American spy plane over South China Sea is ‘a dangerous development’

Reuters / Petar Kujundzic
China considers growing US military activity in the waters of the South China Sea as hostile, which may lead to destabilizing the situation in the disputed region, Victor Gao, Director of the China National Association of International Studies, told RT.

The US military has admitted to flying its most-advanced spy aircraft over the South China Sea. The status of islands located in the area is still disputed.

RT:What do you think about the US presence in that area?

Victor Gao: I think it is a dangerous development that the US is more and more participating in activities in this particular region. And many of these things are considered [to be] very hostile as far as China is concerned. The more military involvement in this part of the world, the more dangerous it will become for China-US relations. As the two largest economies in the world, if anyone believes that they can resolve any issue between China and the US through military means is undoubtedly living a fantasy. It will be very destabilizing and highly unconstructive.

RT:What's at stake in the strategic waters of the South China Sea?

VG: First of all, it is a fact that there are territorial disputes between China and some other countries in this part of the world as far as the sovereignty of some of the islands in the South China Sea are concerned. However, look at the world: there are many territorial disputes between different sets of countries. And I think it is not very helpful … if the [US] wants to participate in such territorial disputes between China and another country through military participation. First of all, it does not help the situation. Secondly, it will add fuel to the fire and highly destabilize the situation.

Therefore, if the US wants to play a very constructive role, it should keep the peace and refrain from military participation, and also it could urge that parties concerned resort to peaceful negotiations with each other to resolve these territorial disputes.

RT:Why is the US so keen on monitoring this area?

VG: The US has for decades kept a strong military presence in this part of the world. For the last few years the US wants to so-called pivot to Asia. However, this is not a major problem as far as China is concerned, mainly because China has confidence in its ability to defend itself in case there is any military aggression or violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The problem is that the so-called US military activities are not helpful in stabilizing the situation... It may also be considered as using some of the countries in [Asia] which have territorial disputes with China as a proxy for destabilizing the situation.

Between China and the US there are many channels of communication. I think it is a much better idea for China and the US to resort to peaceful negotiations with each other and also thrash out what are the fundamental interests concerning these two countries rather than taking unilateral actions which may be considered by China as highly destabilizing…

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.