China was accused by the United States on Tuesday (July 26) of increasing “aggressive and reckless conduct” meant that a big incident or accident was only a matter of time until it happened to rival claims in the South China Sea.
In his remarks to a US research group, State Department deputy assistant secretary for East Asia, Jung Pak, said: “PRC provocations against South China Sea claimants and other governments legally operating in the area are on the rise,” referring to China’s People’s Republic.
At the Center for Strategic and International Studies, she said Three consecutive events in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea in the past few months have seen Chinese aircraft engage in dangerous intercepts of Australian aircraft in international airspace over the South China Sea.
An deputy secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs subsequently stated there had been “dozens” of instances involving the Chinese military this year, which is a substantial rise from five years ago when there were just a few cases.
China “is methodically testing our collective commitment,” stated the author.
“One of the most major challenges to regional peace and security is this aggressive and reckless conduct, notably in the South China Sea. A big crisis or accident is just a matter of time away if the PLA maintains its current course of conduct “He was referring to the Chinese military when he stated this.
Prior to a scheduled phone meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week, the two leaders are likely to discuss ways to avoid an escalation of tensions over the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which the Chinese claim as their own.
They were also held ahead of a summit in Cambodia next week of foreign ministers and partners from Southeast Asia, including the United States.
Pak termed China’s claims to the South China Sea “expansive and illegal,” referring to the country’s ownership of practically the entire region.
“Provocative activities” by China to enforce these claims “contribute to regional instability, hurt the economy of other claimant states, weaken the current maritime order, and jeopardise rights and interests of all States that depend on or operate in this crucial waterway,” she said.
Washington’s relationship with Beijing is “extremely delicate,” Pak said, but the United States isn’t attempting to challenge what Beijing is doing in Southeast Asia and elsewhere in the developing world.
“We want to make sure that nations have the tools and the capacity and the ability to stand up for their autonomy and their sovereign decision-making as they have their interactions with Beijing,” she added.