Gallagher, Panetta Introduce Legislation to Counter Chinese Aggression in South and East China Seas

June 27, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-08), joined by his colleague Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), yesterday introduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act. This legislation would sanction individuals and entities that support the Chinese Communist Party’s illegitimate activities in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Click here for bill text.

“Free and open access to the South and East China Seas is critical to both regional security and international commerce,” said Rep. Gallagher. “Through its illegitimate efforts to build and militarize islands in the region, the Chinese Communist Party has aggressively attempted to control these critical waterways and undermined international law. This legislation makes clear that any individual or entity supporting these illegal actions will be held accountable.”

“The United States will continue to oppose the militarization of the South and East China Seas,” said Congressman Panetta. “Blatant violations of international law must be confronted. This bipartisan legislation demonstrates Congress’s intent to discourage malignant, destabilizing activity in the Indo-Pacific region.”

This legislation would require the president to impose sanctions on individuals and entities who aid the construction or development of islands in the South China and East China Seas. Further, it would restrict foreign assistance to countries that recognize China’s sovereignty over the South and East China Seas, and would sanction foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct or facilitate transactions for those who have been sanctioned if China takes actions such as declaring an air defense identification zone over the region.

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