US senators blast China's use of force

Posted at Jun 13 2013 12:29 PM | Updated as of Jun 13 2013 08:29 PM

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MANILA, Philippines - US senators have filed a resolution condemning China's use of threats and force in territorial disputes with other countries.

Senate Resolution 167, filed on Monday by Senators Robert Menendrez (Democrat, New Jersey), Marco Antonio Rubio (Republican, Florida), and Ben Cardin (Democrat, Maryland), also urges countries contesting ownership of parts of the West Philippine Sea and East China Sea to create and approve a code of conduct to avoid conflicts.

The resolution, which has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, cited many dangerous incidents involving Chinese actions in the West Philippine Sea and the East China Sea.

These include Chinese vessels cutting the seismic survey cables of a Vietnamese oil exploration ship in May 2011; Chinese vessels barricading the entrance to the Scarborough Reef lagoon in April 2012; China issuing an official map that defines its contested "9-dash line'' as China's national border; and, since May 8, 2013, Chinese naval and marine surveillance ships maintaining a regular presence in waters around the Second Thomas Shoal, located approximately 105 nautical miles northwest of Palawan.

It also cited a Department of State spokesperson expressing concern in 2012 over China's upgrading of the administrative level of Sansha City in the West Philippine Sea and the establishment of a new military garrison in the contested area.

The resolution added that in January 2013, a Chinese naval ship allegedly fixed its weapons-targeting radar on Japanese vessels near the Senkaku islands, and on April 23, 2013, 8 Chinese marine surveillance ships entered the 12-nautical-mile territorial zone off the Senkaku Islands, further escalating regional tensions.

Mornings@ANC, June 13, 2013