INTERVIEW/ Think tank chief: Beijing should show restraint in South China Sea


BEIJING–China softened its attitude toward the international community after facing strong criticism from its neighbors and the United States for building military bases on islets in the South China Sea from 2014.

Although Beijing’s change could be a response to that criticism, it might also mean that China feels its major objectives have already been achieved in the South China Sea.

Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Haikou, China, said both Washington and Beijing should now show restraint in that region.

He was asked about the change in Beijing’s stance and whether it represented an adjustment of government policy.

Excerpts of the interview follow:

Asahi: How do you view the meeting in early April between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping?

Wu: It was an important meeting for developing a stable U.S.-China relationship in the future.

China will not bring up issues surrounding the South China Sea.

But from a long-term perspective, China’s development could be seen by the United States as a threat to its leadership position in the world.