China’s claims on S China sea unlawful, US warns China
14 July, 2020 | newsx bureau
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issues statement against China on aggression in South China Sea, calls China's claims on offshore resources unlawful as per decisions of an arbitral tribunal in 20...
The United States on Monday officially dismissed China’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea and termed Beijing’s campaign of bullying to control them as “completely unlawful.”
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday issued a statement on the US position on Maritime claims in the South China Sea, saying that the Chinese government has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region.
Washington announced that it is aligning the US position on the Chinese government’s claims in the South China sea with the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal’s decision.
In a unanimous decision on July 12, 2016, an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention – to which the People Republic of China (PRC) is a state party – rejected the PRC’s maritime claims as having no basis in international law. The Tribunal sided squarely with the Philippines, which brought the arbitration case, on almost all claims.
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“The United States champions a free and open Indo-Pacific. Today we are strengthening U.S. policy in a vital, contentious part of that region — the South China Sea. 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,” the statement by Pompeo read.
The South China Sea is grouped into three archipelagos. China claims almost the entire South China Sea as its sovereign territory, and it has aggressively asserted its stake in recent years.
“In the South China Sea, we seek to preserve peace and stability, uphold freedom of the seas in a manner consistent with international law, maintain the unimpeded flow of commerce, and oppose any attempt to use coercion or force to settle disputes. We share these deep and abiding interests with our many allies and partners who have long endorsed a rules-based international order,” the statement read.
“The PRC has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region. Beijing has offered no coherent legal basis for its “Nine-Dashed Line” claim in the South China Sea since formally announcing it in 2009,” it added.
Pompeo said that Beijing uses intimidation to undermine the sovereign rights of Southeast Asian coastal states in the South China Sea, bully them out of offshore resources, assert unilateral dominion, and replace international law with “might makes right.”
“We stand with the international community in defense of freedom of the seas and respect for sovereignty and reject any push to impose “might makes right” in the South China Sea or the wider region,” the United States said.
“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire,” Pompeo said in his statement.
The move come as battle lines hardened between US and China over a range of issue including Hong Kong security law, atrocities on Uighurs Muslims by Chinese authorities and coronavirus.
The United States has rejected any PRC’s claims to waters beyond a 12-nautical mile territorial sea derived from islands it claims in the Spratly Islands (without prejudice to other states’ sovereignty claims over such islands). As such, the United States rejects any PRC maritime claim in the waters surrounding Vanguard Bank (off Vietnam), Luconia Shoals (off Malaysia), waters in Brunei’s EEZ, and Natuna Besar (off Indonesia)
“Any PRC action to harass other states’ fishing or hydrocarbon development in these waters – or to carry out such activities unilaterally – is unlawful,” the statement read.