Admiral Karl Schultz, commandant of the US Coast Guard, said the US and its partners see the need for an international pushback on aggressiveness in the South China Sea.
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US calls for int’l pushback vs aggressive sea acts
Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - July 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The United States has called on claimant states in the South China Sea to spurn antagonistic behavior that does not follow international protocol, given China’s “gross” manifestation of its forces in the disputed waters.

Admiral Karl Schultz, commandant of the US Coast Guard, said the US and its partners see the need for an international pushback on aggressiveness in the South China Sea.

“I think the Coast Guard voice, the US Navy voice, allied partners, regional partners, neighbors, I think there needs to be an international pushback to say you know, we reject the types of behaviors, the antagonistic, aggressive behaviors that are not consistent with the rules-based order,” Schultz said in an international media teleconference yesterday from Saipan in the Marianas.

Schultz, while maintaining that US presence in the heavily disputed waters was to model proper maritime governance, said there was a need to follow a rules-based order – contrary to the Chinese Coast Guard’s aggressive presence.

Founded by western powers led by the US, the rules-based order is a set of rules, norms and institutions which have guided how states interact with each other.

The admiral added that the Chinese Coast Guard was already “grossly” manifested in the South China Sea, with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the central government’s navy presence.

The PLAN is the naval warfare branch of the People’s Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of China.

Part of this rules-based system is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and The Hague ruling of 2016 on the South China Sea, parts of which the Philippines claims as the West Philippine Sea –which the Philippines seems unwilling to enforce and the Chinese refuse to heed.

“You look at the maritime militia. I think we are seeing behaviors out of the Chinese Coast Guard, out of the maritime militia, that are not consistent with the rules-based order,” said Schultz, who stressed the need for transparent engagement.

The US, which has long been insisting on freedom of navigation in the waters, has turned over high endurance cutters to different claimants in the region, including the Philippines.

The western power is also set to roll out new fast response cutters in the South China Sea.

This, according to Schultz, will increase their capability to make more frequent and longer patrols to protect the exclusive economic zones from “illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.”

CHINESE COAST GUARD SOUTH CHINA SEA
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