NEW DELHI: South China Sea region where China has created artificial islands violating international law is once again in the spotlight ahead of the next edition of the Shangrila Dialogue one of region’s key geopolitical dialogue in Singapore between May 31-June 2.The Chinese foreign ministry shot back last Thursday at a US Senate proposal to punish Chinese individuals and entities for “illegal and dangerous” activities in the South China Sea. “We urge the US side not to proceed the deliberation of the legislation, in order not to bring new disruption to the China-US relations,” Lu told a regular press briefing.Marco Rubio, Republican Senator who is leading the drive to introduce the legislation, told Hong Kong based South China Morning Post, that a bipartisan group of senators would reintroduce the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Bill on Thursday. China considers at least 80 per cent of the South China Sea to be its sovereign territory, a claim disputed by other regional powers.Earlier this year US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested that China was blocking energy development in the South China Sea through "coercive means", preventing Southeast Asian countries from accessing more than $2.5 trillion in recoverable energy reserves. Asean and China agreed at their summit in Singapore last November to the early conclusion of a code of conduct (COC) for the South China Sea. Peaceful means should be used according to the principles of international law, including the UNCLOS.
Source: Economic Times May 25, 2019 03:11 UTC