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US lays out case against ‘unlawful’ China maritime claims

Agence France-Presse

January 13, 2022 | 8: 28am

WASHINGTON, United States — The US on Wednesday laid out its most detailed case but in opposition to Beijing’s “illegal” claims in the South China Sea, rejecting both the geographic and historic bases for its large, divisive draw. 

In a 47-page study paper, the Deliver Department’s Bureau of Oceans and World Environmental and Scientific Affairs mentioned China had no basis below world legislation for claims that absorb establish Beijing on a collision route with the Philippines, Vietnam and assorted Southeast Asian nations.

“The general pause of those maritime claims is that the PRC unlawfully claims sovereignty or some make of uncommon jurisdiction over many of the South China Sea,” the paper mentioned, relating to the Folks’s Republic of China.

“These claims gravely undermine the guideline of legislation in the oceans and a mammoth series of universally identified provisions of world legislation mirrored in the Convention,” it mentioned, relating to a 1982 UN treaty on the legislation of the sea ratified by China — nonetheless no longer the US.

Releasing the respect, a Deliver Department assertion known as again on Beijing “to cease its illegal and coercive activities in the South China Sea.”

The paper is an update of a 2014 respect that equally disputed the so-known as “nine-flee line” that styles the premise for notable of Beijing’s stance.

In 2016, a world court sided with the Philippines in its complaints over China’s claims. Beijing replied by offering original justifications, including pronouncing that China had “historic rights” over the utter.

The Deliver Department paper mentioned that such historical-based mostly claims had “no exact basis” and that China had no longer equipped specifics.

It moreover took explain with geographic justifications for China’s claims, pronouncing that better than 100 aspects Beijing highlights in the South China Sea are submerged by water throughout high tide and therefore are “beyond the proper limits of any utter’s territorial sea.”

Beijing cites such geographic aspects to reveal four “island groups,” which the Deliver Department respect mentioned did no longer meet standards for baselines below the UN conference.

The whisper modified into issued because the US increasingly extra challenges China on the worldwide stage, identifying the rising communist energy as its chief long-term threat.

In 2020, then-secretary of utter Mike Pompeo explicitly backed claims of Southeast Asian nations in the South China Sea, going beyond the previous US stance of intelligent China with out taking a controversy on which nations were proper.

The South China Sea is dwelling to notable oil and gasoline deposits and transport lanes, and Beijing’s neighbors absorb progressively voiced explain that their massive neighbor modified into seeking to enhance its reach.

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