US Coast Guard Looks To Expand Presence In Pacific To Counter China's Activity - O'Brien

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th October, 2020) The US Coast Guard is looking to expand its presence in the Pacific to counter China's harassment of vessels, National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said in a statement.

"The United States is a Pacific power," O'Brien on Friday. "The People's Republic of China's illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and harassment of vessels operating in the exclusive economic zones of other countries in the Indo-Pacific, threatens our sovereignty, as well as the sovereignty of our Pacific neighbors and endangers regional stability."

The US Coast Guard will soon evaluate whether to send fast response cutters in the American Samoa to the South Pacific for maritime security operations, O'Brien said.

The maritime missions can include fisheries patrols, bolstering maritime domain awareness and enforcement efforts with regional partners, O'Brien added.

US-China relations have significantly soured in the past several years with Washington accusing Beijing of unfair trade practices, a poor response to the coronavirus outbreak, human rights violations and unwarranted territorial disputes with neighboring countries. China has denied the accusations and has criticized the United States for various violations of international law.