The United States has advised China to stop participating in numerous “risky” maritime activities in the East China Sea. In recent high-level talks between the two nations, the U.S. expressed concern over increased Chinese maritime events targeting the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
In his latest visit to Beijing, Deputy U.S. Secretary of State William Burns conveyed the U.S.’ apprehension over “an unprecedented spike in recent activity” to Vice President Li Yuanchao and State Councilor Yang Jiechi. He also touched on the issue of China’s unilateral establishment of an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea. According to the testimony of Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel, who reported on Burns’ meeting with Beijing officials, ‘The Senkakus are under the administration of Japan and unilateral attempts to change the status quo raise tension and do nothing under international law to strengthen territorial claims.” He also noted that Burns’ brought up the issue of a “growing incremental pattern of efforts” by the Chinese to insist control in some areas of the South China Sea.
Republican Representative Matt Salmon recently described China’s actions as “we’re going to see what we can get away with, and if the U.S. has the guts, the cojones, to challenge us.” On the other hand, Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly said that from a distance, it seems like China is bent on “picking a fight” with several countries that they are in a territorial dispute with, like Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan, among others. While the U.S. maintains to have a neutral stance in the issue of territorial disputes, the Senkaku Islands are under a 1960 security treaty with Japan. As such, the U.S. is compelled to support Japan, their closest ally in Asia, on this issue.
[via Japan Times]
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