• Kaneohe, Hawaii

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Michael Richardson’s Sept. 1 article, “Beijing wastes no time with Noda,” panders to sinophobics. Even if China were to “extend its presence” in the East China Sea and South China Sea, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time in history that Southeast Asian countries have had to deal with a dominant power, including China and India in the ancient past and, more recently, Japan and the United States.

The piece goes on to raise the red herring of worry over “impeded shipping.” China has never threatened commercial shipping or shipping lanes in the South China Sea. It has objected to what it considers violations of international law and the Law of the Sea by U.S. spy planes and vessels.

While it is true that some of China’s specific claims do not conform to the Law of the Sea, many other countries have also violated its letter and spirit. At least China has ratified the treaty. The U.S. has refused to join some 162 other nations, including all other major powers, that have ratified it.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

mark valencia

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