By Alpha Military Review
A draft coast guard bill was released on the website of China’s National People's Congress (NPC) on November 4 to solicit public opinions until December 3, 2020. After the draft was published, the Japanese and US media immediately expressed their concerns, hyped up the clauses in the draft that allowed the use of weapons, and clamored for the so-called "China threat theory."
US and Japanese media said that the draft coast guard bill stipulates that the China Coast Guard (CCG) would take action, including the use of weapons, when foreign ships conduct illegal activities in Chinese waters, to stop the infringement and eliminate the danger on the spot. The Japan Times says that this provision may threaten Japanese vessels sailing on the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands.
Law enforcement on land, sea and in airspace under its own jurisdiction, with the use of weapons on necessary occasions, are the rights granted to sovereign states by international law. The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) also stipulates that lethal weapons can be used when enforcing the law in waters under its own jurisdiction. For the US Coast Guard (USCG), the use of force is even more common, and it is even planning to apply long-arm jurisdiction to China.
Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant of the USCG, claimed to strengthen deployment in the Asia-Pacific region and participate in security patrols in the waters surrounding China in response to Chinese maritime militia's declaration of sovereignty in the South China Sea in April last year. Robert O'Brien, US National Security Advisor, announced on October 24 that the USCG would deploy Enhanced Response Cutters in the Western Pacific. . Without providing any evidence, he accused Chinese fishing boats of illegal fishing and claimed that the sovereignty of the United States and its neighbors in the Pacific had thus been threatened.
Compared with the US, even if China's maritime law enforcement forces are allowed to use force to exercise jurisdiction, they could be regarded as very restrained and gentle. The hype by the media of the two countries purely discredits China. After all, China has granted its coast guard the right to use force mainly responding to the current international situation and real threats.
On April 7, 2020, Mark Cancian, a retired colonel of the US Marine Corps and Brandon Schwartz, a research fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C., co-published an article in the website of The National Interest, suggesting that the US government issue letters of marque against China，which would lead to the use of privateers, if the US intends to block China and strangle China's economy in a large-scale war.
In this regard, some people in Washington argue that this represents only personal academic views, and that the US is a country with freedom of speech. But considering the big influence of CSIS and The National Interest on the US politics, how could a country acquiescing its own experts and scholars to publish articles about plundering another country in such a way, regardless of its large-scale and deep-seated influence! For the same logic, if this is freedom of speech, then why do you need to face jail in the United States and the West to promote Nazi speech?
We might have to use guns when dealing with robbers, as that is the language that robbers understand. The CCG is the right person to deal with such robbers. The newly announced draft coast guard bill grants the Chinese Coast Guard the right to use force. If the US and Japan do not engage in trouble in the waters under China's jurisdiction, why should they worry?
We have seen that, apart from the US and Japan, no other country believes this poses a threat. The fact that the Japanese and American media hyped up this issue, precisely showing that these two countries have attempts to violate China's maritime rights and interests. Allowing the coast guard to use force means that the US and Japan will assume greater security risks if they infringe upon China's maritime sovereignty. What their media should worry about is not that China reasonably and legally safeguards its maritime rights and interests, but the dangerous provocations of their ships against China.
China is going to allow the coast guard to use force only against the criminals who would violate our maritime sovereignty.
Disclaimer: This article is originally published on the Alpha Military Review, a self-media on Sohu.com, and is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.