• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 9:38pm

China’s state-run newspaper backs ‘non-peaceful’ steps against Vietnam

Global Times says a 'forced war' would convince some countries of 'China's peaceful intentions' as PLA General Fang Fenghui points finger of blame for Vietnam unrest at US strategic 'pivot' to Asia

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 9:48am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 7:53pm

The state-run Global Times newspaper backed the use of “non-peaceful” measures against Vietnam and the Philippines on Friday, as it considered the possibility of war over territorial disputes in the strategically vital South China Sea.

“Many people believe that a forced war would convince some countries of China’s sincerely peaceful intentions.”
Global Times

“The South China Sea disputes should be settled in a peaceful manner, but that doesn’t mean China can’t resort to non-peaceful measures in the face of provocation from Vietnam and the Philippines,” the newspaper, which often takes a nationalistic tone, wrote in an editorial.

“Many people believe that a forced war would convince some countries of China’s sincerely peaceful intentions,” the paper added.

Earlier on Thursday a top Chinese general defended the deployment of an oil rig that has inflamed tensions in the disputed South China Sea and triggered the deadly protests in Vietnam, blaming Hanoi and saying China cannot afford to “lose an inch” of territory.

Watch: Top Chinese general in US amid oil rig dispute with Vietnam

Speaking in Washington General Fang Fenghui also pointed blame at US President Barack Obama’s strategic “pivot” to Asia as Vietnam and China grapple with one of the worst breakdowns in relations since the neighbours fought a brief border war in 1979.

In Beiing, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi called Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh on Thursday night saying “Vietnam bears unshirkable responsibility for the violent attacks against Chinese companies and nationals”, Xinhua reports said.

China also sent a working group, led by Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao, to Vietnam on Thursday to deal with the aftermath of the riots, Xinhua said.

Wang demanded Vietnam take resolute and effective measures immediately to stop violence and ensure the safety of the lives and property of Chinese nationals and companies there.

Anti-China riots in Vietnam erupted after China’s towing of an oil rig into waters claimed by both countries. At least two people have been killed according to the official Xinhua news agency and as many as 21 Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a doctor working at a hospital in central Ha Tinh province. A huge steel manufacturing project operated by a Taiwanese company has also been set ablaze.

“Territory which has passed down by our ancestors into the hands of our generation – we cannot afford to lose an inch.”
PLA General Fang Fenghui

General Fang said some Asian nations had seized on Obama’s vows to rebalance military and diplomatic assets to Asia as an opportunity to create trouble in the South and East China Seas.

Fang, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, said that the oil-drilling rig was operating in China’s territorial waters, activity he vowed to protect.

A US official said Vice-President Joe Biden told the visiting Chinese army chief that Beijing’s actions in the maritime disputes were “dangerous and provocative”.

Standing at the Pentagon alongside the top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, Fang said Vietnam was at fault for stirring up trouble by dispatching ships in an attempt to “disrupt” Chinese drilling activity.

“I think it’s quite clear ... who is conducting normal activity and who is disrupting it,” Fang said, speaking through an interpreter.

Alarmed at China’s military rise and growing assertiveness, Vietnam has broadened its military relationships in recent years, most notably with Cold War-era patron Russia but also with the United States.

China claims almost the entire oil- and gas-rich South China Sea, rejecting rival claims to parts of it from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. In the East China Sea, Beijing is locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with Japan.

“We had a rich discussion about what exactly is the status quo and who has been seeking to change it.”
General Martin Dempsey

Speaking about regional tensions, Fang said Beijing did not create trouble, but was also unafraid of it and suggested China was ready to defend its territorial integrity.

“Territory which has passed down by our ancestors into the hands of our generation – we cannot afford to lose an inch,” he said.

Dempsey did not explicitly criticise China but left no doubt about his concerns over the growing regional tensions.

Asked whether China was behaving provocatively in the dispute with Vietnam and whether he saw the risk of conflict in the region increasing, Dempsey said: “We spoke about the fact that the use of military assets to resolve disputes is provocative and it does increase risk.”

“We had a rich discussion about what exactly is the status quo and who has been seeking to change it,” Dempsey said.



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

The People's Republic of China wishes to turn the South China Sea into its private lake. For the many nations who have competing territorial claims in the Spratly and Paracel Islands, this is a destabilizing move.
If the Chinese think Congressional budget discussions will insulate them from having to deal with an American naval response in support of our allies, this is a mistake on their part. We wouldn't prefer a naval or military response, but our alliances and our own territorial interests in the Western and South Pacific will determine our response.
If China attacks Vietnam it is likely that the other nations that China has land disputes with will join Vietnam. Separate they are vulnerable but together they are more than a naval match of China. I hope this does not take place. A negotiated settlement is what is needed. War here would at some point force US involvement and possible nuclear war. War simply needs to be taken off the table. Use your minds and not your guns.
“Many people believe that a forced war would convince some countries of China’s sincerely peaceful intentions.”
I guess I missed the announcement of China Times hiring George Orwell as their managing editor.
According to America's news media, America uses China's neighbors to consume China's energy and resources.
If China goes to war with vietnam, China should not just fight a war for nothing, which would make China fall into America's strategy. China should fight the war for rewards to compensate the energy and resources used in the war. These rewards include taking back all of China's historical islands being occupied by Vietnam, plus any new lands from Vietnam that can help China generate huge incomes and build a military base to watch China's interests.
China does not mess these stupid countries, but if these greedy countries continue to provoke China, it will be the time for China to fight for the rewards that China deserves.
Thanks to the Americans and Japanese for stirring up the heat in Asia. The Vietnam incident is the eventuality of a chain of events that started by the Japanese, by provoking territorial disputes via the construction of the illegal structure on DiaoYu Islands.
Good point. It could not be the result of China finally building its navy to a point where it can enforce the threats that in the past if could not to bully its neighbors into accepting China's position by threat of force. Could not be. Gotta love that good old fashioned Communist Chinese propaganda mindset. You freaks really are delusional but you are at least consistently delusional.
Ejm: You must be politically retarded to think that China has the naval capacity to bully its neighbors. You probably believe the main reason the U.S. went to Iraq was to "free" the people and the missile-guided bombing of the Chinese Embassy there was just a simple intel mess-up. Btw, the chemical weapons were never found in Iraq.
For a country who is still in the development stage with most of its population and politicians busy leveraging off its economic boom for monetary wealth, there is no motives to stir up territorial disputes unless being provoked by the jokers. Suggest that you come back out of the Stone Age and learn about modern days politics, there is nothing Communist about the Communist Party apart from its name.
Paradox, this isn't a show of force by China nor it's power hungry government wanting to be recognized as a super power. China, before the 17th century has always been world's biggest economy, even compared to Rome. Chinese territories has never been disputed since Zheng He, the Chinese explorer sailed through South China Sea all the way to the middle east in around the 1400's, before any of the other nations had a claim to the territories. When the Eight Nation Alliance invaded China during one of China's darkest time, it stripped away most of it's territories and during the French colonization of Vietnam region, mapped the sea into it's territory. Same goes with East China Sea, which was mapped by Japanese occupation of the South East Asian countries into their own. Now after WW2 and Japan's surrender, instead of mapping our territories back to the Chinese, the U.S kept the original mappings in favor of Japan since the U.S saw a strategical advantage now they are rebuilding Japan, and sought to insert influence over Japanese territories, which they ultimately did (to South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines). Therefore, China's action is justified because they are simply taking back what belonged to them for centuries, instead of bowing to Western powers like the Natives Americans did.
Let's see you cite your claim that China has always been the biggest economy since before the 17th century. The mythical Xia Dynasty has not even been verified and is claimed to be only 4,000 years ago. A substantial part of "China" was not unified until 221BC and did not remain unified as one nation. This "5,000 years of unbroken and homogeneous history" is part of the force-fed education that the Chinese proudly regurgitate to thwart actual discernment of history. The Chinese have never been objective about their history (no 1989, Great Leap Forward, etc.)




SCMP.com Account