US/China Tensions Increase in South China Sea Dispute
US-China Tensions Increase in South China Sea Dispute On the fourth anniversary of the South China Sea Arbitration between the Philippines and China, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a statement clearly indicating that “Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful” and that “the PRC has no lawful territorial or maritime claim to (or derived from) James Shoal.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper emphasized that the U.S. Navy will defend the freedom of international navigation and will not stand idly by as the Chinese Communist Party violates international law by creating provocations.
Dr. Tian Yuan, a Chinese commentator on current affairs, believes that the Trump administration has changed its previous neutral position on the issues of the South China Sea and put the United States in a position to enforce the international arbitration tribunal’s ruling.
In early July, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began a 5-day military exercise in the disputed Paracel Islands. Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam have condemned the CCP for creating regional tensions. After that, the U.S. Navy sent two powerful aircraft carriers, the “USS Ronald” and “USS Nimitz” to conduct exercises in the South China Sea in celebration of the U.S. Independence Day and to support the free opening of the Indo-Pacific region.
Zheng Hao-Chang, a Chinese commentator on current affairs residing in the U.S., believes that although both sides are experiencing increasing military tensions, given the incompetence of the CCP, it’s unlikely that the CCP will confront the United States head-on.
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