People’s Daily recently published its own commentary (in addition to other media) on ASEAN’s (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) attempt to get China to sign the “Guidelines of Peaceful Conduct in the South China Sea.” The commentary suggested that this is a new attempt by Vietnam and the Philippines to force China to acknowledge their actual occupation of some islands. The author expressed the belief that these two countries are, wit U.S. help, testing China’s bottom line. This new attempt seeks an agreement on binding guidelines which were designed to eliminate China’s military option. The U.S. support called for all parties to follow the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; however, the U.S. Congress itself has not approved it. The commentary suggested that, at the end of the day, there will be no win-win situation and the military option must remain on the table. The author also suggested that attacking pirates and conducting rescue missions could be used as excuses to maintain a military presence in the South China Sea.
Source: People’s Daily, August 4, 2011