While several Arab and African countries have pledged support to China’s stance on the heated territorial dispute in the South China Sea, France, meanwhile, has called on other European nations to back the U.S and its Asian allies in upholding order and freedom of navigation in the region.
Report from the Foreign Policy showed that French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged other European nations to have their navies be more visible in the region as a way of showing to the world that they too are stakeholders in this global issue.
South China Sea Tensions High
The South China Sea is one of the most important maritime zones across the world, both economically and politically.
At least $5 trillion of trade passes through this maritime zone every year and maritime limitation means a disaster to the whole world if China, or any other nation for that matter, controls this area.
Although Le Drian did not single out China, it’s obvious that the French Foreign Minister was criticizing the nation’s stance in the region. His comment came after Beijing announced plan to establish its second air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The first one it established in East China Sea, on the other hand, angered the Japanese.
“If we want to contain the risk of conflict, we must defend this right and defend it ourselves. If the law of the sea is not respected today in the China seas, it will be threatened tomorrow in the Arctic, in the Mediterranean, or elsewhere,” Le Drian was quoted as saying by the Foreign Policy report.
South China Sea Dispute
Meanwhile, in a previous report from the Morning News USA, China has been trumpeting several countries that showed support for its claim in the South China Sea. These countries, mostly from the Arabian region and parts of Africa, agreed with China that whatever conflict in the region should be settled between the parties unilaterally, as opposed to seeking international arbitration.