US Sends Cease and Desist Demand to China

US Sends Cease and Desist Demand to China

( – The People’s Republic of China (PRC), the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and President Xi Jinping have embarked on a path of aggression in an effort to impose their idea of territorial waters in the South China Sea. An idea the rest of the world has already refuted. This behavior has led to some tense standoffs with many nations in the region, particularly with Taiwan (the Republic of China/ROC) and the Philippines, including a recent encounter that has drawn a sharp rebuke from the United States as well as other countries.

Potentially Deadly Games

According to news reports, a ship of the PRC’s People’s Armed Police (their version of the Coast Guard) moved directly into the path of a vessel from their Filipino counterparts near the Second Thomas Shoal (a.k.a. Ren’ai Jiao in China) near the Spratly Islands. Journalists were aboard the BRP Malapascua and a second ship from Manila and witnessed the act of belligerence, saying the much larger Chinese vessel ended up only 50 yards (45 meters) from a collision.

The media reports credit the Filipino commanding officer with quick thinking and actions as the sole reason they “avoided the steel-hulled vessels crashing into each other.” The US State Department issued a press release saying the country “stands with The Philippines [sic] in the face of the [PRC’s] continued infringement upon freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.” It also called “upon Beijing to desist from its provocative and unsafe conduct.”

The announcement denounced the “harassment and intimidation” taking place in what is legally the “exclusive economic zone” of the Philippines. It also warned that should the PRC vessels open fire on the other country’s ships or airplanes, they would then end up triggering “the 1951 U.S. Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.”

In 2013, the Philippines took the issue of “maritime entitlements in the South China Sea” to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) under international treaties, to which 122 countries, including China, are signatories. After several years of the process, the court submitted a 501-page report on its findings on July 12, 2016, ruling that China’s theory of a historical right to the area (the so-called “nine-dash line” doctrine) is “without lawful effect.”

The CCP, of course, did not see it that way. The state-run news site Global Times ran an op-ed that discussed a purported “objective, fair and neutral third-party perspective” that refutes the “illegal ruling” of the PCA on December 10, 2020. That mentality leads to how they have described the recent incident in an April 30 story, painting it as an intrusion into their waters by the Philippine Coast Guard ships and claiming it “was a premeditated provocation designed to deliberately create friction.”

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