Washington: The United States warned China on Friday not to use force in disputed waters because it reiterated that Beijing’s tough actions in the South China Sea are illegal.
The State Department voiced “concern” about new legislation enacted by China that authorizes its coast guard to use weapons against foreign ships that Beijing considers to be unlawfully entering its waters.
The text “strongly implies this law can be used to intimidate the PRC s maritime neighbors,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said, referring to the People s Republic of China.
“We remind the PRC and all whose forces operate in the South China Sea that responsible maritime forces act with professionalism and restraint in the exercise of their authorities,” Price told reporters.
“We are further concerned that China may invoke this new law to assert its unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea.”
Price said that President Biden’s government reiterated the statement made by then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the South China Sea in July and is known for its hawkish stance against Beijing.
Pompeo declared in a statement that Beijing’s claims on maritime resources in most of the South China Sea are “completely illegal.”
The United States has long rejected China’s broad demands on strategic waterways, but Pompeo went further by explicitly supporting the positions of Southeast Asian countries (such as the Philippines and Vietnam) rather than avoiding disputes.
New Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier voiced concern about the Chinese maritime law in a call with his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi.
The blink of an eye at the time reiterated that the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea (also known as the Diaoyu Islands by Beijing and claimed by Taiwan) belonged to a security treaty that required the United States and Japan to defend each other.