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Politics & Law

US tells China to adjust its territorial claims in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, or prove the claims

China's claimed territorial waters

China’s claimed territorial waters

The U.S. voiced concern Wednesday that China is gradually asserting control in the disputed South China Sea on the basis of vague territorial claims unsupported by international law.

Sharpening U.S. criticism of the rising Asian power, Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, described in congressional testimony a litany of actions by China that are raising tensions.

Russel said China has restricted access to a contested reef in the South China Sea; taken bids on areas far from its own shores for hydrocarbon exploration; and imposed fishing regulations in disputed waters.

“There is a growing concern that this pattern of behaviour in the South China Sea reflects an incremental effort by China to assert control over the area contained in the so-called ‘nine-dash line,’ despite the objections of its neighbours,” Russel said, referring to the map markings used by China to depict its maritime territorial claims.

“Any use of the ‘nine-dash line’ by China to claim maritime rights not based on claimed land features would be inconsistent with international law,” he said, urging China to clarify or adjust its claim.

Using less diplomatic language, Republican Rep. Matt Salmon said China’s approach seemed to be, “we’re going to see what we can get away with, and if the U.S. has the guts, the cojones, to challenge us.” Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly said from a distance it looks like China is “picking a fight with Vietnam, with the Philippines, with Japan, among others.”

China cites a historical basis for its South China Sea claims. According to the U.S. Congressional Research Service, the nine-dash line covers roughly 80 percent of those resource-rich waters, which are dotted with reefs and islands subject to multiple disputes, also involving the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

The U.S. says it takes no position on the competing sovereignty claims, but says it has a national interest in peaceful resolution of the disputes and in freedom of navigation and commerce. Russel said that agreement between China and Southeast Asia’s regional bloc on a code of conduct to regulate behaviour in the South China Sea is long overdue.

China has been reluctant to discuss territorial disputes with the bloc, although there has been tentative progress on negotiating the code in the past year.

Russel also voiced concern about the “serious downturn” in relations between China and Japan, a close U.S. ally.

He criticised China’s “provocative” declaration of an air defence identification zone over the East China Sea and a spike in “risky activity” by China near uninhabited islands controlled by Japan but also claimed by China. He said the U.S. supported Japan’s call for diplomacy and crisis management procedures to avoid a dangerous incident.

Japan’s foreign minister will meet with Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Friday.

Japan’s prime minister recently angered China and drew a rare U.S. expression of disapproval for visiting a controversial war shrine in Tokyo.

Some Republicans took issue with the Obama administration at Wednesday’s hearing, saying its attempt to refocus U.S. foreign policy toward Asia lacked substance and that it had failed to reassure allies there.

“The Asia-Pacific region is the future. It’s the driver of the global economy and will make our break our geopolitical role in the world,” said Steve Chabot, Republican chair of the House subcommittee overseeing U.S. policy toward the region.

Source: Yahoo News “US vents criticism of Chinese maritime claims”

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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