China should face sanctions over S. China Sea aggressions: analyst


Posted at Feb 01 2021 09:19 AM | Updated as of Feb 01 2021 09:50 AM

China should face sanctions over S. China Sea aggressions: analyst 1
Chinese coastguard ships give chase to Vietnamese coastguard vessels (not pictured) after they came within 10 nautical miles of the Haiyang Shiyou 981, known in Vietnam as HD-981, oil rig in the South China Sea, July 15, 2014. Martin Petty, Reuters/File

MANILA - China has to be sanctioned like other rogue nations over its excessive maritime claims in the disputed South China Sea, an analyst said Monday.

"China has to be isolated and named and shamed and sanctioned for its behavior in the same way that we sanctioned other rogue regimes, the way we treat the Russians or North Koreans," Greg Poling, director of Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative-Center for Strategic and International Studies, told ANC.

"Otherwise, it sees no cost to the way it does business in the South China Sea. So why shouldn’t it continue?"

The Washington-based think tank expects to see rising tensions as China "tries to throw its weight around" in the vital waterway.

This, after Beijing recently passed a law that authorizes its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels.

The law also allows coast guard personnel to demolish other countries' structures built on Chinese-claimed reefs and to board and inspect foreign vessels in waters claimed by China.

"The China Coast Guard has been behaving violently, aggressively [and] illegally without this law. This law doesn't really change that but it's one more tool in the toolkit," Poling said.

"And it will be one more excuse that the China Coast Guard will use the next time they sink a foreign vessel or create at least a risk of collision on purpose to block oiling gas activities or resupply or whatever else they decide to do to take the next fight."

To respond to China's new law, Poling said claimants in the South China Sea should coordinate with US and Europe to put diplomatic and economic pressure to Beijing.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, which is a major trade route. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

China's fortification of artificial islands with military assets, including airstrips and anti-ship missiles, has drawn fierce criticism from other claimants.

On Thursday, China has again rejected international pressure and downplayed the effect of its controversial new coast guard law, invoking international law as it asserted sovereignty over the South China Sea.

The nation also remains committed to the peaceful settlement of disputes, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had said.

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