Right before the announcement of the arbitration verdict for the South China Sea territorial dispute, the Chinese military is reiterating Beijing’s position that the countries directly involved will discuss and resolve the dispute peacefully. The Chinese military spokesperson expressed strong dissatisfaction about American vessels entering the South China Sea, as well as emphasizing that the People’s Liberation Army will firmly protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the region.
Yang Yujun, a spokesperson from China’s Ministry of National Defense, described the tense situation in the South China Sea and the East China Sea using lyrics from an old film. The movie depicted China’s support of North Korea in its war with America. He said, “If friends come, we will have good wine, if jackals come, then our rifles will be ready. Of course, we in the Chinese military hope everyone who comes is a friend, it’s much better to enjoy a drink together than show our weapons.”
Yang said that China welcomes foreign vessels, but the Chinese military will have a response for any antagonistic behavior. He reiterated that China is determined to protect its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will steadfastly protect the peace and stability in the South China Sea.
According to Yang, both America and China have signed the “Rules of Behavior for Safety of Air and Maritime Encounters Between the U.S. Department of Defense and the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of National Defense.” He said both countries have always maintained a stable exchange and collaboration; currently five Chinese vessels are in Hawaii, participating in joint military exercises on the Pacific Rim.
Yang said that the People’s Liberation Army is not the one who started trouble, but certain countries have used all kinds of excuses to come to the South China Sea: to further one country’s personal interest, or to create a crisis and to threaten the peace and stability in the region. If they were to come, China would not be afraid, because “the Chinese military did not grow up afraid.”
Regarding the question of whether the South China Sea dispute would place more military pressure on China, and whether there could be war in the South China Sea, Yang said, “Rather than saying the issue is pressuring China, it is really pressuring all neighboring countries in the South China Sea.” He made an analogy, “When there is wind coming from outside, is it a soothing wind? A calming wind? A crazy gust? Or a hurricane? It’s worth some thought.” He emphasized that “the day American vessels stop instigating crises in the South China Sea is when the region will become stable.”
About this publication