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Distrustful New US Coast Guard Law in China Could Worsen Maritime Disputes | South China Sea News

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The State Department said the wording of the law could be used by Beijing to intimidate its neighbors in the region amid the tension in the South China Sea.

The United States is concerned about China’s recent enactment of a coast guard law and that it could exacerbate maritime disputes and be used to assert illegal claims, the Department of Justice said on Friday. ‘US state.

China, which has maritime sovereignty disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and with several Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea, passed a law last month that for the first time , explicitly authorizes its Coast Guard to shoot at foreign ships.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told a regular briefing that Washington was concerned about the wording of the law that expressly links the potential use of force, including armed force, by the guards. -Chinese coasts to the application of China’s claims and to the ongoing territorial and maritime disputes in China. the East and South China Seas.

He said the language, strongly implies that this law could be used to intimidate [Chinas] maritime neighbors.

We are further concerned that China may invoke this new law to assert its illegal maritime claims in the South China Sea, which were completely rejected by the 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling, he said, referring to an international decision that ruled in favor of the Philippines in a dispute with China.

We remind the PRC and all forces operating in the South China Sea that responsible maritime forces act with professionalism and restraint in the exercise of their powers.

Price said the United States reaffirmed a statement from last July in which then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected China’s contested claims to offshore resources in much of the China Sea. southern region as being totally illegal.

He added that the United States is firmly keeping its alliance commitments to Japan and the Philippines.

The South China Sea dispute was among the issues US President Joe Biden discussed during his first call as US leader with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Threat of war

The United States has entered into mutual defense treaties with the two countries and has conducted regular naval patrols in the region to assert freedom of navigation and challenge China’s vast maritime claims.

In recent weeks, it has deployed warships and aircraft carriers to patrol the South China Sea, angering Beijing.

The Philippines said last month it had filed a diplomatic protest against China’s new law, describing it as a threat of war.

Previously, the new Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed his concern about China’s maritime law during a call with his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi.

Blinken reaffirmed at the time that the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea were also claimed by Beijing, which calls them the Diaoyu, and that Taiwan was subject to a security treaty that commits the United States and Japan to defend each other.

China has repeatedly defended its new Chinese Coast Guard law, downplaying its effect in the disputed region.

In January, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China was only defending its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

Zhao also said that Beijing remains committed to the peaceful settlement of disputes.

China’s sovereignty, rights and interests in the South China Sea have been formed over a long history and are in line with international law and practice, Zhao added.

Zhao added that countries outside the region would respect Beijing’s efforts to properly handle maritime disputes and safeguard stability in the South China Sea.



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