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US Concerned Chinese Regime’s New Coast Guard Law Could Escalate Maritime Disputes

The United States is concerned by the Chinese regime’s recently enacted coast guard law and that it could escalate maritime disputes and be invoked to assert unlawful claims, the U.S. State Department said on Feb. 19. China, which has maritime sovereignty disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and with several Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea, passed a law last month that for the first time explicitly allows its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels. State Department spokesman Ned Price told a regular briefing Washington was “concerned by language in the law that expressly ties the potential use of force, including armed force, by the China coast guard to the enforcement of China’s claims, and ongoing territorial and maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas.” He said language, “strongly implies this law could be used to intimidate (China’s) maritime neighbors.” “We are further concerned that China may invoke this new law to …

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