Focus: GS-III International Relations
Why in news?
The United States blacklisted 24 Chinese companies and targeted a number of individuals it said were part of construction and military actions related to disputed islands in the South China Sea.
- The U.S. Commerce Department said the two dozen companies played a “role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarise the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.”
- The State Department, in a separate statement, said it would impose visa restrictions on Chinese individuals “responsible for, or complicit in,” such action and those linked to China’s “use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources.”
Act of ‘intimidation’
- The United States accuses China of militarising the South China Sea and trying to intimidate Asian neighbors who might want to exploit its extensive oil and gas reserves.
- The U.S. has conducted multiple freedom of navigation operations by sending its warships through the area to assert the freedom of access to international waterways.
- China claims 90% of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of an area through which about $3 trillion of trade passes each year.
-Source: The Hindu