by Xinhua writer Wu Liming
BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Countries around the South China Sea should have clear vision when it comes to the U.S. strategy of hyping up issues in the region, and return to the path of direct friendly consultations.
On Thursday, the United States played up the South China Sea issue again by pointing fingers at China's new fishing regulations. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a news briefing that the regulations were "provocative and potentially dangerous."
Washington's accusations are unreasonable, as China's fishing regulations are in line with international practice and aimed at strengthening the protection of fishery resources and maritime environment. The United States itself has similar ones.
It is not the first time Washington has meddled in this region. Over past years, the South China Sea has become a new frontier in U.S. strategic pivot to Asia.
In July 2010, Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State, initiated a discussion about navigation freedom, security and U.S. "national interests" in the South China Sea at a meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Playing up issues again and again in the region, the United States is resorting to the old trick of "divide and rule" -- first it stirs up tensions, disputes and even conflicts, then steps in to pose as "mediator" or "judge" in a bid to maximize its own interests.
Countries around the South China Sea should see clearly the U.S. strategy and tricks, and see through its ambition to manipulate Asian affairs just to maintain dominance.
History has repeatedly proven that more often than not, the involvement of a superpower in disputed areas complicates the situation and brings tragedy to parties concerned.
If countries around the South China Sea are under any illusion about the U.S. strategy and start to abandon consensus and understanding when it comes to resolving disputes in the area, they risk turning into chess pieces of the superpower and paying an unnecessary price for any confrontation or friction.
Therefore, concerned countries should demonstrate wisdom in resolving issues in the South China Sea through direct friendly consultations, and be on guard against being a pawn for U.S. ambitions.
It is also time for Washington to stop playing old tricks and take a role in advancing peace and stability in the area, otherwise it will be deemed unwelcome in the region.
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