China showing a ‘new maturity’
China is doing something positive this month. For the first time, it is joining other countries, including the United States, in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, a joint maritime exercise organized by the United States which starts on June 26.
Observers like Ni Lexiong, a military expert at Shanghai University, say China is showing a “new maturity” in its foreign relations because it doesn’t allow individual disagreements to upset individual ties. China further shows it can disagree, it can quarrel, but it can work together with other countries for a common purpose.
Last December, a guided missile cruiser of the US Navy, USS Cowpens, nearly collided with a Chinese aircraft carrier. This was China’s most serious brush with the United States. These days, China has been exchanging statements with the United States after the latter expressed its views on the matter and came to the defense of the Philippines and other nations in their territorial disputes with China.
If only China could show the same maturity in dealing with its rival countries in territorial disputes, it would gain more respect not only from its rival claimant-nations and Asian neighbors but also from the whole world. As it is, China is instead consolidating its power in the South China Sea, showing its might and its ability to control the disputed territories, as well as the flow of commodities for its own economic gain. Aggression has been the mark of China in the past months, especially in dealing with the claims of Vietnam and the Philippines.
—MAJ. RENATO V. RIO (Ret.),
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