- The United States is aligning its policy on the South China Sea with a 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling and officially rejecting many of China’s sweeping claims on the strategic waterway.
- Calling on China for intimidation and coercion in the South China Sea, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that “the predatory world view of the PRC has no place in the 21st century”.
- China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all have overlapping rights in the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing’s rights are by far the most important, encompassing most of the waterway. .
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The United States is aligning its policy on the South China Sea with a 2016 International Arbitral Tribunal decision and officially rejecting many of China’s claims on the disputed waterway, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday.
“Beijing’s claims about offshore resources in much of the South China Sea are completely illegal, as is its intimidation campaign to control them,” said Pompeo.
“Beijing uses intimidation to undermine the sovereign rights of the coastal states of Southeast Asia in the South China Sea, to intimidate them out of extraterritorial resources, to assert unilateral domination and to replace international law by” force can do right “,” he said.
He added that “the predatory world view of the PRC has no place in the 21st century”.
China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all have overlapping rights in the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing’s rights are by far the most important, encompassing most of the waterways. Among the various claimant states, China has most aggressively asserted its contested sovereignty.
China has sought to consolidate its vast claims in the region through the construction of artificial islands and military outposts, as well as increased military activity in the region, despite a 2016 court decision. international arbitration dismissing many of China’s claims.
Beijing refused to recognize the ruling, which was on the Philippines’ side, dismissing both the ruling and the court’s authority to weigh in on the dispute.
Even before the publication of Pompeo’s statement, the United States has repeatedly declared that China’s allegations in the South China Sea are “illegal”, most recently in a Defense Ministry statement condemning military exercises Chinese near the Paracel Islands, territories that China seized from Vietnam.
As China conducted its military exercises, two strike groups of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers sailed into the South China Sea to conduct operations on two aircraft carriers as an unmistakable show of force. The United States also regularly conducts freedom of navigation and bomber overflights in the region to challenge China’s excessive maritime claims.
“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire,” said Pompeo. “We stand by the international community in defense of freedom of the seas and respect for sovereignty and reject any push to impose” force is right “in the South China Sea or in the region at large. ”
The latest US decision is expected to further worsen bilateral tensions and increase the risk of confrontation in the South China Sea, where the United States and China have had a number of risky break-ins in recent years.