• Kaneohe, Hawaii

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Regarding Michael Richardson’s Jan. 5 article, “ China targeting U.S. deterrence“: There he goes again — scare-mongering about China by making, in this instance, the unjustified assumption that China wants to control commercial shipping traffic in Asia. China has never indicated any intention of hindering commercial shipping.

What China has done — and Richardson seems to conflate the issue — is object to and try to prevent what it perceives as U.S. abuse of the freedom of navigation by U.S. military surveillance and oceanographic vessels in China’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). China maintains that U.S. vessels are violating the Law of the Sea by undertaking marine scientific research in its EEZ without the consent required by the 1982 Convention.

The United States claims that it is not undertaking marine scientific research but rather military and hydrographic research which, according to the U.S., are “exempt” from the consent regime. If the U.S. is so convinced of the correctness of its position, it should join most of the rest of the world and ratify the convention or have the issue arbitrated by a neutral body. I submit that one reason the U.S. does not do so is that it is afraid it will lose.

mark valencia

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