BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Foreign media may have the freedom to opine on the disputes between China and some of its neighbors over the South China Sea, but the last thing they should do is to pile unfounded charges against China without solid, justifiable evidence.
It seems that few media have ever shown any willingness to do so, whether out of prejudice or other intentions. The latest example is an editorial published Thursday by The Washington Post, arguing that the United States "is right to assail China on its South China Sea claims."
The article lashed out at what it called China's "expansive claim to the sea," asserting that "the claim encroaches on some of the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones granted to other countries by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea."
The accusation is fundamentally ungrounded as it wrongly asserts that whatever is within the 200-nautical-mile waters off a country's shores, such as isles and reeves, belongs to that country regardless of whether or not the claimant has sovereignty over them.
It is not right to apply the UN convention to the South China Sea issue, which centers on the sovereignty over some islands and reefs in the water. China has indisputable sovereignty over those territories based on ample historical facts.
The artical also criticized China's "harrying of the Philippines and the Vietnam over disputed fishing and oil drilling rights."
However, the fact is that China has exercised maximum restraint on the South China Sea issue and proposed to shelve disputes and seek joint development, in a bid to prevent escalations and maintain peace and stability in the region.
It is some countries' illegal fishing activities and occupation of some Chinese islands and reefs, emboldened by Washington's "selective blindness," that have fueled tensions in the area.
Besides its ignorance of historical facts and lack of basic legal knowledge, the Washington Post did reveal the true intention of Wasington's "pivot to Asia" strategy -- the containment of China.
The article commended the overt U.S. strategy, which included ratcheting up the U.S. naval forces in the Pacific, as "a seminal move to counter China's rising influence."
Beijing hopes that Washington would play a positive and constructive role in the Asia Pacific and stop meddling in the bilateral maritime disputes that should be resolved only by China and its neighbors.