05 June 2018 | Various Sources | Hawkins Bay Dispatch
Under a rules–based order, states only take actions that conform to agreed rules and norms. It is a consensual order with change managed by multilateral institutions and diplomacy.
“The US has created a grand narrative consisting of keywords including ‘rule-based order’, ‘freedom of navigation and overflight’, and ‘militarisation’ – once you hear these words, you know it’s a criticism targeting China,” said Yao Yunzhu, a retired PLA major general and a delegate at the forum.
The United States has taken the lead, followed by some of its Western allies including Japan and Australia in particular, in alarmist messaging on China’s rise. “Rules-based order” is one of the buzzwords they use very frequently in their speeches and statements at the SLD to explicitly or implicitly accuse China of ignoring or violating the rules, thus posing a threat to the regional or international order.
They do this so often that the mere citation of the “rules-based order” by any speaker on Asia Pacific security at the Dialogue could be perceived and described by international media as a “rebuke of China” or at least a “thinly veiled criticism of China.”
France, Britain to sail warships in contested South China Sea to challenge Beijing Defence ministers tell security forum they are contributing to rule-based order
India: Without mentioning China, the Indian leader called for a common rules-based order for the region that would equally apply to all nations.
Australia: Australian Minister of Defense Marise Payne said that changes to the rules-based order must be agreed upon through open discussion. Australia called on all countries to clarify and resolve their territorial claims in the South China Sea based on international law.
France: France had also conducted freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea last year, along with the United Kingdom and Germany.
United Kingdom: UK Secretary of State for Defense Gavin Williamson noted that threats to rules-based order are also threats to the world’s prosperity and security.
A UN tribunal’s ruling upholds the need for a rules-based order that counters China’s efforts to turn the South China Sea region into a sphere of influence, says expert Andrew Erickson.
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