Lessons from Cheonan

By Shen Dingli
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, July 28, 2010
Adjust font size:

China, South Korea and the U.S. have made closer contacts after the incident. South Korea said that even though the North Korea was responsible for the attack, it was willing to handle the case peacefully, and it shared the same stance with China in safeguarding the stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia. However, it urged the international community to accept its investigation results, and insisted that this be the sole basis for China to address the incident. South Korea also urged the UN Security Council to directly blame Pyongyang, though concrete proof wasn't present.

South Korea threatened to hold a large-scale military drill on the Yellow Sea involving the U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington, but the result might be different from what it expected. It's true that every country enjoys the right to sail on the high seas and innocently pass through exclusive economic zones. But when the act becomes a threat to other countries, the countries perceiving the threat have the right to express their opinion. The bilateral relationship will be damaged and the security of both countries will be undermined. In this situation, people may doubt the wisdom of the countries carrying out the threat, because their security is not enhanced.

The U.S. and South Korea can choose from many areas around the North Korea to hold the drill. Once the aircraft carrier, equipped with long-range weapons, enters the Yellow Sea, it will pose a potential threat to China because China and the North Korea both border this sea. Although Washington and Seoul claim they have no intention of threatening China, it is well-known that when the Chinese mainland deployed missiles along its southeast coast, the U.S. stated it was a potential threat to Taiwan. In this case, Washington should keep its logic consistent.

After several rounds of arguments between the three countries, the US aircraft carrier finally docked at Busan, South Korea. The military exercise was held on the East China Sea (Sea of Japan) instead of the Yellow Sea. The four-day war games of Seoul and Washington led to contradictions with Beijing, although they share the same view of maintaining the stability of Northeast Asia. The three sides are trapped in this complexity only because the proper concerns of China were not duly addressed at the beginning. This should teach everyone a lesson.

Any act that may undermine regional stability, either the attack on the Cheonan or the entrance of an aircraft carrier into sensitive waters, should be firmly opposed. None of the countries, the U.S., South Korea, North Korea or China claimed responsibility for the attack. But this is not the end. All of them should oppose such dangerous acts and work together to avoid similar situations in the future. Every country should put itself in the other's shoes: China needs to make goodwill gestures more quickly; the U.S. needs to stop showing off its strength in sensitive areas; South Korea and North Korea need to formulate regulations for preventing collisions at sea and avoid entering disputed waters.

The author is a columnist with China.org.cn. For more information please visit: http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/node_7082361.htm

(This article was translated by Chen Xia.)


   Previous   1   2  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter