|US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks in Washington, DC on July 1, 2021. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the international community has long benefited from the rules-based maritime order, where international law, as reflected in the UN Law of the Sea Convention, sets out the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas.
In his statement, Mr. Blinken reaffirmed his predecessor Mike Pompeo’s rejection of nearly all of China’s significant maritime claims in the economically important seaway. He called on Beijing to abide by its obligations under international law, cease its provocative behavior, and take steps to reassure the international community that it is committed to the rules-based maritime order that respects the rights of all countries, big and small.
Mr. Blinken’s statement was timed for the fifth anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s 2016 ruling in favor the Philippines, in which it rejected most of China’s arguments and ruled that Beijing’s expansive “nine-dash line” maritime claim was inconsistent with international maritime law.