US, EU express concern about Beijing's 'problematic' actions in South China Sea
China claims sovereignty over Taiwan despite the island's self-governance for more than seven decades
Washington: The United States and the European Union have expressed concerns over China's growing military aggression in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, saying that they would work together to manage their rivalry with Beijing.
The two sides said China's actions in the South China Sea, East China Seas and Taiwan Strait "undermine peace and security in the region and have a direct impact on the security and prosperity of both the United States and European Union," according to AJ Jazeera.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R Sherman and European External Action Service Secretary-General Stefano Sannino led the first U.S.-EU high-level consultations on the Indo-Pacific on December 3 in Washington during which they reviewed their respective Indo-Pacific engagement and strategies.
Both reaffirmed their intention to work together and with partners in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive, based on the rule of law and democratic values, and contributes to the stability, security, and sustainable development of the region.
"The United States and the European Union share a strategic interest in strengthening cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific on the basis of shared values and interests, and in support of multilateral rules-based frameworks. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN centrality and supporting a strong and independent ASEAN," US State Department said in a statement.
The statement said that both sides share an interest in security, stability, and predictability in the region, including regarding freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.
They reconfirmed their interest in stability and the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and both sides noted a shared interest in deepening cooperation with Taiwan consistent with their respective "one-China" policies.
This comes as Beijing has aggressively pushed its nine-dash line claims in the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea. The other claimants to the SCS islands are Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Further, China has demonstrated an aggressive approach in pressing its territorial claims against its neighbours. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan despite the island's self-governance for more than seven
The US-EU Dialogue on China was set up in 2021, and the statement followed its second high-level meeting. The next high-level meeting is expected to take place next year.
It is unclear how these spectators will be selected and whether they will have to quarantine before or after the Games.
Athletes and officials have already started to land in the capital ahead of the Games, immediately entering a tightly controlled bubble separating them from the rest of the population.
Over 100 virus cases have been reported in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou since last week, as China battles to contain multiple local outbreaks of the Delta and Omicron variants