Beijing Takes South China Sea Issue Off the Table in Relations With US


China won’t give up “even one inch” of lands it inherited from its ancestors. This is what Chinese President Xi Jinping explicitly stated in his negotiations with US Defense Secretary James Mattis.

In an interview with Sputnik, Konstantian Sokolov, a specialist in geopolitics at the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, has branded the Chinese leader’s statement an “act of firm peaceful disposition” by the second largest economy against a backdrop of increased polemics, as well as a military and political standoff with the US in the region.

According to the researcher, “no single action makes an impact; the effect is driven by a set of actions”:

“In this respect, China’s policies are rather consistent. The US received another signal that they won’t change, they are firm and consistent. They should take it for granted.” He went on to say that the US is pursuing a “blatantly provocative” policy in the area, adding that Xi Jinping clearly sent a message that no US provocations can force China to give in.

“This is more particularly about the Americans patrolling the offshore zone and air corridors near China in the South China Sea. At this point, Xi indicated that he has a firm defensive policy, demonstrating that China has no issues with anyone. I think this is an act of firm peaceful disposition.”

China has made it clear to the US that the issue of sovereignty over the South China Sea is virtually resolved in transnational relations, according to Shen Shishun, a senior researcher at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing:

“Preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity, which Xi Jinping cited, is a principle and core thread of China’s policies. We won’t make any concessions over the sovereignty and territorial integrity issue, which is of paramount importance for the country. It is not an issue to be negotiated.”

He went on to say that China, however, lays weight on Chinese-American ties, as well as seeks to resolve issues and avoid conflicts.