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US House Committee Tackles Chinese ‘Activities’ in South China Sea

The United States House of Representatives (HoR) Foreign Affairs Committee will dig into China’s “activities” in the South China Sea (SCS).

According to the advisory shared by the US Embassy in the Philippines, the hearing is scheduled at 2 p.m. Thursday (2 a.m. Friday Manila).

The committee’s agenda was entitled, “The Lasers and Water Canons: Exposing the Chinese Communist Party’s harassment in the South China Sea.”

The US HoR invited the following “witnesses” or resource persons: Dr. Jung Pak, Department of State deputy assistant secretary for multilateral affairs; Lindsey Ford, Department of Defense deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia; and Vice Admiral Andrew Tiongson, US Coast Guard Pacific Area commander.

The Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) last February 8 beamed a military-grade laser light on a Philippine Coast Guard ship which was on a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The incident caused temporary blindness to the PCG personnel.

On March 8, security and maritime experts urged the government to stand up against Chinese aggression in the WPS and dissolve the “gray zone” tactics China employs to control the SCS.

In a forum, the national security, maritime law, and geopolitical experts also suggested on Wednesday that the Philippines engage in “collective deterrence” with “like-minded” allies.

These were some of their recommendations during a forum on “gray zone operations” in the Indo-Pacific organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute, in partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Philippines.

The Philippine government last August 7 summoned Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian to protest the August 5 water bombing of Philippine vessels on a resupply mission to the Ayungin Shoal.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has “firmly asked” China to direct its vessels to stop their illegal action against Philippine vessels and to stop interfering in legitimate Philippine activities.”

Source : Manila Times