US, China clash over South China Sea at high-level UNSC meeting chaired by India

The US and China on Monday clashed throughout a high-level meeting on maritime safety chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Washington asserting it has seen “provocative actions” to advance illegal maritime claims within the South China Sea by Beijing which retorted that America will not be certified to make “irresponsible remarks” on the difficulty.

Prime Minister Modi chaired the digital high-level open debate on maritime safety, one of many three signature occasions of India’s present Presidency of the highly effective 15-nation UN physique. The meeting was later chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as overseas ministers and UN envoys made their nationwide statements.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke of “some of the critical areas where we see maritime rules and principles under threat.”

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“In the South China Sea, we have seen dangerous encounters between vessels at sea and provocative actions to advance unlawful maritime claims,” Blinken stated, in a thinly-veiled assault on China which claims nearly the entire 1.3 million square-mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory.

China has been constructing navy bases on synthetic islands within the area additionally claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

“The United States has made clear its concerns regarding actions that intimidate and bully other states from lawfully accessing their maritime resources. And we and other countries including South China Sea claimants have protested such behavior and unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea,” Blinken stated.

“Some may assert that resolving the dispute in the South China Sea is not the business of the United States or any other country that is not a claimant to the islands and waters. But it is the business, and even more, the responsibility of every Member State to defend the rules that we’ve all agreed to follow and peacefully resolve maritime disputes.

“Conflict within the South China Sea or in any ocean would have severe international penalties for safety and for commerce. What’s extra, when a State faces no penalties for ignoring these guidelines, it fuels better impunity and instability in every single place,” Blinken stated.

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China’s Deputy Permanent Representative Dai Bing, talking final within the meeting, stated that he needs to “point out that the Security Council is not the right place to discuss the issue of the South China Sea. The US just mentioned the South China Sea issue and China firmly opposes this act.”

He stated that at current “with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea remains generally stable. All countries enjoy freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law.”

The Chinese diplomat stated that Beijing is “determined and able to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.”

Hitting out at Washington, he stated the US itself will not be certified to make irresponsible remarks on the difficulty of the South China Sea.

“The US has been stirring up trouble out of nothing, arbitrarily sending advanced military vessels and aircraft into the South China Sea as provocations and publicly trying to drive a wedge into regional countries, especially countries concerned.

“This nation itself has change into the largest menace to peace and stability within the South China Sea. The US itself doesn’t be part of the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) however considers itself a decide of the Convention pointing fingers at different nations,” he said, adding that Washington has no credibility on maritime issues.

“The United States” hype within the Security Council is solely politically motivated. The South China Sea arbitration tribunal violated the Principle of State consent,” the Chinese diplomat said, adding that “there have been apparent errors within the dedication of details and software of the legislation and its award was invalid and with none binding power.”

He said China and ASEAN countries are committed to fully and effectively implementing the declaration under the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and strive to reach the code of conduct in the South China Sea at an early date.

Blinken referred to the unanimous and legally binding decision five years ago by the arbitral tribunal constituted under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention “firmly rejecting illegal, expansive South China Sea maritime claims as being inconsistent with worldwide legislation.”

He stressed that Washington has consistently called for all countries to conform their maritime claims to the International Law of the Sea as reflected in the 1982 convention.

“This is in step with the peaceable decision of disputes and the sovereign equality of member states, that are core rules enshrined within the United Nations Charter,” he stated, including that efforts to resolve maritime disputes by means of menace or use of power flout these rules.

Blinken conveyed Washington’s gratitude to Prime Minister Modi for “bringing us together for this critically important discussion” on maritime safety and for “India’s leadership on these issues,” particularly within the Indo-Pacific.

He stated regardless of having a transparent physique of worldwide legislation that nations have dedicated to abide by and uphold and regardless of the indispensable function the maritime order has performed in fostering financial exercise, safety cooperation, scientific innovation, environmental sustainability, “the order is under serious threat.

“That’s why I’m grateful for India’s leadership in bringing us together today and calling on all nations to recommit to defending and strengthening the maritime rules and principles that we forge together and committed to uphold.”

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