By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily
The recently concluded trilateral meeting at Camp David joined by leaders of the United States, Japan and South Korea once again revealed to the international community who is the real threat to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, despite the “peace” rhetoric frequently employed by the U.S. leader.
This meeting smeared and attacked China on Taiwan and maritime issues—an act of gross interference in China’s internal affairs, a deliberate attempt to sow discord between China and its neighbors and a serious violation of norms in international relations.
The real signal the meeting has sent to the international community is that the U.S. intends to build a “mini NATO” trilateral alliance in Northeast Asia and stoke a new Cold War in the Asia-Pacific region.
The United States claimed that the trilateral meeting and partnership was not against China, but the joint statement issued by the three parties made irresponsible remarks about the Taiwan question and distorted facts about the South China Sea issue, which barely concealed their intent against China.
The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair. Resolving it is a matter for the Chinese. China strives for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but it will never allow interference in its internal affairs using “peace” as a false pretext by anyone or any force.
The greatest threat to cross-Strait peace is “Taiwan independence” forces and foreign connivance and support for their activities.
The United States, Japan and South Korea emphasized the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, but made no mention at all of opposing “Taiwan independence.” This essentially connived at or supported “Taiwan independence” separatist forces and will have severe impacts on peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea are solidly grounded in history and law and consistent with relevant international law and practice.
In recent years, the United States, as an extraterritorial country, has gone to great lengths to interfere in the South China Sea issue. It has encouraged and supported certain countries’ violation of other countries’ maritime rights and sowed discord between countries in the region, which makes the United States a disrupter and saboteur of the regional order.
The United States, Japan and South Korea attempt to build an exclusive and closed “clique” in the Asia-Pacific region, which goes against the trend of regional countries enhancing solidarity and cooperation and promoting regional economic integration.
A U.S. politician called the trilateral Camp David meeting a “major move on the chessboard” that will change the strategic layout in the Indo-Pacific region.
Some American scholars interpreted U.S. intentions even more bluntly, saying the trilateral joint statement at Camp David is a collective security statement close to NATO.
On issues such as trilateral communication mechanisms, security defense, supply chains, and technology, the United States sticks to its so-called “Indo-Pacific strategy” playbook, aggressively peddling security anxieties and hurriedly building an exclusive “clique,” at the expense of disrupting regional peace, stability, cooperation and development.
Although the United States disguised its intentions under lofty rhetoric like “a more peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” the Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset are unmistakably woven into its fabric. Its real motive of inciting division and confrontation and serving its hegemonic self-interest is plain for all to see.
In recent years, while advancing its so-called “Indo-Pacific strategy,” the United States has continuously tried to leverage Japan and South Korea’s adjacency to China to contain China and consolidate American hegemony.
The hype made by the United States of the Camp David trilateral meeting exposed its sinister plot, and also showed that the United States itself knows clearly that its strategic design lacks foundation and is against the trend.
On the one hand, long-standing grievances persist between Japan and South Korea, especially as Japan has recently backpedaled on historical issues, moved further down the path of military expansion, and adopted an irresponsible attitude regarding the discharge of nuclear-contaminated wastewater.
These have provoked extensive doubts in the South Korean society. South Korea’s newspaper The Hankyoreh said that the South Korean government ignored history and dangerously gambled on quasi-alliance with Japan, which cannot be accepted by the public.
On the other hand, building a “mini NATO” style trilateral alliance in Northeast Asia does not serve Japan and South Korea’s interests.
The two countries’ development has long relied on the overall peace, cooperation and development in the Asia-Pacific region. If they are willing to be the pawns of the United States, introducing bloc confrontation and military alliances into the Asia-Pacific, they will transform the region into an arena of geopolitical wrestling, and ultimately hurt others without benefiting themselves.
South Korean newspaper The Kyunghyang Shinmun pointed out that the United States may embroil South Korea in unnecessary disputes, which is worrying. The Asahi Shimbun of Japan also believes that escalating tensions from U.S.-Japan-South Korea cooperation into a hegemonic bloc confrontation will further worsen the situation.
Through the Camp David meeting, regional countries and the international community can clearly see that the real source of tensions and conflict in the Asia-Pacific region is the United States, which is obsessed with hegemony, bloc politics, and confrontation.
Facing a complex international landscape, all parties should uphold the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, follow true multilateralism, and work together to rise up to challenges.
Any country seeking absolute security for itself at the expense of others’ security and interests will ultimately undermine regional stability and jeopardize its own security.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)