Following the incident in which the Chinese Navy captured the U.S. unmanned underwater vehicle in the South China Sea on December 15, China’s state media Global Times reported on an interview of some Chinese military officers about the incident. Below is an excerpt from their report:
Wu Shicun, President of the China South Sea Research Institute, said that the issue of the foreign media’s so-called international waters [where the incident happened] represents only one side of the opinion from the United States. There is no (such explanation) in the Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Wu believes that the calm in the South China Sea is only temporary. Because the core problem has not been resolved (including Sino-U.S. competition in the South China Sea, geopolitical competition, and a power struggle over sea rights), the United States is back. Therefore, this may represent a trend in the South China Sea — the conflict is heating up as the U.S. returns again with deep intervention.
In answering the question “whether China is getting stronger and stronger in the ability to control the South China Sea issue, and will not let the United States do whatever it wants,” Wu answered that “it is very obvious” and added that the Chinese military will be very confident in dealing with the issue. The strategic situation of the South China Sea will gradually change with China’s Nansha reef-related facilities being in place.
He said that China’s capturing the U.S. unmanned underwater vehicle sends the following signal: The United States performs close reconnaissance, threatening our country’s security. China has counter-measures. In the 2001 the plane crash incident and the 2009 “USNS Impeccable” event, China had “no choice but to suffer in silence” in many regards. That era may be gone forever.
Yang Yi, Major General and former director of the Strategic Research Institute of the National Defense University, claimed that China should “capture whatever should be captured,” and now they (the United States) “can stop us.”
Yang Yi also believes that, when Trump comes to power, the Sino-US conflict around the South China Sea may become more intense.
Yang said that [since] Americans “sent this thing to our door,” it could not be more natural for us to take it home and study it. If the United States becomes even noisier, it only indicates that it is that much more guilty.
Source: Global Times (Huanqiu), December 17, 2016