China is not being ‘aggressive’ in South China Sea claims; it’s the US that has changed its tune


China is not being aggressive so much as protecting the territory it claimed as far back as 1947, then without objection from the US

I refer to “US shift on South China Sea ‘grey zone’ aggression signals stronger response ahead” (February 9), on how the United States is expected to take more pre-emptive measures against non-military Chinese vessels in contested waters to enforce rules.

The article noted that experts from the US and Australia are calling for more red lines and proactive action.

When the Nationalist Chinese government promulgated the original 11-dash line in the South China Sea in 1947, the US never objected. It’s only in recent years, when mainland China has been rising, that the US pretends that China has no claim in the South China Sea.

In a post-Mattis South China Sea, a few reminders for the next US defence chief

The word “aggression” in the article should have been in quote marks.

It’s a matter of opinion whether China’s actions amount to aggression or not. What about US “aggression” in the South China Sea? Oh yes, those are termed pre-planned or pre-emptive “measures”.

How China could edge the US out of the South China Sea

Beijing has not, as your report claims, “significantly advanced its territorial claims over its smaller neighbours”. It is merely trying to enforce its old claim against encroachments by US client states.