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US Says Chinese Claims In South China Sea ‘Completely Unlawful’

Washington: Asserting that the “Chinese predatory world view” has no place within the 21st century, the Trump administration, in a significant coverage determination on Monday, categorically rejected the territorial claims made by Beijing in South China Sea, stating that it has no authorized grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the area.

“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire. America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned in a significant coverage announcement.

America, he mentioned, stands with the worldwide group within the defence of freedom of the seas and respect for sovereignty and rejects any push to impose “might makes right” within the South China Sea or the broader area.

Pompeo mentioned China can’t lawfully assert a maritime declare — together with any unique financial zone (EEZ) claims derived from Scarborough Reef and the Spratly Islands — vis-a-vis the Philippines in areas {that a} tribunal discovered to be within the Philippines’ EEZ or on its continental shelf.

The US, he mentioned, rejects any Chinese language declare to waters past a 12-nautical mile territorial sea derived from islands it claims within the Spratly Islands (with out prejudice to different states’ sovereignty claims over such islands).

Additionally, China has no lawful territorial or maritime declare to (or derived from) James Shoal, a completely submerged function solely 50 nautical miles from Malaysia and a few 1,000 nautical miles from China’s coast, Pompeo mentioned.

“We are making clear: Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them,” he mentioned.

Within the South China Sea, the US seeks to protect peace and stability, uphold the liberty of the seas in a fashion according to worldwide legislation, keep the unimpeded movement of commerce and oppose any try to make use of coercion or pressure to settle disputes, Pompeo mentioned.

He alleged that Beijing makes use of intimidation to undermine the sovereign rights of Southeast Asian coastal nations within the South China Sea, bully them out of offshore assets, assert unilateral dominion and substitute worldwide legislation with “might makes right”.

Beijing’s strategy has been clear for years, Pompeo mentioned. In 2010, then Chinese language overseas minister Yang Jiechi advised his ASEAN counterparts that “China is a big country and other countries are small and that is just a fact”, he mentioned, including that the Chinese language predatory world view has no place within the 21st century.

China “has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region”, the secretary of state mentioned. Beijing has provided no coherent authorized foundation for its “Nine-Dashed Line” declare within the South China Sea since formally saying it in 2009, he added.

In a unanimous determination on July 12, 2016, an Arbitral Tribunal constituted below the 1982 legislation of the ocean conference — to which China is a state get together — rejected the nation’s maritime claims as having no foundation in worldwide legislation. The tribunal sided squarely with the Philippines, which introduced the arbitration case, “on almost all claims”, Pompeo mentioned.

The announcement by the Trump administration was welcomed by a number of high American lawmakers.

The announcement makes clear that the US will help its regional allies within the defence of a free and open Indo-Pacific area, mentioned Senator Marco Rubio.

The Individuals’s Republic of China (PRC) can’t be allowed to illegally assert management over maritime territory within the area and the US has rightly rejected all of Beijing’s spurious claims, he mentioned.

“China’s unlawful actions will not be tolerated and I urge my colleagues in Congress to swiftly pass my bipartisan South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act (S.1634) to impose costs on Chinese individuals and entities for their flagrant violations of international law,” Rubio mentioned.

President Donald Trump as soon as once more countered Chinese language aggression by rejecting its absurd claims within the South China Sea, mentioned Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart.

“The US must continue to oppose PRC bullying, deception, IP theft and human rights abuses,” he mentioned.

This can be a “smart move”, mentioned Senator Jim Inhofe. “The PRC’s claims in the South China Sea are unlawful, plain and simple. The U.S. stands against Beijing’s bullying, and with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” he mentioned in a tweet.


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