‘Time bomb!’ says the narrator. With South China Sea maritime legislation, Beijing inflames war tensions.


‘Time bomb!’ says the narrator. With South China Sea maritime legislation, Beijing inflames war tensions.

CHINA’S most recent maritime restrictions governing foreign ships have sparked fears of a ‘ticking time bomb’ for a potential confrontation in the South China Sea.

China passed the Maritime Traffic Safety Law on September 1, requiring all foreign vessels entering Chinese waters to have permits and notify maritime authorities of their arrival. Before entering China’s territorial sea, foreign vessels must disclose their call signs and cargo.

“In the event that the vessel fails to report as required,” the warning reads. It shall be dealt with by the maritime administration in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, rules, and provisions.”

The new prohibitions, according to China’s Maritime Safety Administration, apply to any foreign vessels that “endanger China’s maritime traffic safety.”

This covers nuclear vessels as well as ships transporting radioactive or hazardous materials.

According to Chinese analysts, the new regulations are intended to preserve national security at sea.

Su Tzu-Yun, Taiwan’s Director of the Institute of National Defense and Strategic Research’s Division of Defense Strategy and Resources, confirmed that Beijing believes China’s maritime authority to extend beyond its own waters.

Su said that the 12 nautical mile radius around artificial reefs in the South China Sea would be included.

Su says that this gives Beijing a justification to retaliate to other countries’ navigation exercises.

China’s claims to territory coincide with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

According to the Taipei Times, China’s new regulations tightening regulations on foreign ships have sparked fears of a “ticking time bomb” in the South China Sea.

The new regulation comes a month after Beijing denounced a US-Taiwan arms transfer worth $750 million (£540 million) as a “vicious provocation.”

The new arms sale between the United States and Taiwan comprised 40 self-propelled artillery pieces.

The US, according to China’s foreign ministry, is “creating serious damage to China-US relations” by “sending a false signal to Taiwanese independence forces.”

The US agreement is part of a larger strategy to curb what the US perceives to be Chinese expansionism.


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