Archive for the ‘Law of the sea’ Category

US admiral condemns China’s ‘aggressive’ actions

March 19, 2009

A top U.S. commander says China’s “aggressive and troublesome” run-in with an unarmed American ship shows that Beijing won’t behave acceptably.

Adm. Timothy Keating told senators that Beijing’s suspension of military contact last year because of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and the South China Sea confrontation are “vivid reminders” that it has yet to become a “responsible stakeholder.”

Associated Press
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The U.S. has pushed for more frequent and intense communications with China to avoid military confrontations that could upset a relationship crucial to solving global crises. But Keating, who heads the Pacific Command, said the bilateral military relationship “certainly isn’t where we want it to be.”

The United States says its Navy survey vessel was harassed and threatened by Chinese-flagged trawlers in international waters; China claims the U.S. ship was conducting surveillance within its exclusive economic zone.

Keating said the Chinese behaved in an “aggressive and troublesome manner” and are “not willing to abide by acceptable standards of behavior.” In his written testimony he said the actions were “unlawful and dangerous.”

President Barack Obama last week signaled a need for more frequent and intense communications with China to avoid military confrontations that could upset a relationship crucial to solving global crises.

The United States has also pushed for China to allow port visits and more contact between the countries’ officers and for China to provide more information about its huge military spending.

Said Keating: “A mature, constructive, military to military relationship is hardly a reality today.” He added that military contacts with the People’s Liberation Army “fell short of expectations in 2008.”

Keating also said that a slight warming of relations between Taiwan and China is a good sign and shows the region is “somewhat stable.”

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Philippines Enacts Law Claiming Islands also Claimed by China, Others

March 11, 2009

The Philippine president has signed a law affirming sovereignty over islands also claimed by China and Vietnam, an official said Wednesday, sparking protests over the control of strategic South China Sea islands.

Associated Press

The legislation, signed Tuesday by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, reaffirms Philippine sovereignty over the more than 7,100 islands in its archipelago, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said. It also claims outlying islands in the Spratly chain and Scarborough Shoal – two regions in the South China Sea.

China claims sovereignty over both chains. Vietnam and others have long laid claim to the Spratlys.

“We are sending the message to the whole world that we are affirming our national sovereignty … our national interest,” Ermita told a news conference.

The Chinese Embassy issued a statement expressing its “strong opposition and solemn protest” over the signing of the law, and insisted China “has indisputable sovereignty over these islands and their adjacent waters.”

Earlier, China’s Foreign Ministry summoned a Philippine Embassy official to protest the passage of the bill in the Philippine Congress.

Vietnam also urged the Philippines to refrain from taking action that might complicate the dispute.

Foreign Affairs official Henry Bensurto said the Philippines passed the law not to reiterate its claims over the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal but to define the baseline used to determine its extended continental shelf.

The U.N. has asked the Philippines and other countries that signed the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea to submit the dimensions of their claimed continental shelf by May 13. The convention, which came into force in 1994, defines the maritime limits of its signatories.

The Spratlys, believed to be rich in oil, gas and fish, consist of about 100 barren islets, reefs and atolls dotting the world’s busiest shipping lanes in the South China Sea.

Vietnam, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei each claim all or part of the low-lying islands.

Read the rest:
http://apnews.myway.com/article
/20090311/D96RQ50G0.html

China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?

March 11, 2009

China probably provoked the U.S. at sea last weekend in an effort to gain an edge over new President Barack Obama.

China did just that, analysts now say, in the early months of George W. Bush’s presidency.

On April 1, 2001 , two Chinese J-8 fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance aircraft that was 70 miles off Hainan Island , resulting in a collision with one of them, forcing it into the sea. The EP-3 made an emergency landing on Hainan , where China kept it captive for three months, long after the 24 crew members were released.

File:Orion.usnavy.750pix.jpg
U.S. Navy P-3 aircraft

At that time, China used this approach: the U.S. violated intenational law, China was within its rights, the U.S. needs to back off.

China is fairly predictable and formulaic, sometimes.

When China was found to have a deadly disease called SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) spreading a few years ago (November 2002 to July 2003; over 700 people died)China used this media strategy: denial, discovery, immense response, media explosion of good news, return to normal.

China used this same play-book when accused of exporting all kinds of poisoned food products from toothpaste to dog and cat food, cough medicine, cookies, candy and seafood. 

Denial, discovery, immense response, media explosion of good news, return to normal.

When China was accused of building shoddy schools which quickly collapsed killing tens of thousands of school children in the recent earthquakes, the Chinese public response included denial, discovery, immense response, media explosion of good news, return to normal.

In 2006, Senator John McCain called China “immature” over its lack of effort in helping the U.S. and the world to address North Korea’s nuclear program. 

Laugh at McCain now — but North Korea remains a trouble spot in the world today only because China allows them to play that role.
Just this week, North Korea threatened war with the United States — a war that would certainly involve Japan and South Korea.  North Korea could not be making such threats and could not even think about testing a long range strategic missile just now unless China consented to this brazen move or at least looked the other way.  China supplies North Korea with almost all of its food, oil, luxury goods and currency.  Without China, North Korea would be impotent and meaningless.

China’s at sea provocation of international law and Barack Obama seems remarkably similar to previous Chinese forays into the mind of at least one previous President of the United States sending the unmistakable message: the U.S. violated intenational law, China was within its rights, the U.S. needs to back off.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

An excellent report on the international law:
http://fredtopeka.wordpress.com/2009/03/
10/us-or-china-provoke-naval-incident/

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By FOSTER KLUG, Associated Press Writer

The top U.S. and Chinese diplomats have work to do to keep a confrontation between American and Chinese naval vessels from damaging a relationship that President Barack Obama deems crucial to confronting the world’s toughest crises.

Even if diplomatic efforts by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi are successful in toning down the dispute — the two were scheduled to meet Wednesday in Washington — they may ease anger only temporarily over a larger military disagreement.

Beijing has long complained about U.S. surveillance operations around China’s borders. Without better communications between the two militaries as they operate in the South China Sea, the possibility for future conflict will remain.

Clinton and Yang “can have a productive exchange to keep this bounded, but the real bureaucracies that need to be there aren’t going to be at the meeting,” said Jonathan Pollack, professor of Asian studies at the U.S. Naval War College.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

He suggested that without stronger military-to-military links, the potential for “something ugly” happening “should not be minimized.”

China says a U.S. Navy mapping ship confronted by Chinese vessels Sunday was operating illegally in China’s exclusive economic zone. The United States says Chinese ships surrounded and harassed the Navy vessel in international waters in the South China Sea.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090311
/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_china

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asia
pcf/03/10/us.navy.china/index.html

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

China Wants U.S. Out of Asia’s International Waters
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Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists
.
 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

China uses naval showdown with U.S. to flex muscle

China Says U.S. Ship Was Breaking Law

Philippines Enacts Law Claiming Islands also Claimed by China, Others

China’s Naval Officers Join Anti-American Voices
http://defencedebates.wordpress.com/2009
/03/11/china-navy-officers-harangue-us-ov
er-sea-spat/

 China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S.

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

China Wants U.S. Out of Asia’s International Waters

March 10, 2009

The incident at sea between China and the U.S. Navy this last weekend indicates a growing truth among Chinese military officers: the seas adjacent to China wherever they extend are de facto Chinese terrirtory and the U.S. needs to leave.

This is in violation of international law which grants free passage to all who operate in international waters.

China is complaining saying the U.S. ship, while not in their territorial waters was in their “economic zone,” a claim that also pits the Chinese directly at odds with 5 countries (Taiwan, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia) who would like to have their own territorial waters.

But China now has repeatedly expressed and demonstrated distain for international law — a a certain ability to push people around.

“They seem to be more militarily aggressive,” National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“I think the debate is still on in China whether as their military power increases they will be used for good or for pushing people around.”

But the Chinese say all the fault for this weekend’s incident belongs to the U.S. 

“Go and ask the Americans, ask their embassy,” China’s Vice Admiral Jin Mao, former PLA Navy vice commander in chief, told Reuters on the sidelines of parliament when asked about the incident. “Ask their officials what their ship was doing in Chinese waters.”

The fact is, the American ship operating in international waters is protected by international law — even if it is searching for submarines.

Related:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009031
0/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_china_incident

Beijing will take a tougher stand against other nations as its naval ambitions grow, said analyst Shi Yinhong.

“The United States is present everywhere on the world’s seas, but these kinds of incidents may grow as China’s naval activities expand,” Shi, an expert on regional security at Renmin University in Beijing, said.

Analyst Shi said the seas off Hainan were important to China’s projection of its influence with a modern naval fleet.

“The change is in China’s attitude. This reflects the hardening line in Chinese foreign policy and the importance we attach to the strategic value of the South China Sea.”

See a report from Reuters:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20
090310/pl_nm/us_usa_china

See also:
http://wok3.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/chin
a-the-dragon-stirs-and-strips-down-to-its-underwear/

Chong-pin Lin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan says, “I think the objective of the grand strategy of China is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war.”

A budget analyst at the U.S. Navy in the Pentagon told Peace and Freedom, “Our futue problem is this: with our current and projected budget deficits and debt, the U.S. will not be able to afford the navy it has now — while China will grow and improve its navy and take whatever it wants in the world.  That is the trend we see.”

Related:
 Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists
.
 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

China uses naval showdown with U.S. to flex muscle

China Says U.S. Ship Was Breaking Law

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/10/us.navy.china/ind
ex.html

China Says U.S. Ship Was Breaking Law

China Says U.S. Ship Was Breaking Law

March 10, 2009

Following is a statement from the Chinese embassy in Washington in response to an incident involving Chinese ships and a U.S. naval vessel in the South China Sea on Sunday. The statement was carried by the website of Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television (news.ifeng.com).

“In response to U.S. claims that a naval ship was harassed by the Chinese side, the concerned official in China’s embassy to the United States stated: The U.S. navy vessel concerned has been consistently conducting illegal surveying in China’s special economic zone. China believes this contravenes international laws of the sea and China’s relevant laws. China has repeatedly used diplomatic channels to demand the U.S. side cease unlawful activities in China’s special economic zone. China’s law enforcement authorities have also sent vessels to carry out law enforcement activities. The U.S. claim about operating in high seas is out of step with the facts. This official stressed that China cannot accept the baseless U.S. accusations, that China demands the U.S. cease this kind of illegal surveying activity and do more things beneficial to the stable development of China-U.S. relations. This official also stated that the Chinese government will make a formal statement about this incident.”

Reuters

Some say Obama planned on provoking China, which seems out of character to us at Peace and Freedom:
http://moinansari.wordpress.com/2009/03/
11/hainan-naval-incident-beijing-to-usa-ca
nt-you-read-the-sign-sea-of-china-is-chine
se-territory/

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

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Related:
 Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists
.
 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

China Wants U.S. Out of International Waters It Consides a “China Lake”

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CNN Reported that the U.S. diplomatic protest to China was equally adament that the U.S. ship, USNS Impeccable, was the vessel being harassed by China which was the lawbreaker….

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/0
3/09/us.navy.china/index.html

The Navy says this photo shows two Chinese trawlers forcing the Impeccable to make an emergency "all stop."

The Navy says this photo shows two Chinese trawlers forcing the USNS Impeccable to make an emergency “all stop.”