To be able to give its naval muscle a good stretch close by is probably the goal of this gesture. Might as well deal its cards clearly and make intention transparent.
To top it off, there is widespread public participation across traditional and new media on this issue 24 hours a day. Internal consensus will not be hard to get. This seems one area where people and government meet somewhat dead centre. Every time I broached this topic, a common response, was to dismiss the contending nation and call them 小国 translated, small country but also to mean inferior state. On this the people and government have a common vantage point. And so do an increasing number of overseas Chinese.
However, this is a time where a ticket to zealotry can be facilitated by a prepaid Internet connection. Initial sparks of conflict may come where least expected, wherever it undermines hard power most – inability to act because of international conventions.
Will it then be willing to cross the line unilaterally? Would it have more innovative ways about this
That would then reveal if such talk of not being passive is rhetoric or indicative.
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China will not be passive in sea disputes
Source – Global Times, published March 29, 2013
Chinese naval fleets recently conducted patrols on the South China Sea, reaching as far as Zengmu Reef, the southernmost part of Chinese territory. In an oath-taking ceremony on board Tuesday, the troops and officials vowed to safeguard China’s sovereignty.
Earlier this month, a Chinese vessel fired two warning signal shells into the sky to prevent illegal fishing operations by Vietnamese fishermen. Both showed China’s firm determination to insist upon its stance amid the South China Sea disputes.
Washington expressed its concerns in both cases, reinforcing its attitude that the US can interfere in the South China Sea issue any time.
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