Nepal | August 10, 2020

US denies China’s claims to South China Sea, tensions hover over already ‘touchy’ relations

US State Secretary claims China's predatory world view has no place in the 21st century

THT Online
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KATHMANDU: The United States has denied China’s controversial claims to most of the South China Sea. Beijing has been accused of using intimidation to undermine the sovereign rights of Southeast Asian coastal states in the South China Sea to bully them out of offshore resources.

The move is likely to add tensions to the already touchy relationship.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement issued on Monday said, “Beijing’s claims Offshore resources across most fo the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.”

He further said that US champions a free and open indo-pacific and is strengthening US policy in the South China Sea.

“The People’s Republic of China (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,” Pompeo said.

“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. 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.”

Pompeo further claimed that PRC’s predatory world view has no place in the 21st century while bringing the context of 2010 when the then-PRC Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told his ASEAN counterparts that “China is a big country and other countries are small countries and that is just a fact”.

The United States and China have grown increasingly touchy recently over China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong and Uighur Muslim community.


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