People’s Daily published an article reporting on Chinese military experts’ comments about U.S. Pacific commander Harris’s statement which he made while meeting Japanese media in Tokyo. Harris stated that he welcomed and was anticipating the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force that would participate in patrolling the South China Sea. He pointed out that the "South China Sea is the high seas and not a territorial sea. He therefore welcomed Japan’s participation in this action."
Regarding the military expert’s comments, in an interview with CCTV, Major General Yin Zhuo pointed out that Harris’s statement demonstrates a lack of knowledge of history and of international law. The South China Sea is not the United States’ territorial waters and not a place where the United States can play anyway it wants. The U.S. takes the South China Sea to be a battlefield to contain China, especially the military containment of China. The U.S. encouraged Japan and Australia to have a joint cruise in the South China Sea. Its intention was simply to stir up the South China Sea issue and use the opportunity to gather these countries under its banner so as to contain China using military means.
Gao Zhugui, deputy director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies of the Central Party School pointed out that, a few days ago, U.S. Secretary of Defense Carter said that the South China Sea issue is not an issue between the United States and China. The United States does not hold any position in the South China Sea dispute over sovereignty. "Harris’s remarks just made the South China Sea issue into a problem between China and U.S. He is taking a big risk with Sino-U.S. relations."
Yin Zhuo said, “Harris’s statement is explicit in fulfilling the wishes of the Abe administration. Japan would like to go out to the Sea using the U.S. boat and the South Sea. Harris just paved the road and loaned Abe a boat."
Yin also noted that Harris’s invitation to Japan to patrol the South China Sea precisely reflects the United States’ mindset of anxiety. The United States wants to contain China in the Asia-Pacific region but is experiencing a lack of force. The United States needs help. Japan is a staunch political, diplomatic, and military ally of the United States. The United States can only count on Japan and therefore invites the Japanese to patrol the South China Sea as a pioneer.
Gao Zhugui said that the U.S. is attempting to turn Japan into its platform in the Asia Pacific region, sharing responsibilities with the United States. The United States, Japan, Australia, and other countries have gathered together on this platform to form a U.S.-led multilateral networking mechanism. This mechanism can be used not only in the South China Sea, but also in other regional issues. In the future, Japan will follow the United States to play a greater role in the Asia-Pacific as well as the wider regions.
Source: People’s Daily, June 17, 2015