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US sending important messages to deter aggressive China in the East Sea (South China Sea)

11:53 | 17/06/2020

The situation in the East Sea is extremely tense when the world's two superpowers the United States and China continuously make more and more assertive moves.

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us sending important messages to deter aggressive china in the east sea south china sea
The United States recently made strong moves in the East Sea in response to aggressive Chinese moves in this important sea.

While the United States determined to engage more strongly and support the stance of a number of countries, China saying to establish an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East Sea (called as the South China Sea) continues to stir up concerns of Beijing's unjust ambition in this important sea. In a rare move, the US is deploying three aircraft carriers to waters near China amid growing bilateral tensions. This action was interpreted by foreign media as a warning to Beijing.

Speaking to the Global Times, Li Jie, a naval expert in Beijing, said that by concentrating these aircraft carriers, the US intended to show the whole region, even the whole world, that the US remained the most powerful naval force, as it could enter the East Sea (South China Sea) and threaten Chinese soldiers.

Some days ago, The US appointed the U.S. Navy to conduct a Taiwan Strait transit to “demonstrate the U.S. commitment to a free and open IndoPacific,” as a statement from Naval Sea Systems Command.

moving aircraft carriers into areas of potential threat to Taiwan, got the attention of U.S. and allied international observers, sparking public comments regarding the need for peaceful navigation and non-provocative exercises. Navy destroyer USS Russel deployed the transit in the area, which borders the areas just North of the much-disputed East Sea (South China Sea). Recent Chinese maneuvers, such as moving aircraft carriers into areas of potential threat to Taiwan, paid the attention by U.S. and allied international observers, sparking public comments regarding the need for peaceful navigation and non-provocative exercises.

The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” the NAVSEA twitter post states.

us sending important messages to deter aggressive china in the east sea south china sea
Navy destroyer USS Russel deployed the transit in the area

According to a comment from the Philippines, the recent US letter sent to the United Nations (UN) demonstrates that Washington wants to push the East Sea (South China Sea) dispute between China and other relevant countries to the top agenda next time.

Ms Jacqueline Joyce F. Espenilla, a lecturer at the University of the Philippines's School of Law, emphasized that the time the US letter was sent coincided with the June 2 suspension of the cancellation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a legal basis for the presence of US troops in the country. "Manila's decision paves the way for a stronger US return to the region," she said.

The US letter is a sign that they will once again focus on the East Sea (South China Sea) and send a message to Southeast Asia that Washington supports them against Chinese aggression in this sea. ”

F. Espenilla also emphasized the allegations of Chinese aggression at sea placed in the context of tensions with the US: “It is part of a list of complaints about China regarding the issues of intelligence, cyber attacks, unfair trade and the Covid-19 pandemic. When sending a letter to the UN, the US actually made the East Sea (South China Sea) dispute a matter of discussion.”

The United States opposes China for its historic right to claim that based on the provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including Articles 5, 7, 46 and 47 of UNCLOS, China has no any ground to draw straight baselines or archipelagic baselines for its so-called DongSha, Zhongsha and Vietnam's Hoang Sa, Truong Sa and Hoang Nham shoal.

Similarly, China's claim to the so-called Nan hai zhou dao - South Sea Islands, Dongsha, Zhongsha and arrogating Vietnam's Hoang Sa and Truong Sa aiming to group all these scattered islands into a common entity to itself in order to establish internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf are certainly illegal. The US also argues that the entities in the East Sea (South China Sea) are not islands in the sense that Article 121 (3) of UNCLOS and Macclefield Shoal (called Zhongsha by China) are not subject to the sovereignty claim.

Edmund J. Burke, a defense researcher at the renowned RAND research organization in the US, said that China could announce ADIZ in the East Sea (South China Sea) if it hope the relationship with Washington deteriorate.

In recent days, rumors about an Beijing's ADIZ plan covering the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands (under the sovereignty of Vietnam) have stirred up conflicts, stemming from an article of the SCMP, which cited an unnamed source, said Beijing had made plans for ADIZ in the East Sea (South China Sea) since 2010, at the same time it planned to establish ADIZ in the East China Sea.

James Kraska, professor of international maritime law at the US Naval War School, said: "The greatest risk of an ADIZ in the East Sea (South China Sea) is that it will be used as an additional argument for China's illegal 'Nine-dash Line'. As such, the greatest influence will be geopolitical rather than military. "

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Tarah Nguyen (translated and summarized)