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EIR Featured Prominently in Washington Press Conference on South China Sea

July 13th, 2016

Executive Intelligence Review

July 6, 2106 (EIRNS)- At a press conference in Washington today, held by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies and the National Institute of South China Sea Studies and attended by some 70 plus Chinese and American journalists, three leading Chinese scholars and two American scholars, including EIR's Washington Bureau Chief Bill Jones, were featured. The interest in the topic was at its height with the imminent decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague on the Philippines' request for a decision on the matter. The decision by the arbitration court, which China refused to be a part of, and therefore, whose decision China will not abide by, is seen as a means for the U.S. to up the ante on its "freedom of navigation" gambit in the South China Sea, pushing the region closer to war.

The Chinese scholars included Dr. Wu Shicun, the president of the National Institute of South China Sea Studies, undoubtedly the most knowledgeable person in China on the issue of the South China Sea; and Professor Huang Renwei, the vice president of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, one of the foremost think-tanks in China.

The press conference also benefited from a significant question asked from the floor by Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

The Chinese side presented their position on the South China Sea, underlining their case for not accepting arbitration in a matter where there had been no negotiations between the Philippines and China because of the Philippines' refusal to engage in discussions. Sending the case to the court was also a violation of the Declaration of Conduct signed by all the Southeast Asian Nations, including the Philippines, committing themselves to resolve the territorial disputes through negotiation. The arbitration decision is seen, therefore, as a case of collusion between one of the parties in the dispute and the referee, with, of course, the backing of the United States, which insists it is not a party in the dispute.

U.S. Naval Academy professor Brian Mulveny presented the mainstream-i.e., Obama Administration-view, namely that the U.S. can send their military vessels wherever they want in "freedom of navigation" operations and that China has to adhere to whatever the arbitration court decides.

In his comments, EIR's Jones underlined the importance of the visit of the Chinese delegation because of the war danger posed by the concentration of military forces in the region by the U.S. and it's allies, and because of the systematic distortion of Chinese position in the U.S. media.

"U.S. policy has been totally wrong-headed," Jones said.

"Instead of trying to build a comprehensive relationship with China socially, economically, politically and militarily, it treats China like an outside predator even in its own region. Instead of trying to facilitate China's relations with its neighbors, it has strengthened its Cold War alliances and encouraged them to get tough with China,"

Jones said.

"And when the arbitration decision comes down next week, the U.S. will start harping that China must accept this as a tenet of international law, a position which many legal experts even in the U.S. consider as absurd."

"I ask myself", Jones said,

"how would the U.S. react if it had a fleet of foreign vessels belonging to an alien alliance patrolling 12 miles off of California's coast? Well, I think we know how the U.S. would react, but China would tend to show more restraint,"

he said.

"China has put forward an important 'good neighbor policy' with its Belt and Road Initiative," Jones said,

"offering hope and development for a region that is still plagued by poverty and destruction. And the U.S. has seen this as hostile intent by China, in spite of the fact that the U.S. has been invited to take part in this major program of infrastructure development."

"If nothing else, the South China Sea crisis has shown us most clearly that we need a new type of relationship between our two countries, perhaps in line with what President Xi envisions with his idea of a major power relationship. Because if we continue with the zero-sum game of geopolitics, it will only lead to war."

The reaction from the audience was enthusiastic, with several questions directed to Jones.

In an intervention from the floor during the Q&A session, Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche again broached the war danger in a question directed to Mulvaney.

"There are many military experts internationally who are warning that the situation today is more dangerous than at the height of the Cold War,"

she said.

"Furthermore, we are about to experience another financial crash worse than 2008. I think the terrorist activities, especially of the last two weeks, in Bangladesh, Turkey, Indonesia, and European countries clearly show that terrorism is out of control. And actually with the Brexit, the European Union is in a process of disintegration, very dramatically.

"So my question is: Can Mankind not rise to a higher level of cooperation and go for a New Paradigm where geopolitics is overcome and replaced by the commons aims of mankind? I mean, the world is in dire need for the United States and China to work together, because I think without the two countries joining hands, the world is in trouble. So the question is: Can the world move to a New Paradigm of peaceful cooperation for the future tasks of all of humanity?"

In response to Mrs. LaRouche's question, Mulvaney downplayed the danger of any serious military conflict in the South China Sea, saying foolishly that if an incident occurs in the region it won't lead to war, but will be contained. (Perhaps on the thesis that a single bullet does not a war make. But tell that to Archduke Franz Ferdinand.) Mulvaney also tried to ridicule the need for a new paradigm, saying that he would love a world in which people lived together in harmony, but, consummate pragmatist that he was, he said that this was not the world we lived in.

After the event, many journalists came up to Jones asking many more questions on the South China Sea crisis and how China should react to the arbitration decision.

The press conference followed two days of private discussions with the Chinese delegation, one with the Carnegie Institute for World Peace (something of a misnomer) and the other with the Schiller Institute and friends, including Schiller Institute president and founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

Leading Chinese Diplomat Warns of War Danger in South China Sea

July 5, 2016 -- Former State Councillor Dai Bingguo, one of the key partners in the US-China relationship before his retirement, returned to Washington to give a major speech at a gathering organized by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on July 5. In his speech, Dai warned that the "confrontational rhetoric" needs to be toned down and that the US's "heavy-handed intervention in the South China Sea issue" needed to be "scaled back." "The rhetoric of a few people in the US has become blatantly confrontational," Dai warned. "How would you feel if you were Chinese and read in the newspapers or watch on TV reports and footages about US aircraft carriers, naval ships and fighter jets flexing muscles right at your doorstep and hear a senior US military official telling the troops to be ready "to fight tonight"? Wouldn't you consider it unhelpful to the US image in the world? This is certainly not the way China and the US should interact with each other.

"Having said that," he continued, "we in China would not be intimidated by the US actions, not even if the US sent all the ten aircraft carriers to the South China Sea. Furthermore, US intervention on the issue has led some countries to believe that the US is on their side, and they stand to gain from the competition between major countries. As a result, we have seen more provocations from these countries, adding uncertainties and escalating tensions in the South China Sea. This, in fact, is not in the interest of the US. The risk for the US is that it may be dragged into trouble against its own will and pay an unexpectedly heavy price." Dai also said that it is urgent that the Philippines withdraw their arbitration submission. "If the tribunal insisted on its way and produced an 'award', no one and no country should implement the award in any form, much less force China into implementation. And the Philippines must be dissuaded from making any further provocation," he warned.

At the same time Dai underlined that China was always pepared to negotiate with the Philippines and also to work together with the U.S. to resolve the growing tensions. "China has all along been committed to resolving the disputes peacefully through negotiation and consultation," he said. Even though the South China Sea is clearly not an issue between China and the US, China is willing to maintain communication with the US on maritime issues, and work with the US and all other parties to keep the situation under control, considering our shared interest in peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific. Our two sides may work together to find ways to jointly promote regional peace and stability through constructive dialogue on matters such as regional confidence-building, effectively managing disputes and advancing maritime practical cooperation.

"What we need," he added, "is not a microscope to enlarge our differences, but a telescope to look ahead and focus on cooperation. Both China and America are great nations with insight and vision. As long as the two sides work for common interests, respect each other, treat each other as equals, have candid dialogue, and expand common ground, China and the US will be able to manage differences and find the key to turning those issues into opportunities of working together."

Dai was giving the keynote at a closed event at Carnegie. While there were a variety of views represented on the U.S. side, there was general agreement with the mainstream line, that China should accept the results of the upcoming arbitration decision and cease the construction on the islands claimed by them. The first point was clearly underlined by Ambassador John Negroponte, who was the U.S. responder to Dai's speech.

Negroponte said "The United States considers the arbitration to be a legally binding dispute resolution." One of the U.S. participants even urged China to "put aside" its territorial claims, provoking a strong rebuke from one of the Chinese scholars. One U.S. Naval Academy scholar even went so far as to say that China's signing of the UNCLOS maritime treaty in 1996 effectively abrogated any previous territorial claims, a claim, which is absurd on the face of it, as that UNCLOS treaty has no authority to regulate ANY territorial dispute. Nevertheless there was a general understanding at the event that the concentration of military forces in the region can easily lead to a conflict that could spiral out of control.

Chinese Coverage of Dai Bingguo Event Cites Chas Freeman and Bill Jones

July 7,2016 (EIRNS) The Chinese media coverage of Dai Bingguo's speech at the Carnegie Endowmen in Washington is extremely interesting. In their article on the event, {People's Daily} quotes Chas Freeman, who did not even attend the Carnegie event, but who did make statements at the Schiller Institute conference in Berlin, saying that the arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines was driven by domestic political factors, as the government wanted to avoid criticism from its own people for failed foreign policy. They also reference comments by EIR's Washington Bureau Chief, Bill Jones, who WAS at this invitation-only Carnegie event through the help of Chinese friends, but certainly not as an invited guest.

Jones characterized the arbitration as a violation of procedure and law. For the Philippines, this arbitration game is to evade its obligation to consult with China. Whatever the decision may be, it is just to put pressure on China and force them to back down from their sovereignty claims. It is meant to create obstacles, not to reach solutions.

Similarly in {China Daily}, Jones was cited in their coverage of the event in comments he made to China Daily during a coffee break at the event. "I hope it [Dai's speech] is widely read and understood by people in the Administration, although sometimes I am doubtful whether they will change their views. But I think it's important because he addressed on the one hand the necessity of avoiding a conflict in the region over the issue.

But Dai also criticized the position that China would have to accept the "poison" [of the arbitration decision] which the U.S. is claiming is international law, but which many legal scholars and countries do not consider a binding on China."


Executive Intelligence Review

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