U.S. aircraft carrier and supporting vessels: Washington's
decision to send
the USS George Washington into the Yellow Sea
adjacent to China, despite
its protestations, has enraged Beijing.
Global Times, People's
Republic of China
Chinese Opinion More
Powerful than Any U.S. Aircraft Carrier
By taking part in military exercises in the Yellow Sea with its ally South Korea, is the United States 'deliberately provoking' China's people and the People's Liberation Army? According to this strongly-worded article by Chinese Major Genral Luo Yuan from the state-controlled Global Times, America needs to learn respect for the feelings of people in other nations, and if it gpoes ahead with its plans, it's going to pay a price.
A U.S. Defense Department
spokesman confirmed to Xinhua on Friday that the U.S. will send the aircraft
carrier USS George
Washington to participate in a joint U.S.-South Korean military
exercise in the Yellow sea.
Before the Chinese government
had taken a strong stand against such U.S. activity, perhaps the U.S. could have
pretended not know the likely reaction and stuck to its position that its exercise
with South Korea was just over the Cheonan issue.
Yet now, after the Chinese government has expressed grave concern, the United
States remains hard set on going its own way. This is a deliberate provocation.
The United States should not
believe that it can easily handle any issue with its many aircraft carriers. There
is something more powerful than aircraft carriers, and that is popular support.
No one can go against public opinion.
With popular support, China, although
it currently has no aircraft carriers, will certainly get them one day. Without
aircraft carriers but offering popular support, the Chinese people aren't
scared of aircraft carriers. Once popular support is lost, no amount of
powerful weapons will allow a country have its way forever.
Just imagine the feelings of China's
people, who believed U.S. President Obama when he said that, "the U.S.
does not seek to contain China," or Secretary of State Clinton when she claimed,"
we are in the same boat," as a U.S. aircraft carrier bursts into the
How can America expect China
to offer its help if the U.S. obstructs it this way? Imagine what the
consequences will be if China's largest debtor nation challenges its leading
Imagine how the United States
would feel if China showed the same ignorance of American interests and
security as the U.S. is doing toward China? Imagine how Washington would feel
if Beijing took part in military exercises with America's neighbors or competitors in nearby
areas or sensitive regions? Don't do unto others what you would not have them
do unto you. The United States should think twice about this maneuver. Once a
U.S. aircraft carrier sails into the Yellow Sea, the greatest damage to Sino-U.S.
relations will be in the area of popular support, which is the basis of international
Accustomed to going their own
way without concern for the reaction of others, perhaps some Americans don't
care about Chinese public opinion. If so, bring it on: the Chinese people will
stand up against all comers.
To raise its combat
effectiveness in times of war, the People's
Liberation Army learns war from wartime. In times of peace, it learns war
from practice. For this purpose, the PLA needs a reference point. If the U.S.
aircraft carrier comes into the Yellow Sea uninvited, the U.S. will provide
China with such a reference point and an opportunity of training its forces.
Still stuck in a Cold War mind
set, some Americans have tried everything possible to contain China's rise. Now
with this maneuver, they are trying to threaten the Chinese people and test
China's bottom line.
They should know that China's
rise is the general trend, and no weapons can halt it. China is the world's
largest market, so offending it means losing, at least in part - market share. Will
ordinary Americans allow that sort of thing to happen? Without American support,
how will Obama be elected to a second term?
Even in difficult times, China
has never bowed to the powerful. What's more, China will soon become the world's
second largest economy, so it's will certainly not compromise on this issue.
The entry of a U.S. aircraft
carrier into the Yellow Sea will only reveal its technologies, tactics and offer
China a close-up opportunity to research aircraft carriers.
The Chinese people cherish
peace, and aren't prone to hostility toward any country. But neither will they allow
any other country to be hostile toward China or turn a deaf ear to its
opposition. A country should be dignified - and so should an army.
America always advertises
itself as the most democratic country. Now China should help the United States learn
a lesson in democracy. It is time for the U.S. to learn to respect others, listen
to public opinion in other nations, and resolve problems with debate, not military
*Luo Yuan is a major
general and deputy secretary general of the PLA Academy of Military Sciences.
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