Allies concerned at China’s maritime moves

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: US, Japanese and South Korean diplomats Thursday renewed concerns about moves by China to stake its claim to disputed seas and urged Beijing to preserve freedom of navigation in the key waterways.

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Deputy US Secretary Tony Blinken repeated America’s position that all competing claims in the South and East China Seas should be dealt with according to the rule of law.

Countries should “not take unilateral actions,” he stressed, after Beijing’s efforts to stake its claim to most of the South China Sea were high on the agenda for trilateral and bilateral talks with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts.

“We have consensus among us that the peaceful and harmonious rise of China we all welcome,” said Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki.

“At the same time, China, as a major power, not only in this region but globally, has a responsibility to… abide by international law.”

He added “China has a responsibility to address properly the concerns which are being shared by the members of the region, in Asia.”

China claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, including areas just off the coasts of other nations, using an assertive demarcation line that first appeared on Chinese maps in the 1940s.

Following a tense standoff between Chinese maritime patrol vessels and the Philippine navy in 2012, China took control of a rich fishing ground called Scarborough Shoal that is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

Satellite images have now shown China recently embarking on major construction activities to expand Chinese-controlled reefs and islets in the Spratly Islands, one of the biggest archipelagos in the sea.

South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-Yong called for the implementation of existing frameworks “so that we can preserve the freedom of navigation, stability in that body of water.”

But he also urged the swift conclusion of talks between China and Southeast Asian nations on a code of conduct in the South China and East China seas.

That would allow nations like South Korea to “enjoy this body of water for the purpose of trading, shipping our goods back and forth,” he said.

AFP

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  1. sonny dela cruz on

    The United States is the most to be deprived of the use of China sea because their freedom of navigation for their navy will be controlled by the Chinese authorities. They could be stop, seized and De-humanized the sailors like what Iran did before when they captured the failed rescue of the American hostages. The flow of oil will be stop also that delivers oil to the western hemisphere and this will be a disaster to the world economy. Now, Communist China will be moving their MISSILES at the reclaimed islets to control not only the navigational flow but also the air space above China sea. The MISSILES are intended to strike countries in the region and as far as Australia in a short time. The allied forces should be in solidarity to position their forces in the Philippine sea to show the Chinese government that China has to obey the International law and stop the reclamation of islets because of the distraction of the CORAL REEFS in the region. They have to stop the installation of MISSILES at the sites. If the Chinese government refuses to obey the calls of the world community, the United States should encourage all American business to leave China. Appropriate sanctions should be imposed, no trade with China is necessary because the money they make is for their military expansion to shoot young American soldiers sooner or later.