Chinese media said Saturday that the United States no longer cares about its image as a ‘global leader’ and is nothing more than a troublemaker.
Over the report of a US Navy warship passing through waters claimed by China near disputed islands in the South China Sea on Friday – a move that Beijing called “illegal” and “provocative”, the Chinese Government’s mouthpiece, Global Times, said in an editorial, “This was a provocation by the US, flagrantly telling the world that it doesn’t want to see peace in the South China Sea, and that it wants waves there. If no one helps it, it will make them itself.”
The US maneuver was conducted during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit to China in which bilateral relations have been restored with the signing of a series of cooperative agreements.
The articles said that the Pentagon dispatching warships to patrol at this moment is a clear response to Duterte’s visit to China, sending signals to the region that it will maintain its presence and continue trying to exert influence even as the Philippines has started to shelve its disagreements with China and restore friendly relations.
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It said that the US chose the Xisha Islands for the operation, with the intention to arouse the interest of Vietnam and test its reaction as Washington has decided to change direction after Duterte’s repeated ridiculing.
“We hope that Vietnam will see through the US’s intentions and not fall into their trap,” it said.
The article added that Duterte has said the US military is stationed in the Philippines only out of its own interests and he has decided to leave the road of conflict that the US has forced the Philippines to take, which shows that he and many of his compatriots are fed up with the US profiting from South China Sea tensions at their expense.
It said that the US is not willing to accept the change, in regard to the improving China-Philippine relations adding that as long as China, Vietnam and the Philippines stick to their own interests and put cooperation first, a US warship sailing in the South China Sea will have no effect.