Cold War mindset harms peace

By Yang Yi
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, August 13, 2010
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The recent decision by the United States to involve its nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington in the scheduled joint naval drills with the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the Yellow Sea will further compromise its security strategy in East Asia.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said last Thursday that the Japan-based vessel would participate in the exercise although he did not provide the exact dates. If so, this would be a fresh provocation following a series of joint US-ROK activities that have caused tensions in East Asia.

Washington has held intensive military exercises with allies in the Pacific Ocean and Northeast and Southeast Asia over the past months, quite close to China and its surrounding region. Despite its routine military drills with certain countries in the region in previous years, the US-led exercises this year have drawn more concerns among regional members because of the unequivocal motive behind the exercises and the sensitivity of their locations.

At a superficial level, the latest US-ROK military drill is being targeted at the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for its alleged torpedoing of the ROK warship Cheonan in March that caused the deaths of 46 ROK sailors.

By conducting this joint maneuver with the US, the ROK is attempting to maintain high-pressure over the DPRK. At the same time, the US has also exposed its intention, using the exercises as a pretext to express its dissatisfaction toward Pyongyang and to show its military strength.

The large-scale military exercise is intended to send an unambiguous message to other regional countries, including China, that the US is still the strongest military power in the world and that Washington's military dominance in Northeast Asia, and the wider Asia-Pacific region, cannot be challenged.

Pentagon's announcement of the joint military exercise essentially sends an unspoken message to the outside world that the US is capable of doing whatever it wants in the region and will certainly do it.

The Chinese government has repeatedly expressed its concerns over the US move through various channels. The Chinese people have also expressed their indignation at the drills.

As the world's sole superpower with an unchallenged armed force, no single nation in the world can stop the US from conducting such activity, but Washington will inevitably pay a costly price for its muddled decision.

Washington's show of military strength by mobilizing a fleet comprising a nuclear-fuelled aircraft carrier and other warships close to China's maritime border obviously contravenes the consensus that heads of both nations had reached on an "all-round, active and constructive" partnership.

Offending Chinese people is not in the fundamental interest of the US. Any activity aimed at pushing a country with a 1.3-billion populace with enormous potential would be inadvisable.

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