Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

US Navy destroyer challenges Beijing in South China Sea

South China Sea South China Sea
Kenny Thornton | 12 August, 2017, 14:36

McCain sailed near Mischief Reef in a "freedom of navigation" operation. The reef is part of a string of highly strategic islets and shoals where Beijing has built artificial islands to stage military bases.

Donald Trump has also impacted on US-China relations with his insistence that Beijing rein in North Korea.

"He made that statement in context of Philippine claims, walang nire-reclaim ang (no reclamations are being made by) China regarding matters pertaining to us, patungkol sa atin". The operation on Thursday punctuated that stance.

But two Chinese frigates began to follow the McCain, staying about 1,000 yards away but keeping a close watch on the ship.

"China's own reclamation work did not end in mid-2015 with the completion of its artificial islands in the Spratlys".

China insists that a much-delayed code of conduct between it and ASEAN members over the disputed sea must not be legally binding, a demand to which Southeast Asian countries have so far acquiesced.

On Friday, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman said "some foreign forces move against the tide, and continue to make trouble under "freedom of navigation".

US, Japan, and Australia have denounced China's island building and militarization of the South China Sea.

He added that the Chinese Navy identified the warship, warned and expelled it.

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a similar statement.

The CSIS report said 64 per cent of China's maritime trade passed through the sea, compared to 14 per cent of United States maritime trade.

It's true in the South China Sea.

According to an American official, Chinese forces called the McCain, asking her to leave "our waters".

At a time when China and Southeast Asian countries have agreed to solve and manage the South China Sea issue through bilateral talks and to avoid influence by nonregional forces, the U.S. behavior shows that Washington wants to maintain its presence in the region, instead of solving the issue, Zhou said. They do that on a daily basis, including the South China Sea. It's true in the South China Sea.

The Djibouti base will also provide a resting place for Chinese navy personnel, he said.

The Philippine government does not see anything wrong with the United States' latest freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea.

Geng said, "China has the firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests".

China's claims in the South China Sea, through which about US$5 trillion worth of global trade passes each year are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

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