Taipei, Nov. 14 (CNA) Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China no longer adopts a “strategy of restraint” in South China Sea disputes, a Taiwan-based expert said Friday.
Lin Cheng-yi, a researcher with Academic Sinica’s Institute of European and American Studies, said at a Taipei seminar on the wrestling in the East and South China Seas among the United States, China and Japan, that China has since 2014 tightened its control of the disputed South China Sea by launching land reclamation projects in several islands, to solidify its claims to the region.
Lin said that the land reclamation projects that China has launched in the islets and reefs have not only changed the geomorphology of the chain of islands called the Spratlys in the sea, but also demonstrated that China has abandoned its past strategy of exercising restraint in the region.
The islands where the land reclamation are either ongoing or completed include Johnson South Reef, Hughes Reef and Gaven Reef.
China’s new strategies in the region included opposing the internationalization of South China Sea disputes and interference by countries outside of the region like the U.S., Japan and Austria, and insisting on solving the disputes through direct negotiations among the involved parties, Lin’s colleague Song Yann-huei said.