Tensions in the South China Sea – through which one third of the world’s oil passes – have mounted in recent years since China transformed contested reefs into artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities.
China has by far the world’s biggest fish industry, but depleted fishery resources close to China’s shores have made fishing in disputed waters an economic necessity, fishermen and industry executives say.
The bill authorises the Secretary of Defense, in concurrence with the Secretary of State, to provide assistance for the purpose of increasing maritime security and domain awareness for countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Philippines petition challenging China’s claims is being heard by a tribunal established under the UN Convention on Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) which is boycotted by Beijing.
“Indian diplomacy rests on engagement with major world powers instead of clinging to a particular country,” said an article in state-run newspaper.
Blinken said US welcomes China’s peaceful rise and he hoped China will act in accordance with international norms and rules and laws, because that not only benefits China but also other countries.
The United States has criticised China’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea and worries that it plans to use them for military purposes, even though China says it has no hostile intent.
The ministry said China expresses “resolute opposition against infringement of China’s sovereignty and security by any country in any form”.
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Carter, speaking at the close of joint U.S.-Philippines “Balikatan” military exercises in Manila, said he would visit the USS John C. Stennis, after visiting another carrier in the region in November.
“China seems determined to unilaterally assert and act on territorial claims in the South China Sea that several countries in the region dispute,” he said.
Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Cuisia Jr. told a news conference in Manila that a senior US Navy official reported spotting a suspected Chinese survey ship in the Scarborough Shoal a few weeks ago.
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South China Sea: “Recently not all the news out of the Asia-Pacific has been positive: indeed, in the South China Sea, China’s actions – in particular – are raising regional tensions,” Carter said
The Philippines and Vietnam, also claims Taiping. Critics say Manila seeks to have Taiping designated a rock to avoid sharing an economic zone with its own island, Palawan.