Confronted with scathing criticism from the US of its expansive claims over the disputed South China Sea at a UN Safety Council assembly presided over by India this week, China stated on Wednesday that the high-power physique of the United Nations just isn’t a “appropriate place” to debate the contentious concern.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired the high-level open debate on maritime safety attended just about by Russian President Vladimir Putin, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chef de Cupboard of the UN Secretary-Common Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh.
The US and China had clashed on the assembly of the UNSC the place a presidential assertion on maritime safety that recognised the significance of enhancing worldwide and regional cooperation to counter threats to maritime security and safety was unanimously adopted on Monday.
China, a member of the everlasting 5 of the UNSC, backed the decision.
“The Safety Council just isn’t an acceptable place to debate the South China Sea concern,” the Chinese language International Ministry stated in its first response to the high-level UNSC assembly on maritime safety.
The assembly underlined the primacy of the United Nations Conference on the Legislation of the Sea (UNCLOS), which units out the authorized framework relevant to actions within the oceans, together with countering illicit actions at sea, sending a robust message to China.
That is extremely important because it marks the primary ever end result doc by the UNSC on the difficulty of maritime safety. Additionally for the primary time within the Presidential Assertion there are references to UNCLOS, a conference over which China has had long-standing reservations and objections.
In 2016, a world tribunal dominated in opposition to China’s claims to rights within the disputed South China Sea. Beijing dismissed the ruling that favoured the Philippines and stated it might not be certain by it.
The open debate on ‘Enhancing Maritime Safety: A Case for Worldwide Cooperation’ was one of many three signature occasions being hosted by India throughout its month-long Presidency of the highly effective 15-nation UN physique.
“On August 9, the UN Safety Council (UNSC) held an open assembly on maritime safety on the initiative of India, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council for this month, and formally adopted a beforehand agreed presidential assertion,” the Chinese language International Ministry stated in response to a question from PTI right here.
“Members of the Safety Council usually harassed that maritime safety points can’t be ignored and supported strengthening worldwide and regional cooperation to fight piracy and different maritime crimes,” the Ministry stated in a written response.
China attaches nice significance to maritime safety, advocates a standard maritime safety idea that includes mutually helpful cooperation and win-win outcomes and is dedicated to constructing a maritime safety structure that includes equality, mutual belief, equity, justice, joint contribution and shared advantages, it stated.
On the similar time, it took exception to Blinken’s sharp criticism of China’s claims of the South China Sea and “provocative actions” to advance illegal maritime claims.
“In response to the US consultant’s remarks on the South China Sea concern in his speech, the Chinese language consultant expressed agency opposition on the spot.
” On the assembly, the Chinese language consultant vigorously refuted the “unreasonable accusations” made by the US, the ministry stated.
“Within the South China Sea, now we have seen harmful encounters between vessels at sea and provocative actions to advance illegal maritime claims,” Blinken had stated, in a veiled assault on China which claims nearly the entire 1.3 million square-mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory.
China has been constructing navy bases on synthetic islands within the area additionally claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Whereas China’s Deputy Everlasting Consultant Dai Bing in his handle hit out on the US, typically criticised by Beijing as an outdoor energy, saying Washington just isn’t certified to talk on the SCS concern, Blinken asserted that it’s the accountability of all international locations to comply with agreed guidelines to peacefully settle maritime disputes.
“The US has made clear its considerations relating to actions that intimidate and bully different states from lawfully accessing their maritime sources.
And we and different international locations together with South China Sea claimants have protested such behaviour and illegal maritime claims within the South China Sea,” Blinken stated.
“Some might assert that resolving the dispute within the South China Sea just isn’t the enterprise of america or every other nation that’s not a claimant to the islands and waters. However it’s the enterprise, and much more, the accountability of each Member State to defend the principles that we have all agreed to comply with and peacefully resolve maritime disputes,” Blinken stated.
“Battle within the South China Sea or in any ocean would have critical international penalties for safety and for commerce. What’s extra, when a State faces no penalties for ignoring these guidelines, it fuels better impunity and instability all over the place,” he stated.
In his response, Dai stated, “america simply talked about the South China Sea concern, and China firmly opposes this act. At current, with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN international locations, the scenario within the South China Sea stays usually steady. All international locations get pleasure from freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with worldwide legislation.”
The SCS is more and more turning into a theatre of potential battle because the US carried out naval and air missions over the world to say freedom of navigation.
The Chinese language naval vessels and air drive planes typically carefully tail them to say China’s sovereignty over the world.
Final Friday, China launched a five-day naval drill within the SCS, organising an unlimited navigation restriction zone amid the all-domain navy train being carried out by the US within the Indo-Pacific area together with Britain, Australia and Japan, the primary of its variety in additional than 4 many years.
Additionally, the Indian Navy is deploying a naval activity group comprising 4 frontline warships to the SCS, Western Pacific and South East Asia for over two months starting early August, in a major transfer geared toward enhancing its profile within the strategically key sea lanes.
Dai stated the “US has been stirring up bother out of nothing, arbitrarily sending superior navy vessels and plane into the South China Sea as provocations and publicly attempting to drive a wedge into regional international locations, particularly international locations involved”.
“The US’s hype within the Safety Council is solely politically motivated. The South China Sea arbitrary tribunal violated the precept of state consent and tried extremely vires, he stated.
A global tribunal on the SCS in 2016 struck an enormous blow to China’s claims over a lot of the SCS saying that its much-touted nine-dash line has no authorized foundation.
The tribunal concluded that there was no authorized foundation for China to assert historic rights to sources inside the sea areas falling inside the ‘nine-dash line’, stated the five-judge tribunal appointed by the Everlasting Court docket of Arbitration (PCA) primarily based in The Hague adjudicating on the petition filed by the Philippines.
China had dismissed the decision as a bit of “waste paper” and brushed apart the US backing for the judgement as a “political farce” to smear Beijing.
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