The easiest solution to China’s escalating situation in the South Sea is to enforce China’s own formal statements at face value. China says they respect other countries and do not want to militarize the South Sea. Leave it at that. Any disrespect toward other countries is not at the behest of Xijinping. Any militarization of the South Sea is not at the behest of Xijinping. Therefore, it must be true that Xijinping would not oppose anyone who stops, prevents, and reverses disrespect toward a country or militarization in the South Sea.
The West spends too much time arguing “what people really think”. It is as if Western governments want to read China’s mind to determine China’s intentions, but not entirely say so. The current result is an monitored, yet unchecked, escalation of military tension. “China can’t do this,” the West says. “We don’t do this,” China responds.
China’s response is golden. The West looks like the aggressor, especially in the minds of the Chinese people who live, “under the spell of the system,” as the missing Whitney Duan’s husband says. The West would do best to agree, “then China didn’t do this.” And then, take immediate policing action. After all, China has categorically implied that the man-made islands and battle cruisers are not operating within China’s purview. But, the West just keeps trying to read minds to solve problems. Since reading minds never happens, problems just keep growing.
Now, the Olympics will see a massive China boycott. If the Chinese knew a thing or two, they’d see that without the China Olympics, there would be one less way to boycott China. But, that’s a little complicated for some minds. And, the West prides itself on reading minds, after all.