China warns Joe Biden that his moves in Southeast Asia are sabotaging peace and stability in the region.
China has warned that US President Joe Biden’s positions on territorial disputes in Southeast Asia threaten to promote discord and turmoil in the area as Beijing and Washington compete for influence.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken took part in a virtual summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday, the first such high-level participation by the Trump administration nearly six months in.
He spoke about a variety of topics, including joint efforts to combat COVID-19 and climate change, but he also announced a geopolitical plan to provide the US support against its main competitor, the People’s Republic of China, and its expansive territorial claims.
According to a State Department statement, “the Secretary emphasized the United States’ rejection of the PRC’s illegitimate maritime claims in the South China Sea and repeated that the United States stands with Southeast Asian claimants in the face of PRC coercion.” “Under the Mekong-US Partnership, he guaranteed continuing US support for a free and open Mekong region.”
Beijing retaliated with a barrage of remarks.
“The US remarks ignore history and facts about the South China Sea issue, violate and distort international law, violate and distort the US government’s long-standing public commitment not to take a position on the South China Sea sovereignty issue, deliberately stoke territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests disputes, sow discord among China and ASEAN countries, and sabotage,” the statement reads.
He termed the US remarks “very reckless” and challenged Washington’s refusal to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the world’s foremost international accord on nations’ rights and responsibilities in the oceans.
Zhao stated, “China expresses its firm disagreement to the United States’ incorrect remarks.” “The United States, which claims to be a protector of international law, continues bringing up UNCLOS and making a fuss over it. Why doesn’t it first join the Convention?”
While the United States has not ratified UNCLOS like China and every other ASEAN country except Cambodia, it has established de facto recognition of much of the treaty as customary international law. For its activities near contentious areas, the Pentagon has also invoked the principle of “freedom of navigation.” This is a condensed version of the information.