Listen Live
    Filipino soldiers gesture at a Chinese Coast Guard vessel on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014

    Why Russia is Uniquely Positioned to 'Mediate' Disputes in S China Sea

    © REUTERS / Erik De Castro
    Politics
    Get short URL
    12308

    With tensions over the South China Sea and the East China Sea mounting, Russia could serve as an impartial mediator needed to settle countless territorial disputes in Asia before Washington's activities in the region make things worse, the Vzglyad asserted.

    Washington's so-called "freedom of navigation" operations and Beijing's reclamation efforts in the South China Sea attracts the bulk of media attention these days. But last week it was the East China Sea that made headlines when Russian and Chinese naval ships sailed past the islands that Beijing refers to as Diaoyu and Japan calls Senkaku. The uninhabited territory is also claimed by Taiwan in a dispute that goes back decades.

    In this Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013 file photo, Japanese Coast Guard boat and vessel sail alongside Japanese activists' fishing boat, not in photo, warning the activists away from a group of disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan
    © AP Photo / Emily Wang, File
    In this Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013 file photo, Japanese Coast Guard boat and vessel sail alongside Japanese activists' fishing boat, not in photo, warning the activists away from a group of disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan

    The business daily maintained that arbitration is key to resolving the territorial disputes. Moscow is well-positioned to assume this role, while the US views every region in terms of its national interests and is thus biased.

    "The problem is that instead of creating or at least backing the establishment of a mediation court, the US is trying to 'contain' China. Since the Chinese economy is approximately as large as the American, Washington views Beijing as its primary rival. It follows then that in any territorial disputes involving China and its neighbors, Washington has always pursued a simple strategy of backing Beijing's opponents," the media outlet explained.

    Moreover, US policymakers do not seem to understand all the intricacies of Asian geopolitics and how to address challenges in this region. Any territorial dispute could only be resolved if every party is equally respected.

    Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan
    © AFP 2019 / POOL / RITCHIE B. TONGO
    Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan

    "Trying to solve political issues in Asia using the [black and white] worldview is dangerous for global stability," the newspaper noted. "The problem is that the Americans, like many in Europe are simply incapable of holding talks from the standpoint of treating every participant as equal."

    This is why Washington and its allies have turned the Middle East and North Africa into "a permanent war zone," the daily observed. If these countries use the same approach to conflict resolution in Asia, they could set the region on fire.

    For its part, Russia pursues goals opposite to those of the US when it comes to Asia.

    "We do not need to contain anyone. Our task focuses on mutually beneficial cooperation with China, Japan, Vietnam, both Koreas and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time we have a territorial dispute with Japan. We resolved a similar dispute with China through a mutually beneficial settlement despite an armed conflict that took place" in 1969, the newspaper detailed.

    In this context, Russia could create a third party arbitration court to resolve territorial disputes in Asia.

    Related:

    Soviet Union Didn't 'Steal' Kuril Islands From Japan
    Beijing Goes Diving: China to Build Deepwater Platform in South China Sea
    South Korean Military Shuts Down Chinese Illegal Fishing, Navy on Alert
    Why Washington is Unlikely to Make Waves in South China Sea in Near Future
    Tags:
    geopolitics, mediation, arbitration, territorial claims, territorial dispute, Asia, Senkaku Islands, East China Sea, South China Sea, Japan, China, United States, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik