South China Sea Dispute: China, America Trade Barbs Over Contested Region

South China Sea Dispute: China, America Trade Barbs Over Contested Region
US President Barack Obama during a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping U.S. Embassy The Hague/Flickr cc by 2.0

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a warning against China about setting up an air defense zone over the South China Sea. On other side of the spectrum, Chinese Admiral Sun Jianguo aimed at the United States for its patrols over the disputed sea.


US Warns Beijing over South China Sea ADIZ

US officials are concerned about what China might do should the international ruling on the South China Sea dispute come out. According to reports, it is likely that a ruling against China’s territorial ambitions could prompt the country to declare an air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, over the said waters. Beijing did a similar thing over the East China Sea back in 2013 

“We would consider an ADIZ…over portions of the South China Sea as a provocative and destabilizing act which would automatically raise tensions and call into serious question China’s commitment to diplomatically manage the territorial disputes of the South China Sea,” Reuters quoted Kerry during his trip to Mongolia. 

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“So we urge China not to move unilaterally in ways that are provocative.”

South China Sea Dispute

China, on the other hand, challenged the United States over its decision to patrol the disputed waters. According to Bloomberg, Chinese Admiral Sun Jianguo  called for global defense chiefs in South East Asian region to “tout military’s cooperation in the western Pacific.”

Sun seemingly spoke in a more conciliatory tone even against concerns that China continues to beef up military presence in the disputed region. He emphasized that the People’s Liberation Army has interacted with other military in the South East Asian region.

“The Asia-Pacific countries have constituted a community of shared destiny, interdependent and inseparable,” said Sun. 

“The bright future for the Asia-Pacific region has to be facilitated by common development and common security of all regional countries.”

Also read:  South China Sea WW3: Battle Lines Have Been Drawn

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  • britbob

    Effective sovereignty Argument Uninhabited Islands: A case that supports this view of effective sovereignty is relevant is the Minquiers and Ecrehos Case, France/UK of 17th November 1953. In this case both the UK and France had requested the ICJ to determine which country held sovereignty over the uninhabited Islets and rocks in the Minquiers and Ecrehos. France had claimed sovereignty because of historic sovereignty going back to the Dutchy of Normandy in the 11th century while the UK claimed that Jersey had historically exercised administrational jurisdiction on them. The Court decided that in the absence of valid treaty provisions, they considered the argument that the British government has exercised effective control to be superior, so that sovereignty control over the Minquiers and Ecrehos belonged to the UK. (the UK had protested to the French government when a French national had intended to build a house on one of the islats and any deaths occurring on the islets were dealt with by inquests held on Jersey). ICJ Minquiers & Ecrehos Judgment, 17 Nov 1953, p28, paras 6 & 12.

    No delimitation between states with opposite or adjacent coasts may be affected unilaterally by one of those states. For some interesting judgments on territorial seas and to gain an understanding as to how the world court deals with such disputes: