The new bipartisan bill, if approved, would severely punish organizations and individuals involved in China’s illegal expansion and militaryization in the South China Sea.
While the US Navy is strengthening its maritime freedom operations in the South China Sea, the sea is in dispute with China’s unreasonable claims. US lawmakers also promoted sanctions against organizations and individuals involved in Beijing’s military expansion on this strategic sea, Asia Times said.
In a rare move announced by the bipartisan in the United States, Senator Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton, from the Republican Party and Senator Ben Cardin from the Democratic Party, last week officially re-launched the parliament. The law punishes the East Sea and the East China, a punitive measure aimed at organizations and individuals in China.
Target 25 Chinese companies
The bill lists a list of 25 companies in China related to illegal accretion and construction in the South China Sea, including the CCCC Dredging Company, a subsidiary of China Road Construction Group ( CCCC). The company has dredged and built illegal artificial islands in the South China Sea.
Major companies on the list include China Oil and Gas Group (Sinopec), China Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). China Mobile, China Telecom and China Aerospace Industry and Science Group (CASIC).
If sanctioned, the companies listed will be banned from trading at US-based or owned financial institutions, a blow to their global orientation.
Some analysts consider the bill a potential diplomatic choice against China, as trade wars between the two countries are escalating. If passed, the bill shows bipartisan focus in dealing with China.
The bill was published at a sensitive time when the trade war between Beijing and Washington was going very complicated. The rigid language of the bill will inevitably lead to Chinese opposition.
The bill may complicate trade wars, if China’s leading companies are punished in relation to the South China Sea. In addition, the bill calls on the US government to expand maritime freedom activities in the South China Sea and respond accordingly to Chinese provocations.
The bill was first published in 2017, requiring the government to impose sanctions on immigration and blockade of assets in the United States for any Chinese who contribute to construction projects, or actions. threatens peace and stability in the South China Sea.
With China’s comprehensive approach to the South China Sea issue, all relevant government and military agencies are involved in boosting Beijing’s claim in the South China Sea. Sanctions can go beyond state-owned and military companies, as well as local authorities.
New military strategy comes with sanctions
If passed, the bill would end the long-standing US neutrality of disputed territories near China, especially the South China Sea, according to Asia Times. The tough stance of President Donald Trump’s administration in trade negotiations, coupled with a more focused defense policy on China.
America’s strategic change could force regional countries to soon choose sides. This week, US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan plans to announce the India-Pacific strategy at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
The new strategy includes new military, diplomatic and economic measures to prevent and punish China’s maritime expansionism in the region. The new strategy may call on allies and partners to increase maritime freedom, boost defense aid to countries like the Philippines, or Taiwan.
In addition, the new strategy encourages expanded naval drills and enhanced coordination and military cooperation in the region. The Indian-Pacific strategy will concretize the former President Barack Obama’s Asian strategy, pledging to deploy 60% of US Navy power in the region.
“I have met some people in Asia who do not trust the government’s policy of turning to Asia first. But now they can see that we are getting closer. We not only attend meetings but also act. Our military is active there, “US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview.