US, EU Worried About “Problematic” China’s Actions in Contested Sea | News from the European Union

Allies say China’s assertive actions in the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait are “undermining” peace and security in the region.

The United States and the European Union have expressed “deep concern” over what they called “problematic and one-sided actions” by China in the disputed seas of Asia-Pacific, saying they would work together to manage their rivalry with Beijing.

In a joint statement following a high-level meeting between senior diplomats Wendy Sherman, Deputy Secretary of State, and Stefano Sannino, Secretary General of the European External Action Service, the two said the actions of China in the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait “to undermine peace and security in the region and have a direct impact on the security and prosperity of the United States and the Union European.

China is claiming almost all of the South China Sea despite an international court ruling that rejected its historic claim. The country has developed artificial islands and military outposts in the waters, supported by its coast guard and so-called maritime militia. Its assertive position has led to clashes with other countries claiming the sea, most recently in the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone at Second Thomas Shoal.

Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei also claim parts of the sea, and US ships conduct so-called “freedom of navigation” transits in the region, which is one of the most important trade routes in the world.

The statement noted the need for the United States and the EU to maintain “continuous and close contact on our respective approaches as we invest and develop our economies, cooperate with China to the extent possible, and manage our competition and our systemic rivalry with China responsibly “.

The US-EU dialogue on China was established earlier this year, and the statement follows its second high-level meeting.

Sherman and Sannino discussed the “growing list of actions by China that are of concern, including those that violate international law and go against the common values ​​and interests of the United States and the EU.”

Human rights violations in Xinjiang, where around one million Uyghurs, mostly Muslims, were reportedly sent to re-education camps; the repression in Hong Kong; the situation in Tibet; and the spread of “Chinese sponsored or sponsored” disinformation were also discussed.

The meeting also noted the importance of diplomacy with China, especially where interests intersect and constructive cooperation is possible, such as the climate, Iran and the Korean Peninsula.

The next high-level meeting is expected to take place in mid-2022.

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