US East Asia envoy says South China Sea situation deeply concerning

On Saturday ( Jan 22 ), US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink stated that the South China Sea’s current situation was “deeply destabilizing” and that China’s recent actions in the region were “deeply destabilizing.”

In response to the rising tensions between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea, where Vietnam is also a plaintiff, Kritenbrink made the remarks while traveling to Hanoi.

” We think that China’s actions, especially its new actions, around the Second Thomas Shoal, vis- à- vis the Philippines have been careless, violent, dangerous, greatly destabilising”, Kritenbrink said at a briefing for selected media in Hanoi, a recording of which was reviewed by Reuters.

According to Kritenbrink,” We’re going to continue to stand with our Filipino supporters,” adding that Washington had made it clear to Beijing that its mutual defense treaty obligations were “ironclad” both publicly and privately.

After accusing China of violently disrupting a resupply mission in the contested South China Sea earlier this month, Philippine officials said on Friday that they did not think about revoking the common defense agreement with the US.

A spokesperson for China’s foreign government said on Thursday that the necessary steps were required, professional, and beyond reproach.

Every nation in the region, including China, must adhere to international law and conduct themselves properly in the maritime domain, according to Kritenbrink.

China claims about the whole South China Sea, a pipeline for more than US$ 3 trillion of monthly shipborne business, including components claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s statements had no lawful base, a choice Beijing has rejected.