US Promises Full Support to ASEAN To Confront China on South China Sea Dispute

Why is the US supporting ASEAN Nations on South China Sea Dispute? Control over the South China Sea is a major dispute between ASEAN Nations and China. The South China Sea Dispute remains a major issue, as it is a significant shipping passage with over $5 trillion worth of trade, besides holding massive amounts of oil and natural gas beneath its surface.

During a trade show in Singapore, a senior US representative has urged Southeast Asian nations to maintain a strong stand on the South China Sea issue. Tina Kaidanow, who is visiting Singapore for the Singapore Airshow encouraged the ASEAN nations to use the ‘collective ability’ of all nations to uphold the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

Kaidanow further added that the US encourages ASEAN nations to not only maintain a stronger stand on the South China Sea but also on other issues like terrorism and regional stability.

What is The South China Sea Dispute?

The South China Sea has over the years become a disputed region with China vigorously asserting its claims over the area. Last year alone, China had completed the construction of man-made islands for military support and facilities covering an area of 72 acres. The South China Sea records over USD 5.3 trillion worth of trade transports annually.

Moreover, a Chinese oil major has said that the South China Sea has over 125 billion barrels of oil and over 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as against the US estimates of 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The disputed area recorded a landmark ruling by an international tribunal in 2016 that said that China has failed to establish any legal basis to support its claim over the region.

Must Read at EurAsian Times: Why are ASEAN Leaders Thronging India on 26th January, Republic Day 2018?

During the event, apart from the South China Sea, Tina Kaidanow spoke of Donald Trump’s ‘Buy American’ dream and added that the US delegation in Singapore was doing everything in its power to promote the American dream. To promote the same the US delegation will be putting two F-35B stealth fighters on display at the Singapore Airshow event. The acting assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs, Tina Kaidanow, spoke on how the American products hold an edge over competitors, China and Russia. She said the American products come in an ‘array’ which no other country has been able to provide. She further added that she would be meeting with representatives of several Southeast Asian nations to promote the sales of US weapons not only to promote security but also regional balance.