US, EU concerned by China's 'problematic and unilateral actions' at sea

US, EU concerned by China's 'problematic and unilateral actions' at sea

3/12/2021 4:56:00 AM

US, EU concerned by China's 'problematic and unilateral actions' at sea

WASHINGTON: The United States and European Union on Thursday (Dec 2) voiced strong concern at China\u0027s \u0022problematic and unilateral actions\u0022 in the South China Sea and stressed the need for close contact to manage \u0022competition and systemic rivalry\u0022 with Beijing. The joint statement followed talks in Washingt

WASHINGTON: The United States and European Union on Thursday (Dec 2) voiced strong concern at China's"problematic and unilateral actions" in the South China Sea and stressed the need for close contact to manage"competition and systemic rivalry" with Beijing.

The joint statement followed talks in Washington between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and the Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Stefano Sannino.It"emphasised the importance of the United States and EU maintaining continuous and close contacts on our respective approaches as we invest and grow our economies, cooperate with China where possible, and manage our competition and systemic rivalry with China responsibly".

The statement also said the two sides discussed rights abuses in China, including repression of religious minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet and the erosion of autonomy in Hong Kong. It said they expressed readiness to deepen US-EU information sharing on disinformation sponsored or supported by China.

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"They expressed strong concern over China's problematic and unilateral actions in the South and East China Seas and the Taiwan Strait that undermine peace and security in the region and have a direct impact on the security and prosperity of both the United States and European Union," the statement added.

The statement followed the second meeting of the US-EU Dialogue on China established this year. Sherman and Sannino are due to continue China-related discussions with high-level consultations on the Indo-Pacific on Friday.Related:After Australia arms deal flop, EU launches Indo-Pacific plan

US President Joe Biden has stressed the importance of working closely with allies in pushing back against China's growing power and increasingly assertive behaviour worldwide.A US official briefing ahead of the talks said Washington and Brussels have an"increasingly convergent" view of China's"concerning behaviour".

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Speaking separately at a Washington think-tank, Vice Admiral Herve Blejean, director general of the EU Military Staff, said there was room for greater coordination to"express our strong desire to defend international law at sea against de facto policies that we've seen in (the) South China Sea".

Blejean told the Center for Strategic and International Studies that France was a Pacific power and there was also interest in the region on the part of other EU members Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, as well as former EU state Britain."We have to look at how we message that together, because when we're all united the power of the message is stronger, and how we interact with like-minded nations doing the same - Australia, the United States, Japan, ASEAN countries and so on."

Blejean said the EU could look at establishing a"Maritime Area of Interest" in the South China Sea after a pilot project aimed at better coordinating the maritime presence of EU member states underway in Africa's Gulf of Guinea and another being looked at in the northern Indian Ocean.

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EU Stefano Sannino is the crap puppet to the US. We were wrong to create trouble in the first place by going to people's doorstep to accuse them of unilateral & assertive actions, the world don't need such democracy & international law. US didn't sign int'l sea law, hypocrisy! Time for China 🇨🇳 to dictate terms on USA 🇺🇸 & Europe. China progress is about good planning with hard working people a visionary leader. equityin

We are seeing a lot more of them, go there and let them see see a lot more of us. Can they bear the thought of not having advantage when they cannot bully the chinese

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