BEIJING – British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond spoke before the Beijing audience during his visit yesterday regarding on the competing claims in the South China Sea, a key global trade artery, hazard boiling over and must resolve peacefully.
Beijing has been doing a massive reclamation of sand to expand and fortify small reefs to become a man-made island. Build and construct civilian and military facilities in the area, which it says are intended to promote oceanic navigational security and scientific research, as well as having military purposes.
There was “strain and the danger of escalation” in the area, Hammond told students at the capital’s elite Peking University, adding: “We want to see claims dealt with by rules-based, not power-based, solutions in Asia as elsewhere.”
And in addition, China, a large portion of the Southeast Asian claimants has also constructed facilities in the waters.
The United States and Southeast Asian countries have called for an end further island-expansion and construction by Beijing, however, China’s foreign minister said a week ago that land reclamation had stopped.
Hammond said, that England relies on global sea lanes for the delivery of 95 percent of its trade and “has a strong interest in the stability of the South China Sea region,” adding that $5 trillion worth of trade passes through the area every year.
He said that the issue needed to be addressed “in a manner which is steady with the long-term peace and stability of the region, with freedom of navigation and overflight, and in accordance with international law, including the Law of the Sea.”
Hammond also said that “with increasing power comes increasing responsibility.” Which means that China has a growing role on the global diplomatic stage.
Hammond was in China for high-level talks ahead of a planned state visit to Britain in October by Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which he will stay with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Featured image credit to home.bt
By: Jason E.