The United States warned China against the use of force in controversial waters on Friday as it reiterated its view that Beijing’s enforcement campaign in the South China Sea was illegal.
The State Department has expressed “concern” about new laws by China that authorize its coast guard to use weapons against foreign ships that Beijing considers illegal.
The text “strongly implies that this law can be used to intimidate the PRC’s maritime neighbors,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
“We remind the PRC and anyone whose armed forces operate in the South China Sea that responsible naval forces are professional and cautious in the exercise of their powers,” Price told reporters.
“We remain concerned that China could use this new law to pursue its illegal maritime claims in the South China Sea.”
Price said President Joe Biden’s administration reiterated a statement by then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the South China Sea, known in July for his Hawkish stance on Beijing.
In the statement, Pompeo stated that Beijing’s claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea were “totally unlawful”.
The United States has long denied China’s sweeping claims on the strategic waterway, but Pompeo went a step further by explicitly supporting the positions of Southeast Asian nations such as the Philippines and Vietnam rather than staying out of the disputes.
The new foreign minister, Antony Blinken, previously expressed concern about Chinese maritime law in a conversation with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi.
Blinken affirmed at the time that the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea – also claimed by Beijing, which it calls Diaoyu, and Taiwan – are covered by a security treaty that obliges the United States and Japan to defend one another.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)