Listen Live
    Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford

    US Top General Claims Chinese President Xi Broke Promise on South China Sea

    © AFP 2019 / Kevin Wolf
    US
    Get short URL
    42641
    Subscribe

    The US military's top general said Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping reneged on promises not to militarize the South China Sea and called for "collective action" to hold Beijing responsible.

    General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that there was a need to enforce international law, yet noted he was not calling for military action.

    "The fall of 2016, President Xi Jinping promised President Obama that they would not militarize the islands. So what we see today are 10,000-foot runways, ammunition storage facilities, routine deployment of missile defence capabilities, aviation capabilities, and so forth," he said in a talk on US security and defence at the Brooking Institution, noting that China “walked away from that commitment."

    The general claimed that “the rule of law, international laws, norms and standards” are at stake in the South China Sea dispute as much as in any territorial dispute in the world, and ignoring China’s actions that are as he says not in compliance with international rules, norms and standards would lead to setting a new standard.

    READ MORE: Australian Warship 'Closely Followed' by Chinese Military in South China Sea

    "I'm not suggesting a military response. What needs to happen… is coherent collective action to those who violate international norms and standards. They need to be held accountable in some way so that future violations are deterred," Dunford said.

    The South China Sea is a major transit route which is also rich in fishing stocks. The territory is a hotspot of disagreement between China and a number of other regional countries — Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The US has sent navy vessels through the areas claimed by China as "international freedom of navigation operations," yet otherwise has found responding difficult.

    Related:

    Australian Warship 'Closely Followed' by Chinese Military in South China Sea
    Australian Navy Pilots Hit by Lasers During South China Sea Drills - Reports
    Matter of 'Sovereignty': Beijing Slams South China Sea Sanctions Proposed by US
    US Admiral Urges Australia, Indonesia to Counter Beijing in South China Sea
    Disputed Drilling: Beijing Announces First South China Sea Deepwater LNG Site
    India Joins First-Ever Joint Naval Drill in Contested South China Sea
    Tags:
    disputed territories, promise, disputed waters, General Joseph Dunford, South China Sea, China
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik