From April 4 to 15, the United States and the Philippines will be holding "shoulder to shoulder" joint military exercises in Philippine territory. Australian troops are also participating in the exercises. Japan is participating as an observer. Military expert Yin Zhuo, in an interview with People’s Daily, thought that the United States is attempting to transform the mechanism of joint exercises into a "quasi-military alliance" to contain China.
Yin Zhuo said the "shoulder to shoulder" military exercise is a stepping stone for U.S. intervention in the South China Sea issue. The U.S. is attempting to hype up the South China Sea issue, thereby curbing the rise of China and undermining the economic ties between China and ASEAN countries. In recent years, America’s economic strength has declined. It hopes that its allies in the Asia-Pacific region will shoulder part of the responsibility to contain China. It also hopes to form a multilateral military alliance against China through the use of the South China Sea issue.
Yin Zhuo said that the United States’ strategic intentions to contain China’s through the South China Sea issue will not change because this is an important component of its "Asia-Pacific rebalancing" strategy. Therefore, China should stick to the principle of being prepared for the unexpected. That is, we will never give in on the issue of sovereignty where the South China Sea islands and reefs are concerned. We should let the United States know this bottom line. This does not mean we have to use military means to solve the problem. China will not strike the first shot, but we must be prepared for a military struggle.
Source: People’s Daily, April 5, 2016