“Washington will pick up a stone to drop on its own feet”
China has accused the US of ramping up military provocations after Washington approved new arms shipments to the island of Taiwan and sent a warship near the Chinese islands of Nansha and Xisha in the South China Sea just one week after the five-hour high-level bilateral meeting on July 9. Chinese analysts say the moves demonstrate the internal chaos and hypocrisy of US policy.
The American destroyer USS Benfold sailed near the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea on Saturday, Reuters reported, citing a US Navy statement.
According to Beijing's Global Times, the provocation near the Nansha Islands came after the same US warship was warned on Wednesday by the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) Southern Theater Command's naval and air forces about illegally entering Chinese territorial waters of the Xisha Islands, also in the South China Sea.
On Friday, the US State Department approved a possible sale of military technical assistance to Taiwan with an estimated cost of $108 million, according to a press release from the Agency for Defense Cooperation and US security. The deal is the fourth U.S. arms sale to the island of Taiwan in 2022 and the fifth under the Biden administration.
These recent military provocations fully demonstrate the hypocrisy of the US, a Beijing-based foreign relations expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday.
The US screams about the need to manage differences and prevent conflict, but continues its provocations on the most sensitive topics, including the Taiwan issue and the South China Sea, the expert said.
Diao Daming, an associate professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told Global Times in an earlier interview that the proposals made by Washington are completely self-serving because he wants to keep the core of Sino-US relations stable and free from high-intensity conflicts, but at the same time he seeks to contain China's development.
Observers have pointed to internal conflict and chaos in US policy as different US agencies and officials send different, sometimes conflicting signals on a range of issues. The widening gap between Washington's words and deeds has made the US “completely untrustworthy” in international affairs.
However, China has fully recognized the nature of the US and is ready for all scenarios – China is always open for dialogue and communication, but at the same time is on high alert for US provocations, Global Times writes.
A series of frequent contacts between senior Chinese and US officials since June, including a meeting between China's State Counselor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Bali, underscored the two sides' consensus to not let the confrontation escalate. But Chinese analysts continue to urge the US to take more concrete action, rather than empty promises, to reduce the turmoil affecting bilateral relations.
China no longer has unrealistic illusions about the US and the PLA, analysts say is preparing for a worst-case scenario in which there will be conflict across the Taiwan Strait to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, noted that in addition to the hegemonic mentality behind the rising military provocations, the US is also concerned about China's growing self-defense capabilities.
According to Wei, US warplanes and ships are approaching the waters and airspace near China to flex their muscles, show their presence and assert Washington's hegemony. “But in the end, the US will pick up a stone to drop it on its own feet,” the expert said.