?) -- Are the US methods what good guys use, or are the good guy methods, the one's China uses?

by: Frank from: O.C. USA
June 16, 2014 6:47 PM
Although Chinese navy participates in RIMPAC, we cannot believe PRC. China will learn high-level skill through this exercise and become more oppressive against its neighboring countries.

by: Ivansk from: L.A.
June 16, 2014 6:15 PM
China and it's 9 Dash Lie is the reason for all this tensions. The continuously ignores Chinas advance and even to the US's oldest allie the Philippines. China is right at the coast in less than 200 nautical miles and denying the citizens of the Philippines to fish on it's own sea. Why? Why ignore this? The US is failing on this. There is a huge reserve of Gas and Oil which the Philippines is more than willing to share to it's American friends but can't do so because of Chinas continuous area denial. Obama continuously warns China that USA will not tolerate freedom of navigation to the area yet this is exactly what is happening. So my question is why then is the US allowing China to deny it's oldest allie the Philippines get bullied and un-able to even navigate under 200 nautical miles in its own territory. Does the US not want Oil for it's economy? It watches China build an oil rig which is off the coast of Vietnam and recently moved eastwards closer to the Philippines. Please help them. If we lose this strategic position, there are larger consequences to pay. The pearl of the orient a strategic location, will be lost to communist China. Forever. I don't think the US though not it's area should be remembered for this. Help these guys directly and build an oil flat form which will be a symbolic move to prevent the Chinese advance.

by: So So from: US
June 16, 2014 2:17 PM
There has been no complain from the People's Republic of Korea so far.

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