Sea: Washington didn’t ratify rules it cites, expert says
He, also head of the Chinese delegation to the Shangri-La Dialogue, said that China’s deploying defense facilities on its own islands in the region is necessary and a legitimate right granted to sovereign nations by international laws.
On May 27, two US naval vessels — the destroyer USS and the cruiser USS — entered without permission within 12 nautical miles of China’s Xisha Islands. The Chinese military immediately dispatched naval ships and aircraft to verify the US warships and warn them off, according to China’s Defense Ministry.
Xia Liping, dean of the Institute of International and Public Affairs at Shanghai-based Tongji University, said the US is not a claimant in the South China Sea, nor has it ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the international legal framework designed to regulate maritime affairs.
However, the US has been “selectively using clauses from the convention that benefits its own strategic interests”, he said.
While the convention grants a certain degree of navigational freedom, it also asks ships to respect the security interests and maritime laws of other nations before passing. “But the US is upholding the former clause while ignoring the latter,” Xia said.
Chinese laws require foreign military vessels to report and ask for permission when passing through China’s waters, so it is unreasonable for the US to ask other nations to carry out freedom-of-navigation patrols in the South China Sea.
“It is like asking others to be cannon fodder and break international and Chinese laws together,” he said.