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24 Jun 2017

Modi-Trump meeting: China warns India, US on South China Sea

Modi-Trump meeting and South China Sea

Ahead of PM Narendra Modi's Washington visit, China warned India and the US not to disturb peace in the contested South China Sea.

It asked the nations to play "constructive role" in the region's disputes.

Modi will meet President Trump on 26 June and hold talks on regional, bilateral, and international matters of common interest; the South China Sea is likely to be discussed.

In context

Modi-Trump meeting and South China Sea
Cooperation between India and US

Military Ties

Cooperation between India and US

China said any move to deepen Indo-US military ties in Asia-Pacific should stay away from the South China Sea.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said the situation in the disputed region is cooling down with "concerted efforts" of China and ASEAN countries.

Indirectly pointing towards both the countries, he added non-regional nations can respect regional efforts for maintaining peace and stability.


About the South China Sea issue

The issue involves the dispute over territory and sovereignty over ocean areas, particularly along the Paracel and the Spratly island chains.

China claims sovereignty over the South China Sea while Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei have counter claims.

The region is vital to global trade; it is also rich in minerals, oils, and natural resources.

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China to closely watch Indo-US summit

The summit

China to closely watch Indo-US summit

Experts say China would closely follow the upcoming Modi-Trump meeting for many reasons.

Some of the issues to be discussed by India and the US also concern the interests of China.

It would take a close look at the Indo-US summit with a view that some of the economic outcomes and immigration policies, including the H-1B visa, could benefit China.

Freedom of Navigation

US warship sails past South China Sea Island

In May'17, the US sent a warship to the South China Sea that sailed near Mischief Reef, an artificial island in the disputed region.

It was part of the first "freedom of navigation" under President Donald Trump.

China said the US's "irresponsible" move challenged its sovereignty in the South China Sea.

It warned the deliberate provocative actions would have "extremely dangerous consequences."

Trump's policy toward China, South China Sea

Emerging Policy

Trump's policy toward China, South China Sea

Experts say President Donald Trump's policy toward China as well as the South China Sea is emerging contradictory from his actions and statements.

His administration was initially "belligerent" toward China and the disputed region but it now seems to have moderated its stance.

Trump's emerging policy seems similar and rather a continuation of President Obama's policy, especially with the freedom of navigation operations.

China-Vietnam meeting canceled

Meanwhile, China canceled a military meeting with Vietnam to discuss the disputed territories of the South China Sea. Reportedly, the cancellation is "highly unusual" for the Communist neighbors. Vietnam's recent actions to promote cooperation with Japan and the US may have irked China.

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