Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Biden administration’s surprise move on South China Sea | World


Yesterday, The Philippine Star newspaper reported that US National Security Adviser Sullivan had a phone call with his Philippine counterpart Hermogenes Esperon on the 70th anniversary of the two countries signing a mutual defense treaty.

Do not accept Beijing’s claims

The newspaper quoted Advisor Sullivan, saying during the phone call, that President Joe Biden’s administration affirmed its recognition of the 2016 PCA ruling on the South China Sea. Accordingly, Washington considers this ruling “final and legally binding”.
Sullivan’s National Security Advisor’s statement is not the first time the US has taken a position on the South China Sea issue. In 2019, the US State Department on April 4 reported “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP): Promoting a common vision” to evaluate and update the FOIP strategy that Washington followed. chase. In particular, the report also affirmed its sovereignty based on the nine-dash map (cow’s tongue line – NV) that China declared in the South China Sea proved to be unfounded, illegal and unreasonable.
In June 2020, the US sent a document of protest to the United Nations to oppose China’s claim to sovereignty over the South China Sea. In this protest, Washington declared rejecting Beijing’s claim to the South China Sea, because it was inconsistent with international law based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

On the same day 22.2, answered Youth, Associate Professor Stephen Robert Nagy (International Christian University – Japan; scholar at the Asia-Pacific Foundation in Canada) commented that the Biden administration made the above statement to prove that the US would stand on the side of allies like the Philippines on South China Sea issues and beyond.

“Along with the statements from President Biden’s administration about the Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands, Taiwan, Hong Kong … the new White House owner clearly emphasizes the refusal to accept expansionary claims. of Beijing towards the South China Sea, as well as threats aimed at Taiwan, ”Mr. Nagy said.

Many moves from Washington

Beijing draws a red line in relations with the US

Speaking at the opening of the Lobbying Forum with the theme “Bringing the US-China relations back in the right direction” in Beijing on February 22, Mr. Wang Yi, State Commissioner and Foreign Minister of China, said that the US – China completely is able to cooperate on a variety of issues such as climate change and the Covid-19 epidemic, according to Reuters. However, he said that the first thing both sides need to do is find a way to heal the damaged bilateral relationship under President Donald Trump. At the same time, the administration of President Joe Biden should immediately stop interfering in the internal situation of China.

The US media quoted observers as saying that President Biden would promote US views on issues such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet on the agenda for working with China. However, Foreign Minister Wang Yi affirmed that this is an “internal matter” of this country, and the US should respect the Beijing government’s position if it wants to improve bilateral relations. On the same day, Mr. Cui Thien Khai, the Chinese ambassador to the US, stressed that Beijing and Washington need to establish specific boundaries in the two countries’ foreign policies. According to the Chinese Ambassador, Beijing’s “red lines” include Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet.

Hypnotic

Specifically, the US has criticized China’s new customs law, which allows Chinese seas to open fire against foreign ships in waters claimed by Beijing.

On February 20, Reuters quoted US State Department spokesman Ned Price as saying that the country “was concerned about the language in the new maritime law that clearly contained a potential risk that the Chinese maritime forces could use. force to consolidate China’s claims, and maritime and territorial disputes are taking place in the East China and South China Seas.

Before that, the US took the initiative in meeting foreign ministers in the “diamond quartet” group (including the US, Japan, Australia and India). After the meeting, a statement from Japan’s Foreign Ministry showed that the “quartet” had discussed China’s new maritime law.

On the military front, two of the country’s carrier battle groups, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68), had a joint exercise in the South China Sea on September 9.

Need more time

However, Associate Professor Nagy said: “The next step that Washington partners and allies need to follow is the statements that need to be translated into concrete actions. Washington, for example, should take action to prevent Beijing from establishing a “gray zone” in the East and East China Seas, as well as to prevent China from taking tense behavior in the South China Sea.

“It is too early to say what concrete measures the Biden administration will take. But certainly in 2021 will be a general test in the context that China is difficult to compromise because this is the 100th anniversary period of the birth of the Communist Party of China, ”commented Associate Professor Nagy.

Also responding to Thanh Nien, Dr. Satoru Nagao (Hudson Research Institute, USA) said that although the administration of President Biden affirms that China is “America’s biggest competitor”, but Mr. Biden’s cabinet is still policy review towards Beijing.

Moreover, according to Dr. Nagao, the administration of President Biden is showing that there are many foreign affairs that need to be done. The White House is defining issues of China, Russia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, climate change … all important security topics.

Therefore, Washington postponed its plans to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and Germany. In the context of trying to solve many problems at the same time, it is difficult for the US to allocate sufficient defense budgets and resources for all.

Similarly, Mr. Carl O. Schuster (former chief executive officer of the Joint Intelligence Center – US Navy’s Pacific Command and is teaching at the University of Hawaii on international relations, history. ) assess that although the US has some recent military moves in the South China Sea, it is still the stage of the country’s neo-government “probe” to see Beijing’s reaction. Therefore, it takes more time to understand Mr. Biden’s policy on China related issues.





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