| Welcome to Global Village Space

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

”Stop unlawful claims in South China Sea”; US warns China

The United States in a fresh statement has warned China to stop taking advantage of the coronavirus epidemic and has forbidden the country from laying claims in the south China sea. These two economic giants of the present world are at loggerheads concerning the South China Sea as the US has increased good relations with the past adversary, Vietnam. What would be the trajectory of relations between the US and China when the present crisis of COVID-19 is over? Let's hope for peaceful resolutions of disputes between these two!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The United States on Monday warned China not to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to exert itself in the South China Sea after Vietnam said Beijing sank a trawler.

Amid the global focus on fighting COVID-19, China has ramped up self-described research stations and landed special military aircraft in the dispute-rife sea, according to the State Department.

“We call on the PRC to remain focused on supporting international efforts to combat the global pandemic, and to stop exploiting the distraction or vulnerability of other states to expand its unlawful claims in the South China Sea,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Vietnam said last week that it lodged a protest with Beijing after the Chinese Coast Guard “hindered, rammed and sunk” a Vietnamese boat with eight fishermen on board near the Paracel Islands.

Vietnam — which, like China and Taiwan, claims sovereignty over the Paracel Islands — called in a foreign ministry statement for Beijing to compensate the fishermen, “strictly discipline” the officers responsible and prevent similar occurrences in the future.

The United States said it was “seriously concerned” about the episode.

“This incident is the latest in a long string of PRC actions to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea,” Ortagus said.

The United States, which has a growing relationship with Vietnam, has challenged China’s claims in the South China Sea — one of the world’s busiest waterways and also home to bountiful energy reserves.

Read more: Death rate in the US could resemble a ”Pearl Harbor moment”: Health authorities

China last month accused the United States of a “provocative” act after saying that the USS McCampbell missile destroyer sailed near the Paracel Islands without Beijing’s permission.

Tensions have risen sharply in recent years between China and the United States, which has also alleged that Beijing has not promptly controlled SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has now infected more than one million people around the world.

AFP with additional input from GVS News Desk.