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Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 02 Jun 2019
Three US Senators have reintroduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act. Its purpose is to “impose sanctions against Chinese entities that participate in Beijing’s attempts to assert its expansive maritime and territorial claims in these disputed regions.”
By Mark J. Valencia - 30 Apr 2019
According to the Philippines, the presence of about 275 Chinese vessels near Thitu between January and March 2019 violated its “sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction”. It filed a diplomatic protest to this effect.
Two former Philippines officials filed a complaint with the ICC against China for “crimes against humanity”, alleging that President Xi Jinping, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the Chinese Ambassador perpetrated environmental damage in the South China Sea.
There is certainly no shortage of warmongering blaring from both China and the US regarding the South China Sea. Indeed, a recent public tit-for-tat illustrates both the danger of such public advocacy and of taking it seriously.
After China issued formal diplomatic protests to Quad members asking their intention, Australia withdrew from the Quad and meetings ceased. Indeed, the concept is more likely to go the way of the dodo than rise from its ashes like a phoenix.
A recent article in The National Interest posed the question “Are [US] Freedom of Navigation Operations in East Asia enough?” If FONOPs are to demonstrate non-acquiescence to what the US views as a violation of international law, they may be unnecessary.
A very distinguished unofficial “task force” of US-China experts has issued a rather alarming report regarding the China threat to US security overall and in the South China Sea in particular. The group suggests that the US pressures China to comply with “global norms”.
US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson met with senior Chinese military leaders in Beijing in January 2019. The discussions focused primarily on how to manage increasingly dangerous encounters between vessels and aircraft of the two navies.