Regarding Michael Richardson’s April 5 article, “U.S. and allies move to counter Chinese power“: Richardson repeats the disingenuous U.S. allegation that China is threatening freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
China has in modern times never interfered with the freedom of navigation of commercial vessels. China does object to what it maintains is the United States’ violation of the 1982 U.N. Law of the Sea Convention by “scientific research” carried out in waters under China’s jurisdiction without permission.
China also argues that certain provocative activities by U.S. military spy planes and vessels off its coasts constitute a threat of force — a violation of the U.N. Charter, let alone the Law of the Sea. Richardson probably appreciates these distinctions but conveniently ignores them, necessitating such clarifications.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.