by Xinhua writer Wu Liming
BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- A recent U.S. statement on the South China Sea sent wrong signals and did not help with the peace and stability in the region and Asia-Pacific at large.
The U.S. State Department on Friday accused China of taking unconstructive moves in the South China Sea.
"China's upgrading of the administrative level of Sansha City and establishment of a new military garrison there covering disputed areas of the South China Sea run counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences and risk further escalating tensions in the region," said the State Department in a statement.
The statement, which ignores facts and deliberately confuses right and wrong, is an apparent interference in the internal affairs of China, and reflects the U.S. ambition of manipulating Asian affairs.
China has persistently called for resolving the maritime disputes through negotiations between countries directly concerned on the basis of historical facts and universally recognized international law.
The historical facts that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Xisha, Nansha and Zhongsha Islands and their adjacent waters are clear.
China set up an office in 1959 to administrate the three islands and their adjacent waters under the Province of Guangdong. The establishment of Sansha City last month was a necessary adjustment to the administrative structure, which is well within China's sovereignty.
It is also well-known that China sets up a garrison command in a prefecture-level city in China, and a military garrison in Sansha City should not be seen as something unexpected.
Since the establishment of Sansha City, the U.S. government and several politicians have repeatedly made irresponsible remarks on the issue, reflecting Washington's attempts to meddle in Asian affairs.
In July 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that her country had a "national interest" in the South China Sea. Ever since then, Washington has taken a series of unilateral actions in the region.
This year, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a shift of deployment of the U.S. Navy from its current 50-50 split between the Pacific and the Atlantic to 60-40 by 2020.
And now, Washington has raised its tone again and sent wrong signals to the world on the South China Sea issue.
Although Washington claims that it does not take a position on territorial disputes in the South China Sea, it selectively takes sides in these disputes. By doing so, Washington intends to alienate China from countries around the South China Sea.
Washington's approach is obviously not conducive to the peaceful settlement of the disputes as well as the peace and stability in the area.
The United States and China are the two biggest economies in the world and two most important players in the Asia-Pacific. The two countries share wide-ranging common interests in the region and their relations should by no means become a zero-sum game.
Against the backdrop of global financial and economic turbulence, Washington and Beijing should work together to maintain stability of the Asia-Pacific region, which serves as an engine to the fragile world economic recovery.