US PALAU MARITIME AGREEMENT
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- The United States has signed a new agreement with Palau, which gives American ships the authorization to unilaterally enforce maritime regulations in the tiny Pacific Island nation’s exclusive economic zone, the U.S. Coast Guard.
Highlights of the Agreement
- The US Coast Guard will have an expanded right to board vessels in Palau's waters under a new maritime law enforcement agreement. The Agreement comes after incursions by Chinese ships into the Pacific Island country's exclusive economic zone.
- Palau, one of a handful of nations to recognise Taiwan rather than Beijing and an ally of the US, has reported at least four unwanted incursions into its remote North Pacific waters by Chinese research vessels since 2018.
- The Palau agreement allows the Coast Guard to enforce regulations in the country's waters without a Palauan officer present.
- In May 2023, a Chinese research vessel, appeared to show interest in Palau's undersea Fibre Optic Cable during a days-long foray into the country's exclusive economic zone.
- The China-US competition for influence in the Pacific has added to the tensions between the two countries in East Asia and other regions.
- Beijing's influence in the Pacific has increased over the past two decades through a combination of trade, infrastructure and aid as it seeks to isolate Taiwan diplomatically, gain allies in international institutions and advance its economic and security interests.
- Thus, the US has recently sought to reinforce its close relationships with Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands in the militarily strategic northwestern Pacific as part of a broader effort to respond to China's inroads in the region. It provides economic assistance to the three countries and has exclusive rights for military access to their territories under compacts of free association.
Importance of the Agreement
- The agreement will help Palau monitor its exclusive economic zone, combat illegal fishing and deter uninvited vessels from conducting questionable manoeuvres within our waters.
- This agreement helps Palau monitor our exclusive economic zone, protect against Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and deter uninvited vessels from conducting questionable manoeuvres within our waters.
- It’s these types of partnerships that help us work toward our common goal of peace and prosperity in the region.
About and Location
- Palau is a Micronesian country of about 340 islands in the Pacific Ocean to the southeast of the Philippines. Other neighbors are Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
- The islands of Palau constitute the westernmost part of the Caroline Islands chain.
- It has an area of around 466 square kilometers.
- Babeldaob Island serves as the capital of this island nation.
- The Palauan society is based on a strict matrilineal system. Women are the decision makers in the society. Matrilineal practices prevail in inheritance, marriage, funeral, and all other aspects of life in the country.
- Palau has a tropical rainforest climate with an annual mean temperature of 28 °C (82 °F).
- The average humidity is 82% and, although rain falls more frequently between June and October, there is still much sunshine.
- Palau lies on the edge of the typhoon belt.
- Tropical disturbances frequently develop near Palau every year, but significant tropical cyclones are quite rare.
Q. Consider the following statements with reference to Palau:
1. Palau is a Micronesian country of about 340 islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
2. The Palauan society is based on a strict matrilineal system.
3. Palau lies on the edge of the typhoon belt.
4. American ships have the authorization to unilaterally enforce maritime regulations in Palau’s exclusive economic zone.
How many of the above are correct?
A) Only 1
B) Only 2
C) Only 3
Answer: C) Only 3