‘US would only provoke Chi on disputed islands’

Beijing, Feb 7: By meddling in the disputed islands in the East Chi Sea, US would only provoke Beijing and risk turning the issue into a powder keg, a commentary on the state-controlled Xinhua news agency said. “Washington has long used the Diaoyu Islands as a fulcrum for an off-shore balance, manoeuvring Japan while pressuring Chi in East Asia, particularly under the administration of former US President Barack Obama, who zealously promoted a Pivot to Asia strategy during the last eight years.” “However, the decaying US credibility in East Asia as well as the rising tensions in the region should make it clear to the new President, Dold Trump, that his predecessor’s Pivot to Asia strategy is a deal with no winners and meddling in the waters around the uninhabited islands for so-called ‘offshore balance’ will never pay off.” Chi and Japan claim islands in the the East Chi Sea. While Beijing calls them Diaoyu, for Japanese term them as Senkaku. Last week, US Defence Secretray James N. Mattis said that America will back Japanese claims over the disputed islands, angering Chi. “By meddling in the Diaoyu Islands issue, Washington is actually risking turning the islands into a powder keg, thus making the issue more complicated and bringing instability to the region.”

“For one thing, interfering in the Diaoyu Islands issue only provokes Chi, as Beijing has made it crystal clear that there will be no bargaining over its core interests,” the commenray said. “If the lesson of Obama’s administration in dealing with Chi offers any guide to Trump, the first and most important point should be ditching a zero-sum mentality, especially on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands,” he added. “Meddling in partners’ core interests definitely hurts intimacy. Trump’s business instinct should actually help him realise the simple fact that rivalry between partners hurts business. He and his cabinet members need to think twice about the issue of the Diaoyu Islands, and distance themselves from Obama’s stance and approach.” (IANS)