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News > China

The US in No Position to Accuse Others Citing UNCLOS: China

  • Chinese Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Xie Feng, 2022.

    Chinese Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Xie Feng, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @China2ASEAN

Published 4 September 2022

The so-called "freedom of navigation operations" of the U.S. is actually intended to boycott the regimes of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Xie said.

Chinese Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Xie Feng said that the United States is in no position whatsoever to cite the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to accuse others, as it wants only the benefits of the Convention without fulfilling its obligations.


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When asked about the U.S. has accused China of violating the Convention on multiple occasions, Xie said that as early as during the negotiations on the Convention, the U.S. dismissed the concerns of developing countries, persistently opposed taking the international seabed and its resources as the common heritage of mankind, and planned to set up another system outside UNCLOS to obstruct its adoption.

"While opposing the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) regime proposed by developing countries during the negotiations, the U.S. has claimed the world's largest EEZ after the Convention was adopted," Xie said, adding that till today, the U.S. is yet to ratify the Convention, but it has played up the supremacy of the Convention out of ulterior motives, arbitrarily used it as a tool to smear, contain and suppress other countries.

The so-called "freedom of navigation operations" of the U.S. is actually intended to boycott UNCLOS regimes such as the EEZ, maintain U.S. maritime hegemony, and allow its warships and military flights to continue having their way without restraint on the sea, Xie said.

"But in recent years, the United States has put the blame on others instead, and frequently challenged other countries' maritime claims under the pretext of freedom of navigation, without any basis in international law including the Law of the Sea," the Chinese ambassador stressed.

Noting China's position and claims concerning the South China Sea have solid historical and legal grounds, Xie said that there has never been and will never be any problem with the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. The U.S. has breached general international law principles, including the prohibition on the threat or use of force, by flexing its military muscle to challenge other countries' claims and threaten other countries' security and maritime rights.

"Such unlawful attempts to pursue the law of the jungle at sea run counter to the trend of the times, and have been understandably firmly rejected by China and other members of the international community," he said. 


Xie Feng
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