Commentary: Intensive U.S.-led war games detrimental to Asia-Pacific stability [Xinhua]

by Liu Chang

BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) — Since the start of the year, U.S. armed forces have massively and incessantly engaged in joint military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region.

The notable increase of U.S. military presence in the region has sent a dangerously wrong message to some countries and thus undermines the region’s peace and stability.

Plus the just concluded 2012 Pacific Rim Joint Military Exercise, U.S. warships and fighter jets have participated in almost 20 war games in the Asia-Pacific during the past seven months, more than half of all war games conducted in the area during the same period.

It seems that the United States has developed a fresh yen for waging military exercises with its allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Apart from the drills’ dazzling intensity, what is more alarming is that some of these exercises have even openly taken China as the imaginary enemy.

Behind the U.S. newly-established fondness of war games in Asia-Pacific is the country’s paranoia that a fast growing China would jeopardize its interests and its self-claimed leadership in the region.

The Obama administration, since its first year in office, has demonstrated a fervent desire to deter China by strengthening its military alliances with countries like South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, as well as some other Southeast Asian nations.

By setting China as its simulated foe and making a parade of its military prowess in the region, the United States intends to send out a message that no one is allowed to challenge its dominant position in the region.

Additionally, the United States has also been active in trying to play the role of an arbitrator in maritime disputes between China and some of its Asian neighbors despite China’s constant opposition and steadfast stance that these territorial differences should be settled bilaterally.

Another reason for the rising military involvement of Washington in the region this year is that by trying to play tough against China, Obama could hopefully woo more voters in his presidential race.

The U.S. moves, based on Cold War mentality, would only aggravate regional tensions and plague China-U.S. relations.

Moreover, they would embolden a few regional countries to take rather irresponsible attitudes when handling their maritime disputes with China, and further push the entire Asia-Pacific area to the brink of military conflict.

China has all along been unequivocal on its commitment to peaceful development. It has never tried to translate its burgeoning economic power to regional domination. Meanwhile, China welcomes a constructive and positive U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific region.

Though it is convenient for the Obama administration to play tough with China for political gains, strong and vibrant relations between China and the United States bring far more benefits.

Also, the United States has to fully understand that it is impossible to bent China’s will to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the region.

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