South China Sea tensions are not letting up as China maintains its position about the sovereignty of the region. Some experts are now saying that the disputed region is rapidly becoming an arena to two nuclear powerhouses.
US Pacific Command (Pacom) received political flak from China in the previous week after commenting on the country’s involvement in the South China Sea dispute. Pacom’s Adm. Harry Harris was linked to “China bashing” and “making waves in the South China Sea” in the front page report of communist party-affiliated Global Times, according to Asia Times. Harry accused China of regional hegemony in his recent congressional testimony and speeches. Furthermore, the publication which was best known for its hardline anti-US propaganda, implied that such comments increased tensions between China and the United States. “If two nuclear powerhouses engage in a competition to test each others willpower, the whole world will face the repercussions,” the report stated on March 4.
China made it clear recently that it will not be giving up its efforts in the South China Sea. According to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the South China Sea can be considered the one of the safest and freest shipping lanes in the world. The minister also said that Beijing’s actions over the disputed region can be justified because it was the first to “discover” the area. “In fact, based on the joint efforts of China and other regional countries, the South China Sea is currently one of the safest and freest shipping lanes in the world,” Reuters quoted Wang.
“China was the earliest to explore, name, develop and administer various South China Sea islands. Our ancestors worked diligently here for generations,” the official added. “History will prove who is the visitor and who is the genuine host,” the official said taking swipe at other South China Sea claimants.