More than 30 per cent of the world’s seaborne trade passes through the Malacca Strait with China, Japan, and South Korea reliant on this strategic waterway for their supplies, especially energy. Beijing is seeking alternative routes to reduce its dependence on the waterway to ensure a more viable long-term energy security policy. China’s Strategic influence in the Indo […]
Secretary (East) Riva Ganguly Das underlined India’s interest in maintaining peace and stability, freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea in keeping with international law at the East Asia Summit Senior Officials’ Meeting (EAS SOM) on 24 June 2021. The meeting which was held in the virtual format was chaired by Permanent […]
China’s newly-enacted Coast Guard Law allows the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) to “take all necessary measures, including the use of weapons, when national sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction are being illegally infringed upon by foreign organizations or individuals at sea.”
The new law also empowers the CCG to halt construction or destroy foreign structures on Chinese-claimed land features, like those on the Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island and Second Thomas Shoal.
Several Asian countries including Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia have opposed China’s law saying it could escalate maritime disputes and be invoked to assert “unlawful claims”.
The Philippines has filed a formal rejection of the law, emphasizing that, given the large area involved and China’s ongoing disputes in the South China Sea, the law is a verbal threat of war to any country that defies it.
The lack of a definition of ‘jurisdictional waters’ in the final version of the new law will increase the potential for conflict.
In addition to creating opportunities for misunderstandings between foreign vessels and the CCG, it gives the coastguard flexibility to conduct law enforcement outside of its traditional jurisdictional waters.
The recent virtual summit between India and Vietnam showcased the growing ties between the two countries as they set forth a Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People to guide the future development of India – Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Furthering their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the two nations agreed to step up regular high-level and institutionalized exchanges in defence, security, and counter-terrorism while building upon the foundations of deep-rooted historical, cultural bonds, shared values and interests.