China seeks explanation from US on its Asia policy

September 3rd, 2012 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 3 (IANS) China Monday sought an explanation from the United States about the “true intentions of the Obama administration’s Pivot to Asia policy, especially its new defense strategy”.

State-run Xinhua news agency ran a commentary titled “US owes China convincing explanation of true intentions of its Asia Pivot policy” that said America has an opportunity of further improving US-China relations and boosting mutual strategic trust, when two top US government officials visit Beijing in September.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to arrive in Beijing Tuesday for talks with top Chinese officials on a wide range of issues of common concern. She will be followed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is expected to conduct his first trip to China later this month with an eye to expanding mutual military ties.

“The world’s attention will focus on how the two US officials will explain to the Chinese side the true intentions of the Obama administration’s Pivot to Asia policy, especially its new defense strategy,” the commentary said.

“Since last fall, the Obama administration has been implementing the Pivot policy by expanding and intensifying its political, diplomatic and military involvement in the Asia-Pacific region. The fundamental goal underpinning this shift is to maintain the US dominance in the resources-rich and fastest-growing region, amid heightened concerns about China’s rise,” it added.

It noted that as part of its Pivot policy, “Washington has quickened the pace of increasing its military presence and engagement in the Asia Pacific, including deploying troops in Australia, boosting military cooperation with Japan, and purposely strengthening military ties with some Asian countries, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, both involved in territorial disputes with China”.

It then asked a string of questions including “Is the US Pivot policy really intended to bolster peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region? Can the US really play a fair role over the territorial disputes in the region? Does the US mean it when it pledges not to seek to contain China?”

The commentary went on to say that many US actions so far have been “counterproductive to promoting peace and stability in the Asia Pacific, as indicated by the fact that the security situation in the region has been worsening, rather than improving, mainly due to the recent escalation of the territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea”.

It “partly blamed” Washington for fuelling the tensions because “it has apparently emboldened certain relevant parties to make provocations against China in order to achieve undeserved territorial gains”.

While stressing that Clinton was right in saying last week that the Pacific is big enough for all countries, including the US and China, it observed that she, however, “did not mention that it is also small enough to create conflicts that can threaten peace in the region and the world at large, if Washington does not act fairly and responsibly”.

“China respects the US promises not to seek to contain China but to develop a positive relationship of cooperation between the two countries,” it said.

“However, Washington owes Beijing a thorough, convincing explanation of the true intentions of its Pivot policy, especially on issues related to China’s vital or core interests. And the US also needs to take concrete steps to prove that it is returning to Asia as a peacemaker, instead of a troublemaker.”

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