Chinese experts emphasize firm but flexible strategy on South China Sea


The situation in the South China Sea may become more intense next year, Chinese military experts said at the Global Times Annual Conference held on Saturday in Beijing.

Dai Xu, President of the Institute of Marine Safety and Cooperation, said he didn’t understand why some people were afraid when Chinese warships intercepted US warships. “If the US warships break into Chinese waters again, I suggest that two warships should be sent: one to stop it, and another one to ram it,” Dai said during the panel discussions.

“In our territorial waters, we won’t allow US warships to create disturbance,” he added.

The “freedom of navigation” advocated by the US is in fact provocation against China and interference in China’s sovereignty, according to Dai. China has never influenced the freedom of US’ navigation in international waters, but it should not come into Chinese waters.

Huang Jing, Dean of the Institute on National and Regional Studies at Beijing Language and Culture University, also noted after the US stepped into the issue, there are two games being played: one is between China and the US, another one is between China and other countries.

He said the two games are moving away from each other. The US cannot play the game together with other countries anymore to take on China.

He said China’s reef policy is firm but flexible. “China has been promoting the South China Sea action principles together with ASEAN countries. As long as this is done, the US will lose its initiative,” Huang said.

He emphasized South China Sea’s great significance, adding that Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor after it took control of the South China Sea.

Huang proposed that China should seek multilateral cooperation in the South China Sea so that it can manage and control any possible crisis, and in the meantime, China should carry out bilateral negotiations in order to solve disputes.

About Taiwan, Dai noted that if the situation gets intense, “it would boost the speed of our unification of Taiwan.” He added China should not be afraid. “Let’s just be prepared and wait. Once a strategic opportunity emerges, we should be ready to take over Taiwan,” Dai said.

The Global Times Annual Conference was held on Saturday in Beijing, with dozens of officials, experts and public figures in various fields participating. Participants shared their thoughts on key topics of 2018 and their predications for 2019, including their views on topics ranging from China-US relations, the South China Sea and the Taiwan question.