China rejects 'unjustifed' US policy on South China Sea
This file photo taken on April 1, 1995 shows China's flag flying over octagonal structures built on stilts at the Manila-claimed Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands, known as Nansha islands by China, located in the South China Sea. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 13, 2020 the United States would treat Beijing's pursuit of resources in the dispute-rife South China Sea as illegal, ramping up support for Southeast Asian nations and triggering a furious response from Beijing.
AFP/Romeo Gacad
China rejects 'unjustifed' US policy on South China Sea
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - July 14, 2020 - 11:17am

MANILA, Philippines — In response to the United States' latest policy on the South China Sea, Beijing accused Washington of "exaggerating" the situation in the region.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier released a statement, the strongest so far in support of a July 2016 arbitral ruling on the South China Sea, to counter Beijing's "unlawful" claims in the contested waterway.

The Chinese Embassy in the US, meanwhile, pointed out that Washington is not a country directly involved in the maritime dispute but has kept on interfering on the matter.

For the Chinese, Pompeo's latest pronouncements "distorts" facts and international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

"The accusation is completely unjustified. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to it," the Chinese Embassy said in a statement released hours after the latest US declaration.

The Chinese Embassy also pointed out that the US is not directly involved in the South China Sea dispute but has kept on interfering on the matter.

"Under the pretext of preserving stability, it is flexing muscles, stirring up tension and inciting confrontation in the region. Under the pretext of endorsing rules, it is using UNCLOS to attack China while refusing to ratify the Convention itself," the embassy said.

Beijing further claimed that Washington was "recklessly infringing" on other nations' territorial sea and airspace through its freedom of navigation and overflight operations.

"We advise the US side to earnestly honor its commitment of not taking sides on the issue of territorial sovereignty, respect regional countries’ efforts for a peaceful and stable South China Sea and stop its attempts to disrupt and sabotage regional peace and stability," the Chinese Embassy said.

The Chinese insisted that the situation in the South China Sea remains peaceful and stable as Beijing and ASEAN countries are working on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

The US, meanwhile, assured its Southeast Asian allies and partners that it remains committed in protecting their sovereign rights in the South China Sea.

"The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire," Pompeo said. This statement came to mark the fourth the anniversary of the landmark ruling, which sided with the Philippines.

In his statement, Pompeo stressed that China cannot assert maritime claim over Scarborough or Panatag Shoal and the Spratly Islands, which the arbitral tribunal found to be in Philippine exclusive economic zone or its continental shelf.

Citing the tribunal award, the US State secretary also pointed out that China has no lawful territorial or maritime claim to Mischief Reef or Second Thomas Shoal, which are both within Philippine jurisdiction. Mischief Reef is one of Beijing's three artificial islands in the Spratlys.

"Beijing’s harassment of Philippine fisheries and offshore energy development within those areas is unlawful, as are any unilateral PRC actions to exploit those resources," Pompeo said.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 27, 2020 - 9:37am

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis continues underway in the South China Sea.

The US Pacific Command just reported that it has received "cargo" from support ship USNS Rainier in the disputed waters.

August 27, 2020 - 9:37am

China said a US spy plane entered a no-fly zone used by the Chinese military for live-fire drills, branding it an act of provocation, state media said Tuesday.

The U-2 reconnaissance jet's flight over an area in northern China violated safety rules between the two nations, Xinhua reported, citing Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian.

"The US action could easily have resulted in misjudgments and even accidents," said the report, adding "that the move was an obvious provocation." — AFP

July 14, 2020 - 7:34am

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States would treat Beijing's pursuit of resources in the dispute-rife South China Sea as illegal, ramping up pressure on another front.

"We are making clear: Beijing's claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them," Pompeo says in a statement.

The United States has long rejected Beijing's sweeping claims in the South ChinaSea, aligning itself with Vietnam, the Philippines and other US partners in the region. — AFP

July 3, 2020 - 7:28am

The Pentagon says it is "concerned" about Chinese military exercises around a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, noting the maneuvers will "further destabilize" the region.

"The Department of Defense is concerned about the People's Republic of China (PRC) decision to conduct military exercises around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on July 1-5," the Pentagon says in a statement.

The activities "further destabilize the situation" in the area claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan, it says. — AFP

April 30, 2020 - 4:15pm

The Philippines says it strongly protests "the establishment of the so-called districts of 'Nansha' and 'Xisha' under the supposed administrative jurisdiction of its self-declared 'Sansha City'" which would cover parts of the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs says it has protested since 2012 the "unlawful establishment of Sansha City" that includes Philippine territory and maritime zones in the WPS, including the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc.

The Philippines also protests the dseignation of Kagitingan Reef in the Kalayaan Island Group "as adinistrative center for the so-called 'Nansha district'," saying the reef is part of the KIG and an integral part of Philippine territory.

April 27, 2020 - 1:41pm

Sen. Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution to urge the executive branch to "exert legal and diplomatic pressure" on China over its activities in the West Philippine and to have the regional giant pay for enviromental damage in the area.

"China's sense of entitlement to our seas has caused severe and irreparable harm to our ecosystems," Hontiveros says in a statement on the filing of Philippine Senate Resolution No. 369.

Even if the Senate, the majority of which supports the Duterte administration and its foreign policy with China, adopts the resolution, it is non-binding on the executive branch.

"Hindi tayo kolonya, kaya panahon nang singilin ng gobyerno ang Tsina (We are not a colony so it's about time that we have China pay)," she also says.

In her resolution, Hontiveros says "unlawful Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea are estimated to have caused at last P33 billion in damage annually to marine ecosystems within the Philippines' continental shelf and exclusive economic zone" since 2013, the year that the Philippines filed its arbitration case.

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