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US Coast Guard latest way for Washington to stir up trouble: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-06-13 20:20


It seems the United States can't resist rocking the boat.

With a full-blown trade war between the US and China hotting up, every close-quarters move the US makes on China's doorstep is likely to further worsen the already tense atmosphere between the two countries and even risks triggering a direct conflict between the two sides.

Nevertheless, Washington continues to sail close to the wind in its bid to turn the screws on Beijing.

Now the US Coast Guard has been tasked with meddling in the South China Sea disputes, a message US Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander Vice Admiral Linda Fagan clearly delivered on Tuesday.

According to media reports, Fagan said Washington is seeking to bolster the ability of its partners and allies to protect their sovereignty. The US Coast Guard cutters USCGC Bertholf and USCGC Stratton are being deployed with the US Navy Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, which Fagan said will help "law enforcement and capacity-building in the fisheries enforcement realm".

Washington has no jurisdiction over fisheries law enforcement in the South China Sea. By seeking to enforce laws on waters that are not its own, thousands of miles away from US shores, the US Coast Guard is obviously drifting well away from its own duties and realm of operations.

Still the US likes to pretend everything it does is above board.

Hence, just like the freedom of navigation pretext the US Navy uses when sending warships to disputed waters in the South China Sea, law enforcement is the flag of convenience the US has run up the mast as it seeks to stir up trouble in the region by keeping the maritime disputes simmering. Disputes in which it is not a party.

Rather than China, as Washington would have people believe, it is the US that is the loose canon threatening regional stability.

At present, China and members of the Association Southeast Asian Nations are negotiating the text for the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, as it is their common aspiration that the waters remain peaceful.

By sticking its oar into the maritime disputes, the US hopes to undermine these efforts and mislead countries in the region that it is acting in their interests rather than selfishly fishing for its own.

With Washington intent on making waves, countries in the region should give a wide berth to its machinations.

Meanwhile, the US should take on board its continuous provocations in the South China Sea will not daunt China. Instead, they will only consolidate China's determination to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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