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US to base Coast Guard ships in western Pacific to deal with China

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America will deploy Coast Guard patrol ships within the western Pacific to counter what it described as “destabilizing and malign” actions within the area by China, the nation’s high safety adviser mentioned on Friday.

The US Coast Guard was “strategically homeporting considerably enhanced Quick Response Cutters … within the western Pacific,” White Home Nationwide Safety Advisor Robert O’Brien mentioned in a press release.

Describing the US as a Pacific energy, the assertion added that China’s “unlawful, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and harassment of vessels working within the unique financial zones of different international locations within the Indo-Pacific threatens our sovereignty, in addition to the sovereignty of our Pacific neighbors and endangers regional stability”.

It mentioned US efforts, together with by the Coast Guard, have been “crucial to countering these destabilizing and malign actions.”

The Coast Guard didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the assertion, which got here simply forward of a deliberate go to to Asia by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and Australia’s Overseas Minister Marise Payne pose previous to their bilateral assembly in Tokyo on October 6, 2020 forward of the 4 Indo-Pacific nations’ overseas ministers assembly. – (Picture by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / POOL / AFP)

Pompeo led a gathering of the so-called Quad in Tokyo this month. Washington hopes the grouping of the US, Japan, India and Australia can act as a bulwark in opposition to China’s rising assertiveness and intensive maritime claims within the area, together with to almost the entire South China Sea.

On Sunday, Pompeo will start a five-day tour of India – the place he will likely be accompanied by US Protection Secretary Mark Esper – after which he’ll proceed on to Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia. Maritime safety and a “free and open Indo-Pacific” will likely be excessive on the agenda, the State Division mentioned.

Incursions

In July, Esper condemned a “catalogue of dangerous behaviour” within the South China Sea over the earlier months, accusing the Chinese language army of getting sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat, harassing Malaysian oil and fuel vessels and escorting Chinese language fishing fleets into Indonesia’s unique financial zone.

O’Brien added that the Coast Guard, which is underneath the Division of Homeland Safety (DHS), was additionally learning whether or not to completely station a number of of its patrol ships within the space of American Samoa within the South Pacific.

Final month, Indonesia protested after Chinese language coastguard ships travelled into its unique financial zone, which is located between its personal territorial waters and worldwide waters and the place the state claims unique rights to develop pure sources.

China claims nearly the entire of the South China Sea as its personal. Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines additionally declare the elements of the ocean nearest to their shores.

The US Navy commonly conducts what it calls “freedom of navigation” operations within the disputed sea – angering China, which has developed army outposts on islands and islets.

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