China rules the waves and waives the rule

ANI | Updated: Nov 12, 2019 14:11 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 12 (ANI): China likes to assure neighbours and the rest of the world that it will never interfere with civilian freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. However, that hard-to-believe stance has been shown to be totally duplicitous as China's naval and paramilitary forces stamp their authority over international waters and passageways.This became most apparent on 30 October when a Chinese warship accosted the oil tanker Green Aura as it sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal. The Greek-owned tanker, flying a Liberian flag, was voyaging from Thailand to China when it was interdicted.Scarborough Shoal lies within the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, but that has not stopped China from laying claim to the feature since mid-2012 when it seized de facto ownership and refused to let others, including Filipino fishermen, near it. When the tanker came within 12nm of the shoal, it received a radio call from China Coast Guard (CCG) and naval ships hove to near the reef.One of these ships described itself as a "naval warship" but it could not be identified as its automatic identification system was turned off, according to Green Aura's Filipino captain Manolo Ebora. In an interplay of directives, one ship eventually stated, "This is China Coast Guard. This area is under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government. You should keep away from this area."Although the tanker was making the innoce....

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