Listen: China, South China Sea, Asean discussed on Monocle 24: The Monocle Daily
"They were doing what what are called phone ops, which is freedom of navigation operations in pursuit of their insistence that the South China Sea is international waters, and they have every right to sail whatever they liked through that they're not wrong about that wrong about that under international law. They are absolutely not wrong, but they're up against the Chinese insistence that basically South China Sea is all China's and regardless of the competing claims or indeed territorial waters of at least five of their neighbors, and the Chinese have militarized the the the coral reefs of the South China Sea. They've built airstrips they've installed military installations, and they patrol and very aggressively. And so. There. You know, this is where the US China battle over supremacy at sea in these specific is being fought out. And and so, you know, the codes of conduct apply essentially when you can count on the high seas, or whether isn't another dispute that you'll your trying to kind of play out. This is really quite tricky. There's also in theory along discussion between China and its ASEAN neighbors over codes of contact with C because not only does China harass US military phone ops. But it also with rather greater success harassers, its neighbors. Its neighbors fishing boats have been Vietnamese boats have been sunk by Chinese ships, either coast guard vessels or big fishing boats, and the Chinese been harassing oil rigs that are drilling for oil in Vietnamese territorial waters. So there is a, you know, big pattern of Chinese assertion of Chinese power. A lot A of lot those. of those neighbors, of course, being substantially easier for China to push around in the United States might be which would which does prompt the question, at least from my point of view that if the these phone ops operations these freedom of navigation operations are perfectly legal the United States ships are sailing international waters. That's obviously they're perfectly entitled to do. What's the logic from the Chinese perspective of reacting? Why not just shrug and say, we'll find its international waters sail up and down all day. If you like see if we care because the Chinese say, it's not international waters. Chinese say, the these are historic Chinese waters all of it. And, you know, get your worships out of here. And this is going to be able to make that stick legally though internationally, but they've had one ruling against them. Remember in the Hague an internet, the international version. Corta harbor tradition of under the law of the sea convention on the Louis. See it went against them. And they end the ignored it. It was a case. Brought by the Philippines. There was an change of government in the Philippines duty is is notably more China friendly than his predecessor was. So the Chinese insist that that that patrician that court and not ruling doesn't apply to the South China Sea. And they also, you know, in in in in terms of trying to negotiate a code of conduct with the Asiya neighbors. There's an ASEAN meeting coming up right now they've tried to insert into this code of conduct essentially clauses. That would settle the territorial dispute so closes, for example. That would insist that China has the right to veto military operations with third parties by its neighbors that China has the right to to define who can drew and who can fish in the South China Sea. So you this isn't a code of conduct. This is a this is steak. How to claim? I mean, you said that China is becoming much more aggressive and at ease in the way that it's it's it's creating facts will if not on the ground than on the water by building artificial islands, which it's thin fortifying an arming. The doing so I I guess at an increased speed and with an increased intensity. But do we understand what China sees as the end point of this is it the annexation of the entire South China Sea, and declaring Chinese into Chinese national waters that everybody else has to keep out of at least that everybody else is there on sufferance.."