However, such an excuse will not disguise the fact that it is the United States that blatantly abuses the freedom of navigation rights, defying and violating international law and undermining regional peace and stability, as it threatens China’s sovereignty and security interests.
As ironic as it is, Washington has always defended its arbitrary move by referring to international law, but it has so far not approved the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which establishes legal order and regulations on international waters.
The calculation behind such a move is crystal clear: The United States is unwilling to be bound by an international treaty, which it claims is severely flawed, because the sole superpower has already controlled such maritime resources as oil and gas deposits through military power.
Another irony is that Uncle Sam asserts that it maintains freedom of navigation in the South China Sea on the legal basis of international law, but it applies standards unilaterally defined by itself.
The U.S. government issued a document this year, saying the first target of the U.S. action is “excessive maritime claims that are defined by the U.S. side.”
The document reveals that Washington substitutes its own standard for international law and attempts to unilaterally impose its own idea upon other countries.
Moreover, the U.S. action itself to maintain so-called freedom of navigation under international law is a threat to the principles of international law.
The Law of the Sea Treaty stipulates that any resorting to the threat or use of force against coastal sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence, or any resorting to the threat or use of force that violates purposes and principles of the UN Charter, are all regarded as actions destabilizing the peace, order or security in coastal states.
However, the United States has defied the law by sailing two warships over the past weeks, including one carrying Defense Secretary Ashton Carter through the South China Sea in what the Pentagon claimed as “freedom of navigation” operations.
Even worse, U.S. President Barack Obama visited a Philippine naval frigate on Tuesday ahead of a major meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders in Manila. The provocative gesture is meant to hype up the South China Sea issue at the meeting, which focuses on regional economic affairs.
As Bruce Fein, a Washington D.C.-based attorney, put it, “At this stage, the United States is almost concocting an excuse to project itself militarily in that area, South China Sea, East China Sea, whatever, so that they can justify the so-called ‘pivot to Asia,’ and maybe make conflict where there otherwise wouldn’t exist.”
It is strongly desired that Washington abandon its own standards to observe international laws and act as a responsible power, rather than stirring up trouble in the South China Sea and then making a false countercharge against others. Enditem