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People’s Daily: U.S. Commander’s Blatant Comment on South China Sea Is a Reflection of Hegemony

The head of the U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Harry B. Harris, gave a talk on the South China Sea issue at the Aspen Security Forum on July 24. Jia Xiudong, an invited commentator for People’s Daily and a distinguished scholar at the China Institute of International Studies, published an article commenting on the talk Harris gave. Below is an excerpt from the article: 

“Harris’s irresponsible remark exposed the strategic intent of the United States on the South China Sea issue. Harris was holding a script, which showed he was apparently well prepared; it was not a whim or an improvisational talk.” 
“Harris is not the first one to make irresponsible remarks about the South China Sea, nor is he the most senior U.S. military official to criticize on the South China Sea. However, it is rare for someone like him to give such a lengthy talk on the South China Sea issue, to slander China, and to mix right and wrong so blatantly and explicitly.” 
“Harris claimed that the core of the South China Sea issue is maintaining vs. changing the status quo. Recently, many senior U.S. officials have become very fond of the word ‘status quo’ while talking about the South China Sea and have also proposed an initiative to maintain the South China Sea ‘status quo.’ It seems that China is a ‘status quo’ challenger, changer, and destroyer; while the United States is the ‘status quo’ maintainer. With a little analysis, one can see that the United States’ so-called ‘status quo’ is essentially to allow illegal occupation of China’s islands and reefs and the provocation of China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests by some neighboring countries in the South China Sea. However, the U.S. intentionally avoids or even denies the ‘real’ ‘status quo’ in the South China Sea, which is China having sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters.” 
The purpose for the U.S. “hyping up and strengthening its intervention on the South China Sea issue is not to [promote] regional peace, stability, and security in the South China Sea region. Rather, it is to maintain the U.S.’ maritime and regional hegemony. All the U.S. rhetoric serves only to package its pursuit of hegemony.” 

“After all, the essence of the fight between China and the U.S. in the South China Sea is one of sovereignty vs. supremacy. Around the South China Sea issue, China desires to maintain its sovereignty; whereas the United States pursues hegemony.” 

“In dealing with this fundamental contradiction  that China maintains sovereignty and the United States pursues hegemony  don’t expect the outcome to be that China concedes on the issue of sovereignty. The sovereignty of the South China Sea is China’s core interest. The U.S. challenge to South China Sea sovereignty will eventually end up being in vain.” 
Source: People’s Daily, July 28, 2015