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South China Sea: The US warns that China’s new customs law paves the way for an escalation of disputes

China practiced in the South China Sea in December 2018 (video screenshots CGTN / Youtube).

The US State Department said on February 19, the United States was concerned about China’s recently enacted coastal protection law, which could escalate maritime disputes and was invoked to assert claims. against the law of China, according to Aljazeera.

China, which has a maritime sovereignty dispute with Japan in the East China Sea, and with several Southeast Asian states in the South China Sea, last month passed a law that clearly allows the His seascape shot the foreign ships.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a regular press conference that Washington was “concerned about the language of the code, which is meant to tighten the ability to use force, including the armed forces. of the Chinese Coast Guard to enforce China’s claims as well as the ongoing territorial and maritime disputes in the East and East China Sea.

He spoke of the “language” used in the code, that it “strongly implies that this law can be used to threaten China’s maritime neighbors”.

“We are also concerned that China may invoke this new law to assert its illegal maritime claims in the South China Sea, which have been completely canceled by the arbitral tribunal’s ruling in 2016.” Mr. Price said, referring to an international ruling in favor of the Philippines in its dispute with China.

“We remind the PRC and all its forces operating in the South China Sea that responsible maritime forces must act professionally and with restraint in the exercise of their rights.” .

The US reaffirmed a statement last July, of which then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected China’s claims to offshore resources in most of the Sea, a spokesman Price said. East, according to Pompeo, China’s statements are “completely against the law”.

Mr. Price added that the US “held a stance” in its allied commitments with both Japan and the Philippines.

The South China Sea dispute is also one of the issues Joe Biden discussed in his first phone call as US leader with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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