米中戦略対話 南シナ海安定に責任を果たせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Washington must press Beijing to act responsibly in S. China Sea
米中戦略対話 南シナ海安定に責任を果たせ

China has been beefing up its efforts to build artificial islands in the South China Sea for use as military bases while also repeating self-serving actions and remarks over human rights and trade issues.

To maintain peace in Asia and the stability of the global economy, it is crucial for the United States to keep pressing China to abide by international rules and fulfill its responsibilities as a major power.

In the eighth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, cabinet-level officials discussed a wide range of issues over two days.

Regarding the dispute over the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for maintaining a maritime order based on international laws. “I reiterated America’s fundamental support for negotiations and a peaceful resolution, based on the rule of law, as well as ... our concern about any unilateral steps by any party,” he said.

However, both sides remained far apart on this issue. “China has every right to uphold its territorial sovereignty and lawful and legitimate maritime entitlements,” State Councilor Yang Jiechi said. Chinese President Xi Jinping also emphasized that there are “differences that cannot be resolved for the time being” between the two countries.

The Xi administration is believed to be considering a plan to reclaim land on Scarborough Shoal, which lies close to the Philippines, on top of artificial islands they have already built in the South China Sea. Beijing apparently aims to build a runway and radar installations to pave the way for establishing an air defense identification zone over the area.

The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration is expected to make a decision by the end of this month on a case the Philippines has brought over Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, which Manila calls a violation of international laws.

Yang, however, once again said China will ignore the decision. Does this mean that Beijing does not shy away from becoming isolated in the international community? A stance to turn from the rule of law will only give more credence to the idea that China is not like other nations.

Staging cooperation

Kerry expressed his concerns over China’s human rights issues. In April, the Xi administration enacted a law to put foreign nongovernmental organizations providing services in the country under the supervision of security authorities. It cannot be overlooked that Beijing is oppressing human rights under the guise of “domestic affairs.”

One of the concerns in China’s economy is the delay in structural reforms, best exemplified by the overproduction of steel, among other products. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew requested that China reduce production in steel and aluminium, saying, “Excess capacity has a distorting and damaging effect on global markets.”

The latest Group of Seven summit meeting held in the Ise-Shima area of Mie Prefecture also described the overcapacity of steel as a cause for concern in the global economy, as it triggers unfair discount sales. The Xi administration is being held responsible for nipping possible disorder in the bud by making sure it reorganizes state-owned enterprises, among other measures.

The latest U.S.-China dialogue was held as the last session under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. The U.S. side said the two countries were able to produce results as they deepened their cooperation on issues such as climate change and Iran’s nuclear development program through a series of discussions. The dialogue seemed to be effective to some degree in deterring unexpected collisions by facilitating exchanges among military officers.

China did not make any concessions on issues it regards as “core interests.” Wasn’t a show of cooperation put on rather than differences being resolved?

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 8, 2016)

by kiyoshimat | 2016-06-09 07:48 | 英字新聞

<< 舛添都知事 自らの言葉なぜ語らぬ 韓国慰安婦財団 合意履行へ国民... >>