Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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US Wants Absolute Control of Disputed South China Sea: Report

US Wants Absolute Control of Disputed South China Sea: Report

(Photo : Getty Images) A report by Chinese experts said that the US will not change its policies regarding the South China Sea under the Trump administration.

The United States is seeking "absolute control" over the disputed South China Sea and will not withdraw its military forces from the region under the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, Chinese political experts said in a report released on Friday in Beijing.

According to the report, the US will likely continue to pursue regional supremacy in the disputed waters under the Trump government, which could include the continued deployment of US military troops in the area.

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The report, China's first ever public report on the US presence in the South China Sea, said the US has been seeking "regional hegemony" in the South China Sea and that ensuring "absolute control" over the territory has been the focus of its military efforts and strategy in the Asia-Pacific.

Trump government

Wu Shicun, head of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies who authored the report, said the US policy on the South China Sea would most likely be retained under a Trump government.

Another Chinese expert, Zhu Feng, said during the launch of the report that instead of change, there would be "continuity" in the US military policies in the South China Sea row and the Asia-Pacific region under the new government.

Zhu and Wu both agreed that there would be an increase in military spending under a Trump administration to keep up with existing US policies on the disputed waters.

Escalating tensions

Wu said tensions between Washington and Beijing are expected to escalate under Trump given that the US would not change its stance on the freedom of navigation patrols being conducted in the South China Sea.

Although President-elect Trump rarely mentioned the South China Sea issue during his campaign sorties. He, however, attacked China and threatened to impose high tariffs on imported China-made goods, branding Beijing as a currency manipulator.

Several Asian countries are laying claim to the disputed sea including Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, Philippines and Malaysia.

On July 12, a Hague-based international court ruled that China has no legal basis to its massive claims in the South China Sea. The court also said that China had violated the rights of the Philippines to explore its resources within its exclusive economic zone.

Beijing has, however, rejected the ruling and has continued with its construction of facilities in disputed shoals and islands.

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