CHINA LAW AUTHORIZES ITS COAST GUARD TO FIRE ON FOREIGN SHIPS
China has willy-nilly approved a new law that empowers its overextended Coast Guard to use force against foreign vessels and destroy structures in underwater features that it wrongfully claims to be its own and which are occupied or claimed by other nations.
The new law, the Associated Press (AP) reported, authorizes the Coast Guard to fire on foreign vessels and destroy structures on features it claims, potentially raising the possibility of clashes with regional maritime rivals and even the US, whose Coast Guard ships have been stationed in US Trust Territories in the Pacific and could conceivably venture into the South China Sea (SCS), which China wants to grab.
China has no historical or documentary proof to show that Beijing had dominion over the waters it is now claiming for thousands of years since China never became a maritime power and only maintained trade ties with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei and Taiwan, which was never controlled by Beijing.
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague dismissed China’s claim over the Scarborough Shoal, which is within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines, while Japan last week said in its note verbale to the United Nations (UN) that features that appear during low tide cannot have territorial waters on their own based on the UN Convention on the Law of the (UNCLOS), to which China is a signatory.
China has been accused of using a muddied version ofg revanchism in its burning desire to control 90% of the SCS, where $5-trillion worth of goods transit annually, and is using big power chauvinism to bring all other nations to heel to sustain its maritime grab to please the ambitions of Chinese President Xi Jinping to hold power for life and dismantle the system of succession in Beijing after the death of Chairman Mao Zedong.
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