Right Now Times : US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called China’s efforts to seize natural resources in some areas within the South China Sea “completely illegal.”
He said he wanted to make clear that Beijing’s “harassment campaign to control the disputed waters” was wrong.
In response, China said the United States “deliberately distorts the facts and international law.”
Right Now Times : China is building military bases on artificial islands in the region, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim the area.
The regional war between the two countries over the South China Sea has been going on for centuries, but tensions have risen sharply in recent years.
Right Now Times : Beijing claims an area called the Nine Dash Line and has built islands and increased its military presence to bolster its claim.
By the way, these areas are generally uninhabited, but there are two ranges of islands that may have natural reserves. It is also a sea route and is widely used for fishing.
Right Now Times : In its annual defense review, Japan said China’s naval activity in the region was a matter of concern. Japan says Beijing is trying to change its status in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
What did Mike Pompeo say?
Right Now Times : In a statement Monday, Pompeo condemned China’s claims to the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, saying Beijing had “no legal justification for unilaterally imposing its will on the region.”
He said the United States rejects Beijing’s claims to the waters of Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Right Now Times : It should be noted that the United States has previously stated that it does not support any side in border disputes.
“It is illegal for [the People’s Republic of China] to harass other states’ fishing or oil extraction activities in these waters, or to carry out these activities unilaterally,” he said.
Right Now Times : “The world will not allow Beijing to run the South China Sea as its naval empire,” he said.
What was China’s reaction?
Right Now Times : In a Twitter message, the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., said the State Department was “deliberately distorting facts and international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
He also said that the United States “exaggerates the situation in the region and wants to escalate hostilities between China and other maritime countries.”
“All these allegations are completely baseless. China strongly opposes it.
Right Now Times : Secretary of State Pompeo said the United States “stands with its southeastern allies and partners and will protect their sovereignty over the resources at sea.”
He said the position was “in line with their rights and responsibilities under international law.”
What is the cause of the South China Sea dispute?
Right Now Times : There are important sea lanes in this sea and in recent years it has been a source of contention between China and other nations. All of these countries claim the two uninhabited series of islands in this sea, Paracelsus and Spratly.
China claims ownership of the largest region, and its claim is centuries old.
Right Now Times : The whole area is fertile for fishing and is believed to have abundant oil and gas reserves.
The United States has said China is increasing its military presence in the region and has repeatedly criticized China for sending troops to the region.
Right Now Times : In August 2018, a BBC team flew over the islands of the South China Sea in a US military plane. The pilots were told in a radio message to leave the area “immediately” so that “no misunderstandings would arise.”
A few months ago, China also landed its bombers in the disputed region for military exercises on the islands.
Right Now Times : China has accused the US Navy of meddling in regional affairs and provocations.