China’s Positions and Interests in the South China Sea: A Rational Choices in its Cooperative Policies
September 12, 2011
After the Cold War, although the danger of conflict and war between the east and west has been removed, some latent hot issues have emerged in the East Asia area, among which the South China Sea issue became a prominent regional security problem. Because this issue is related to China—the fast developing big power in this region, it then turned into an important foundation for the so-called “China threat” theory which has been prevalent since the 1990s. The western countries have always been taking advantage of the South China Sea issue to damage China’s image, and at the same time some claimant states in the South China Sea also made use of the complicated Asia-Pacific security situation to extend their own interests in the South China Sea. Due to the interweaving historical factors, differences in current security interests, disagreements in sea boundaries, and the ambiguousness in international law, the South China Sea issue, therefore, is exceptionally complex and complicated. However, thanks to the only big power of the South China Sea—China’s responsible attitude and rational position, the South China Sea conflict has been well managed, the occasional friction has never upgraded to military clash, and the tensions caused by some countries’ irresponsible acts have been effectively controlled. All those constructive functions exerted by China are possible to be realized only on condition that China abides by its explicit standpoint and principles, takes a rational and responsible attitude, and acts through coordination and cooperation.