The US Coast Guard ship Munro (above) patrols and exercises together with the Japanese coast guard ship – Photo: WEEK CHANNEL
“The US Coast Guard has made a commitment to Indo-Pacific Command. We are in the process of building the largest shipbuilding program since World War II,” said Admiral Fagan. emphasized during a conference on maritime security in Hawaii on September 8.
Ms. Fagan, who served as commander of the US Coast Guard in the Pacific region, emphasized that the US Coast Guard is aiming to increase capacity through the construction of new ships.
According to her, more than 100 coast guard ships have been commissioned, including 25 offshore patrol boats and 64 high-speed patrol boats capable of operating up to 16,000km.
“These things will help us expand our ability to engage and cooperate across the Indo-Pacific in an unprecedented way,” said the deputy commander of the US Coast Guard.
In addition to illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, the US Coast Guard’s presence is also aimed at countering “bad actors” in Asia, according to Ms. Fagan.
Currently, the United States has established a fleet of rapid response coast guard ships in Guam and has strengthened relations with the coastguards of the Pacific islands, Japan and the territory of Taiwan.
Coast Guard ship Munro exercises with ships of the Coast Guard and the Philippine Fisheries Protection Agency at the end of August 2021 – Photo: TUAN MY
US Navy Rear Admiral Blake Converse, deputy commander of the US Pacific Fleet, commented that IUU is not just a civilian issue, but it is also related to diplomacy, security and politics because there are home factors. water.
He affirmed that fighting IUU is part of the Indo-Pacific strategy that the US is implementing.
According to Mr. Converse, the United States will help small and under-resourced countries combat “predatory” behavior at sea, referring to China and its huge fishing fleet, including maritime militia ships disguised as sea-borne militias. fishing boat.
The US rear admiral affirmed that Washington will share information with the small island nations and a number of other countries, so that the countries can counter “the state-sponsored fishing boats and fleets that are threatening the islands”. fishing boats of other countries”.
“While the navy may not be the first thing people think of when it comes to combating IUU, I can assure you that we are very invested in this mission,” Converse said at the conference. September 8th.
The statements of the US generals are considered remarkable in the context of China’s revised Maritime Traffic Safety Law that has just taken effect on September 1.
Under the law, foreign ships entering “China’s territorial waters” must declare information, including military vessels, if Beijing considers them to pose a threat to maritime security.
The US Navy responded to this law on September 8 by sending a warship to 12 nautical miles of water around a feature illegally occupied by China in the South China Sea.
The combination of the US Navy and Coast Guard is based on the “Three Maritime Forces Strategy” announced in December 2020.
Observers believe that this is a solution to the gray zone tactics that China has used to promote unreasonable claims in the South China Sea.
US warships have repeatedly challenged China’s claims and led to anxiety in Southeast Asia, fear of being caught up in the US-China competition and being forced to choose sides.