Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 22:33:36

“A honey tongue, a heart of gall”

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The People’s Army Newspaper online on June 2 run a commentary entitled “A honey tongue, a heart of gall” about China’s stance on the East Sea. Following is the article.

At the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, many participants raised questions on the current tension in the East Sea. Answering one of the questions, Fu Ying, Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, said that for many years now, China and parties concerned have resolutely settled disputes by peaceful negotiations, managed the differences before they are solved, maintained stability and security at sea, and explored possibilities of cooperation.

This double-faced allegation of the Chinese diplomat reminded others of a notorious figure in China’s ancient history, Li Linfu - an official of the Tang Dynasty. Li served as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong, and was known for his articulate speeches with so nice words and attitude that people could easily believe him to be a kind-hearted person.

But in fact Li was an ill-hearted, cruel and cunning man. He often used malice tricks to harm those who were not on good terms with him, especially with those who had higher positions, so as to take over the post for his own interests.

Thanks to his malice tricks, Li could maintain his position as a chancellor for 19 years.

Later on, a Chinese historian under the Song Dynasty, named Si Maguang, while compiling a voluminous annals titled Zi Zhi Tong Jian, ranked Li Linfu among those who have “a honey tongue, a heart of gall” which is prosaically called “velvet paws hide sharp claws”.

China has illegally placed its drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou - 981 deep in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Being driven away by Vietnam’s law enforcement authorities, Chinese vessels arrogantly used water cannons and intentionally rammed into Vietnam’s ships, causing losses for Vietnam. Chinese vessels even rammed into and sank a fishing boat of Vietnamese fishermen.

Yet, at press conferences and domestic and international forums, Chinese representatives always made a hue and cry about China’s goodwill to settle the East Sea tension by peaceful means.

Furthermore, in Fu Ying’s speech at the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue, it is easy to realise that China always holds onto a trap, making use of the word “dispute” in an attempt to lure the world’s public into believing that the waters where China’s drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou - 981 is stationed is in a disputed area.

It is an undeniable fact that the area where China is stationing its oil rig is within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as prescribed bythe United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982. The waters completely belong to Vietnam’s sovereignty.

Such double-faced stance is outdated and not easy to fool people any more. Perhaps, it might make Chinese historian Si Maguang, if he could come to life again, stroke his beard and laugh, “Hah, hah, hah, I could not imagine that my assessment remains effective for younger generations thousands years later”.-VNA
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