US misjudgment on South China Sea will be costly: Singapore scholar

(From Xinhua)

The United States has misjudged China on the South China Sea issue and this will be costly, said a China studies scholar.

The United States has misjudged China, its intention and its role in relation to the South China Sea issue, Zheng Yongnian, director of the East Asian Institute, the National University of Singapore, told Xinhua through the phone on Monday.

“It based its judgment on its own historical experience as an expansionist empire and its deeply rooted great-power ideology, and not on China’s diplomatic performance in the region,” he said.


Zheng, a well-known scholar on China studies, said that China, unlike the United States, “does not have a missionary culture or missionary diplomatic policies.”

While heavy U.S. presence in the region is regarded by some in China as a threat, China does not have its own version of the Monroe Doctrine to drive U.S. influence out of the region, he said.


U.S. concerns about the freedom of navigation are not justified, either. China wants to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea more than any others as it depends heavily on the important sea routes there.

USS John C. Stennis and escorting destroyers in Pacific Ocean exercises last year.

USS John C. Stennis and escorting destroyers in Pacific Ocean exercises last year.

Generally, China and the United States do not have direct geopolitical conflict in the South China Sea, Zheng said.

“A misjudged strategy will be costly to America,” he said.

China has said it welcomes the United States to play a positive role in regional peace and stability, like contributing to maritime security.

China has voiced support for a dual-track approach on the South China Sea issue. It advocates common efforts by regional countries to safeguard regional peace and stability and insists that the South China Sea disputes should be dealt with through peaceful bilateral channels between countries directly involved in the disputes. Read more

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