Editor’s note: This article is based on an interview with Zhang Junshe, vice president of the China Naval Research Institute. The article reflects the expert’s opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
A U.S.’ guided-missile destroyer, USS McCampbell, carried out a “freedom of navigation” operation by sailing within 12 nautical miles of the South China Sea, to “challenge excessive maritime claims”, Pacific Fleet spokeswoman Rachel McMarr said in a statement on Monday.
Rachel McMarr said the operation was not about any one country or to make a political statement. However, the U.S. warship’s mission comes at a critical time as Sino-U.S. officials are having talks in Beijing during a truce in a bitter trade war.
“Choosing this time is intentional. The United States military wants to be part of with China-U.S. trade negotiations and exert pressure on China. The U.S. behavior runs counter to the good situation that both countries want to resolve trade issues through negotiation. The Chinese people will not be intimidated by any threat of force. The U.S. should immediately stop the provocative behavior, which will not benefit the resolution of the Sino-U.S. trade disputes,” said Prof. Zhang Junshe, vice president of China Naval Research Institute.
In Zhang’s opinion, the situation in the South China Sea has stabilized because China and ASEAN countries have all returned to the track of peacefully resolving their South China Sea disputes through consultation. They all hope to maintain peace and stability in this region through cooperation. The U.S. behavior is undoubtedly a deliberate search for trouble.