U.S. Coast Guard was reportedly proposed sending U.S. Coast Guard ships to the South China Sea, a heavily contested region where China is taking a hard-line stance.
“When you look at the East and South China seas, look at China’s Coast Guard, it is really the first face of China,” Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft told Voice of America.
With no coast guard vessels of its own in the region, the US is in an awkward position in the face of “civilian” Chinese vessels.
“I have proposed to the Department of Defense that if they were to leverage the U.S. Coast Guard, I would look at providing resources to provide the face of the United States behind a Coast Guard ship, should that be a consideration for our approach to the East and South China seas with the next administration,” he added.
To maintain regional order, United States may deploy coast guard vessels to the South China Sea, former congressman and national security adviser Roilo Golez said on Wednesday.
“Will the US Coast Guard (USCG) deploy their ships in the South China Sea under the Trump presidency? It looks like it,” Golez, a graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, said in a blog entry.
“That will make the game in the South China Sea more exiting. Another pushback in the making,” he said.