US Coast Guard vessel wrong to conduct mission in China's waters

By Shi Tian Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/29 21:58:40

A Chinese patrol vessel arrives in Yongxing Island of Sansha City on the South China Sea, South China, April 22, 2015. Photo: Xinhua

How is the South China Sea situation? The China-Philippines Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) on the South China Sea on Monday has made substantial progress. Meanwhile, a US Coast Guard vessel entered China's territorial waters again.

On Thursday, the US government-supported Defense Visual Information Distribution Service posted a set of pictures, in which the US Coast Guard cutter Stratton was conducting "missions" in the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea in September and October. And China Coast Guard's 12,000 dwt patrol vessel Haijing 2901 was found keeping watch on Stratton, which was an exercise of China's sovereignty. 

On the one hand, Asian countries are taking practical steps to ease tensions and resolve problems. But on the other, the US is intervening in these waters, causing chaos. The US should understand that the South China Sea issue must be tackled within the region and without external influence.

US warships have constantly appeared in China's horizon. China's territorial waters have seen US guided-missile destroyers and aircraft carrier. Now, Coast Guard vessels are coming. Stratton was not the first one. In March, the US Coast Guard cutter Bertholf sailed through the East China Sea and "conducted a routine Taiwan Straits transit." And it in May carried on training in "maritime security" and "law enforcement capabilities" in the South China Sea. The US Coast Guard said its areas of responsibility are to "protect America's economic prosperity, national security, and border." It is bluffing without shame. 

It should ask itself: Does China infringe on America's "economic prosperity, national security, and border?" Is there any necessity or urgency for these vessels to travel thousands of miles to another country, which has done nothing harmful, to protect US national interests? How will the US respond if Chinese warships sail to US shores? Maybe it should identify its duty as helping Washington interfere in other country's affairs and seek hegemony. Its acts not only violate China's maritime sovereignty, but also have an adverse effect on the international maritime order and regional peace and stability.

Unfortunately, the US is still devoting greater effort in this regard.

Bloomberg reported in June that the US Coast Guard's Pacific area commander Vice-Admiral Linda Fagan said that "a presence in the South China Sea and elsewhere would help enforce the sovereignty of partner nations in the disputed waters." 

It seems that the US will not abandon its long-arm jurisdiction under the guise of "freedom of navigation." The Coast Guard, which should have protected its own people, is becoming a tool in Washington's geopolitical game. These waters are China's inherent territory. If the US continues to touch the bottom line of China and interfere in China's affairs, it should be prepared for the consequences.

China believes that regional affairs should be handled by regional members. The disputes between China and US "partner nations" should only be dealt with by parties involved through negotiations. 

This is not only a statement, but also what China has been doing. China has been actively communicating with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members regarding the South China Sea issue. The BCM is an example. It is believed that new progress can be made at the ASEAN summit in November. In the face of US provocation, China and other regional members should unswervingly defend our rights to solve our own problems. US warships cannot enter China's waters without justification. China will fight back any provocation.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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