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China’s Violation of S. Korea’s Sovereignty

Posted July. 09, 2010 11:20,   


The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Beijing resolutely opposes foreign warships threatening China`s security by entering waters near the country, including the Yellow Sea. This is a response to the planned joint drill by South Korea and the U.S. in the Yellow Sea in the wake of the sinking of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan.

The Global Times, a sister daily of the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party People’s Daily, said in a front-page article Wednesday, “South Korea has the illusion of pressuring China through a joint military drill with the U.S. in the Yellow Sea,” adding, “Delaying the drill after a U.N. Security Council statement indicates that U.S. aircraft carriers can participate in the exercise should China disagree on council sanctions against North Korea.” The Times then said, “South Korea openly seeks to pressure China.” In a Monday editorial, the daily said this is a definite challenge to China’s security.” A major general of the Chinese Liberation Army added, “If a U.S. aircraft carrier enters the Yellow Sea, it will be a living target.”

Such a response by China violates South Korea’s sovereignty. Nobody has the right to question a military drill carried out in a country’s sovereign waters or neighboring open waters. Given that Beijing conducted a naval exercise by deploying missiles including new anti-aircraft and anti-ship guided missiles from June 30 through Monday in the East China Sea, it is in no position to criticize Seoul.

North Korea’s attack on the Cheonan, which killed 46 crewmembers, led South Korea to conduct the joint naval drill, a measure taken by allied countries to prevent additional armed provocations by Pyongyang. If an act threatening stability in the Yellow Sea, an international sea route, is left unattended, similar incidents will occur. Though the world is uniting to punish North Korea, China is looking the other way.

If China was in South Korea’s situation, in which one country turns a blind eye to the other’s pain and protects the culprit, would Beijing tolerate this? China must join international efforts to get the North to admit fault and pledge not to do it again. South Korea and the U.S. should be undaunted by China’s unlawful threats and proceed with the drill as scheduled.