Ensure maritime freedom in South China Sea, Biden tells naval graduates

Maryland, USA Updated: May 28, 2022, 01:15 PM(IST)

(File) US President Joe Biden Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China claims the entirety of South China Sea citing ancient claims. This has brought it at odds with other countries in the region. US has sought to contest Chinese claims

US President Joe Biden on Friday (May 27) told Naval Academy graduates that their job will be to ensure maritime freedom in South China Sea. He was spaking before 1200 graduate cadets in Annapolis, Maryland. He told them that they were entering military service at a time of many global challenges.

"You'll defend the international rules of the road, underwrite the future of the Indo-Pacific that is free and open, ensure freedom of navigation of the South China Sea and beyond, and make sure the sea lanes remain open and secure," he said.

"These long-standing basic maritime principles are the bedrock of a global economy and global stability. You're going to help get together our allies in Europe and with our allies in the Indo-Pacific," Biden added.

China claims the entirety of South China Sea citing ancient claims. This has brought it at odds with other countries in the region. US has sought to contest Chinese claims.

During his speech Biden also spoke about situation in Europe where Ukraine is battling Russian invasion. Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's attempt to divide Europe had backfired.

Biden, who helped form a coalition of nations to oppose Russia's invasion of Ukraine, had harsh words for Putin and said his attempt to divide NATO allies had failed.

"Not only is he trying to take over Ukraine, he’s literally trying to wipe out the culture and identity of the Ukrainian people. Attacking schools, nurseries, hospitals, museums, with no other purpose than to eliminate a culture," Biden said.

Putin tried to "Finland-ize" Europe but "instead he NATO-ized all of Europe," said Biden, a reference to neutral nations Finland and Sweden's plans to join the alliance.

(With inputs from agencies)

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