Around Asia: “Insurmountable” China antagonizes territorial disputes

In Other News - August 7th, 2013
Times Asi Territorial Disputes

China’s rise is insurmountable, a top diplomat in Beijing says, adding fuel to raging territorial disputes with its Asian neighbors.

“No one in this world will try to contain China and no one in this world is capable of containing China,” Ruan Zongze, vice president and senior fellow at the China Institute of International Studies said Tuesday.

Zongze’s remarks were apparently aimed at the US policy of “pivoting” towards Asia in a bid to contain China’s military expansion and aggression in seas it claims.

Speaking at an event organized by the All-China Journalists’ Association, he said Washington’s strategy has sent the wrong signals to Manila and Tokyo, its allies in the region.

Both nations “have made the wrong judgement that the US will encourage them to challenge the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.”

He also blamed the US for “emboldening” the Philippines and Japan for stirring up tensions in the region.

“The United States is very clearly aware that it is responsible for this conflict between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Island issue,” he said.

Since taking office, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed Japan’s claim over the Senkakus, an outlying chain of islands in the East China Sea.

Abe seems to be shoring up relations with Southeast Asian countries to get them on Japan’s side of the rope in a tug-of-war for dominance in the region.

Japan and rival claimants in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines and Vietnam, has insisted on dealing with maritime disputes through a code of conduct, but China said it would deal with the issue bilaterally.

by Maesie Bertumen

Image: Times Asi/Flickr