Washington must figure out that everything has a bottom line, when you play with fire you must pay the price.

In recent days, two U.S. aircraft carriers held exercises in the seas around the Philippines. On June 20 at the Center for a New American Security’s annual meeting, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson let it be known that the United States’ dispatch of two aircraft carriers to the same sea region for exercises was quite unusual. This shows that the U.S. is signaling its promise to preserve the security of the region, as well as being a “deterrent” to related countries.

In depending on flexing one’s military might to pass on so-called signals to preserve security, and then assuming a posture of deterrence to one’s rivals, America truly engages in this kind of matter far too often. It does not matter that this has succeeded in other places. For America to use this trick on China is most definitely picking the wrong person. Behind this misjudgment exists the anxiety and hubris of Washington, in addition to the fact that it reveals the true nature of Washington’s hegemony.

The carrier exercises and remarks of the U.S. military elite reveal that America is not really the protector of security in this region, but is precisely the creator of its difficulties. On the issue of the South China Sea, America has played a role that has caused great harm.

For some time now, the United States has been making a great show of playing up the threat of militarization in the South China Sea, laying the blame for disrupting regional peace and stability in China. However, in reality, what people have been seeing is the arrival of American aircraft carriers, American strategic bombers flying about, and American guided missile destroyers flying the flag of “freedom of navigation” to repeatedly approach China’s islands. American military exercises and those of its allies come one after the other. After all is said and done, who is really pushing the militarization of the South China Sea, and who is really trying to turn the South China Sea into a tinderbox?

America is a country outside of the South China Sea region, coming from one side of the boundless Pacific Ocean to the other to flex its military power. Its objective is to create tension in the South China Sea, stir up trouble and disrupt peace and stability, so that by taking advantage of a crisis for personal benefits, it can vigorously preserve its hegemony. This kind of shady business where a thief cries “stop thief!” shows open disdain for international law, in addition to the fact that it blatantly harms the security interests of other countries.

The United States has assured China on multiple international occasions that it does not have a position on the territorial issues in the South China Sea, opting not to choose sides. However, the recent array of American military activities has fully exposed the fact that these declarations are a sham. At the same time, these activities have let people see clearly that America’s wanton provocation of China’s territorial and maritime rights and interests is the real cause of the tense circumstances in the South China Sea.