Home News US, Philippines Challenge China’s claims in the East Sea

US, Philippines Challenge China’s claims in the East Sea

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Recently, US President Joe Biden engaged in discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea. Such discussions bring into question China’s rightful claim over this disputed region.

China’s bold assertion of control in the South China Sea, without legal authority or historic precedent, raises concerns globally. The country has not only militarized the area but has also engaged in activities such as the harassment of Philippine vessels and shadowing American ships and planes. This aggressive behavior poses a significant risk of escalating the situation to a point of potential conflict.

On November 30, China mobilized its naval and air forces to track and warn away the US destroyer Hopper near the Paracel Islands. This incident has further solidified China’s image as a security risk creator in the South China Sea, according to China’s perspective. In response, the US highlighted its concerns about China’s dangerous and unlawful actions during candid talks held this month between the two countries on maritime issues, including the contested region.

China’s provocative behavior extended to its harassment and blocking of Philippine Coast Guard boats en route to resupply a Manila-held outpost in the South China Sea in late October. One Chinese vessel even resorted to firing a water cannon at a Philippine supply boat. The situation escalated when ship-tracking data revealed that numerous Chinese vessels, including those belonging to the China Coast Guard, encroached upon the Philippine-controlled Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands archipelago.

It is worth noting that historic records, such as an old naval map of Southeast Asia from decades ago, do not feature Chinese names within the South China Sea, with only coasts of Hainan Island and the Chinese mainland being identified. This calls into question China’s current territorial claims in the region.

The disputes surrounding the South China Sea continue to be a source of international concern. The actions of China, paired with the challenges posed by countries like the US, contribute to the ongoing tensions in the region. As the situation unfolds, it is crucial for nations to engage in diplomatic dialogue to seek peaceful resolutions and uphold international law and maritime rights.

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