(NationalSentinel) The Chinese government appears to be moving early to test the Trump administration, as the White House finds itself embroiled in a largely manufactured “Russian scandal” in which there are lots of insinuations but no actual proof of wrongdoing.
As reported by China People’s Daily, a state-run media organ like all media in China, said the government’s rubber-stamp legislative body was considering revisions to a 1984 law that “would allow the relevantauthorities to bar some foreign ships from passing through Chinese territorial waters.”
The draft would empower maritime authorities to prevent foreign ships from enteringChinese waters if it is decided that the ships may harm traffic safety and order.
The draft revisions stipulate that authorities will be able to designate specific areas andtemporarily bar foreign ships from passing through those areas according to their ownassessment of maritime traffic safety.
The revisions are based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and Chinese laws onthe sea, adjacent areas and exclusive economic zones, the office said.
Wang Xiaopeng, a maritime border expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, toldthe Global Times on Wednesday that the revisions will provide legal support for China tosafeguard its maritime rights.
“As a sovereign State and the biggest coastal State in, for example, the South China Sea, China is entitled to adjust its maritime laws as needed, which will also promote peace andstable development in the waters,” Wang said.
Another expert, Yang Cuibai, a professor with the School of Law at Sichuan University, agreed, saying that”the revisions will strengthen China’s management over territorial waters in a new erawhen the country’s communication and trade with foreign countries in the waters havesharply increased.”
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He added that China should move to “establish the legal order in the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea.”
Under international maritime law, countries have a 200-nautical mile Economic Exclusion Zone off their coasts, in which they have exclusive economic development rights. But territorial rights under international maritime law only extend 12 nm; China is attempting to claim territorial rights to all of these bodies of water.
The South China Sea alone sees about $5 trillion worth of commerce pass through each year, much of it bound for the West. It is most definitely in the United States’ national interests, as well as several countries the world over, to ensure that one nation does not try to militarize and control the entire region, like China is attempting to do.
Early diplomatic and national security challenge for Trump, but one he can’t afford to ignore.