It has been a known fact that China’s media has always been by its government’s side no matter what. But this perhaps is the first time when something different from what the Chinese government has been indicating is published by the country’s leading national daily, ‘The Global Times’. An article published in the Op-Ed segment on the leading national daily says that China must respect the interest of its neighbors and solve the disputes to achieve a globally influential position. The post titled ‘Neighboring disputes need to be understood properly’ was about a number of issues such as “the key international challenges for China in its rise”.
This is being largely seen as a disguised attack on India, Japan, Vietnam and other neighboring countries in the South China Sea region as the piece of writing said that some of its neighbors are playing “hardball in solving their maritime and land disputes with China” and that “China is not the one to blame for the increasing amount of friction on its periphery”.
Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia are against China’s claims over the South China Sea and it also has a dispute with its neighbor Japan over the East China Sea. And the dispute with India over Doklam has only been resolved recently.
Here is the screenshot of the article published by ‘The Global Times’:
It also said that China needs to avert USA’s attempt to “strategically contain China with its major Asia-Pacific allies”. The article further highlighted some major aspects that China needs to be aware of and that it needs strategic skill to maintain cooperative relations with its neighbors while dealing with disputes. And around the conclusion, it said that it must respect the interest of its neighbors. Read some of the excerpts of the article below:
Due to various frictions in China’s neighborhood in recent years, Chinese public opinion about some neighboring countries has deteriorated with calls on China to hit back at a few of them. Some Chinese hold that a stronger China is able to cope with neighboring troublemakers and China should vent its anger sometimes to build authority.Advertisement
China’s priority remains growing stronger. What we need to avert most is the US attempt to strategically contain China with its major Asia-Pacific allies. China has to patiently differentiate between the peripheral frictions and US pressure.
Friction with our neighbors can often capture wide attention and arouse a public outcry for a tougher stance by China. This must be handled well to ensure that Chinese society can stay cool-minded and our decisions are always made for the national interest rather than emotionally.
China needs strategic skill to maintain its overall cooperative relations with these countries while tackling disputes. China needs to deter but keep things friendly. We must stick to our principles but respect the interests of our neighbors.
Solving disputes with neighbors means much to China, as it needs to maximize its support and minimize opposition in its endeavor to achieve its ambitions. When a major country acts modestly, it actually shows a dignity that can accrue more power. Since no one in the world dare look down upon China, China needs to pay attention to more urgent issues.