Friday, September 23, 2016

US Experts Advocate Harder Stance Against Illegal Claims In South China Sea

USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducts routine patrols in international waters of the South China Sea as the People’s Liberation Army-Navy guided-missile frigate Yancheng (FFG 546) sails close behind.
South China Sea and maritime law experts advocated a tougher stance against illegal Chinese actions, calling for more freedom of navigation operations, possibly with regional allies, that are aimed at Chinese territorial claims.

The experts from the U.S. Naval War College and the Center for Strategic and International Studies agreed at a House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee hearing that adherence to maritime law in the South China Sea is important not only for regional security but also for maintaining law of the sea elsewhere on the globe.
China has been building paramilitary forces out of their coast guard and fishing fleets. China operates the biggest fishing fleet in the world, and in the South China Sea Beijing uses these fishing ships as a kind of militia to harass other nation's vessels from accessing vital trade routes and fishing grounds.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies released a report on China's use of its coast guard as a "second navy". Beijing's inclusion of fishing fleets in its maritime law enforcement push has gone on for years as a kind of open secret. China doesn't publicize its militia in any English language publication, but in domestic internet pages and files, China makes it clear that the fishing vessels have a "militia" function.