A US destroyer carried out a “freedom of navigation” operation on Friday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, US officials told Reuters news agency.
The naval operation, which infuriated Beijing, was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as China’s efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the flashpoint waters.
The officials said the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands and carried out maneuvering operations.
China is engaged in territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area. Twelve nautical miles is an internationally recognized territorial limit.
The United States has strongly criticized China’s construction of islands and buildup of military facilities in the area, and is concerned they could be used to restrict free movement.
The latest American naval operation, the first since January, occurred just one day after US President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that will target up to $60 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs, following a 30-day consultation period that starts once a list is published.
When asked about the operation by Reuters, the US military said its activities are carried out under international law and American forces operate in the region on a daily bases.
“We conduct routine and regular freedom of navigation operations, as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future,” said Lieutenant Commander Nicole Schwegman, a spokeswoman for the US Pacific Fleet.
China’s Defense Ministry said two Chinese naval ships had been sent to identify the US ship and warn it to leave. It described the actions of the American ship as seriously harming China’s sovereignty and security, which threatens regional peace and stability, Reuters reported.
Such actions cause forces from both countries to come into close proximity and could easily cause a misjudgment or accident, and create serious political and military provocation for China, the ministry said.
China has always dedicated itself to protecting freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, but opposes “illegal and provocative” moves in the name of freedom of navigation, it added.
Innocent Passage means direction of travel is towards a destination other than shore of host eventhough vessel may be within 12miles territorial waters of claimant which is China. That is the approach taken in the past under Obama reign as well as first year of Trumps administration.
This time as claimed by US based media that "maneuver " is being executed. Thus Trumps administration is escalating passage to US definition of FONOP including tactical drill & exercise.
Should PLAN elevate her response with a little bit of body chemistry say maintaining few large rusty hulls in vicinity? naturally escorted by destroyers.
Shall the USA, Engliand or Vietnam build an island in the region and claim a 200 mile economic zone that infringes on China’s sovernty? Creating an artifical island and using is to claim territories is a dangerous precident that could come back to haunt China. The islands cannot be used for defense as they could be easly disimated within a few minutes. The CCP is creating an hostile environment and gaining nothing.
You Chinese lackey?
Really? Try it then!
Well actions speak louder than your words. Let go the missile barage and see what hapoens then!
The US desperately picks a fight to justify it’s trillion dollar defense spending…
Artificial Island. Not your to defend. Just nuke the island and then no one can use it.
How dare they claimed the whole china sea…when it was unheard of, 30 years ago or so
Yeah as if there no enough radiation around the world.
How can it be Chinese island? It is claimed by China, but doesn’t mean their own place. Disputed one.
Headline is slanted. "Buzzing" implies irresponsible behavior. The fundamental disagreement is over whether those are international waters. The US says yes. China says no. That’s it.
It would be prudent not to threaten anyway, unless you would like threats to return in your direction.
Chest-beating. Neither side wants a conflict, and I’ll give you one trillion reasons why such a conflict will ever happen.
As to "provocations", one can also suggest that this is an imperial land grab by China. Okay, sea grab, but you get my point. There are two sides to this story.
No one is nuking anyone. Irresponsible chest beating.
Nobody owns the sea and airspace in between landmasses. It’s as basic as that if you think of it. Why can’t we share its bounties instead of one to exploit? Greed indeed is unsatiable, unfathomable, immesurable….
It must be an american island??? Or??
You can’t even carry a conversation to a decent level w/o resorting to name callings, curses, etc…stay the course man and man up! You exposed your true self in my thread who is a brag, self-centered, egoistic individual. You lost your moral ascendancy to communicate with humanity once you resort to violence/verbal abuse/ridicule to your fellow human being. RESPECT…is the word. I expect to be treated as well. Having said that, I advise you to move on. I hope you do reply to this in Russian, one of the languages you speak to which I don’t understand. Good to me! I rest my case now. God bless you.
In this case, I fully support US. US should move withing 5-6 miles of these islands, I hope US will do it next time. Why US need to respect 12 miles? 12 miles only for NATURAL islands under international laws. I am not happy that as if US is recognzing these 12 miles as belonging to China’s FAKE island. What if China build a FAKE island only 200 miles from California and then declaring 12 miles around it as China’s territory? Wouls US respect these 12 miles China claiming so close to California? China cannot just build a FAKEL island and then claiming 12 nautical miles as territorail sea faround this island.
LOL… everytime US navy comes to Chinas territory China cries and threat like North Korea – but are impotent and cant do nothing. Admit it – you fear the US. Otherwise you would have engaged them long time ago. yellow chicken china
Ian Bishop As I said, America is guilty of many things, not the least of which is electing a fascist idiot to the presidency. But the South China Sea issue is not of America’s making. China has to own its mistakes as well.
Really, .make my day
Enrico Magtibay yes you are right i repeat freaking dog
Mustafa Kamal Satar how can USA build fake islands near Hainan? If they build it near California China won’t be worried. China built these islands near their territory calledSCS and not south USA sea. So your comparism doesn’t hold water.
Willie Caballero I think this matter is settle so that some of you will stop over estimating this American might. Don’t compare China with Iraq and Libya
Hahahaha. Go and nuke naaaa.
Viktor Kvc China build FAKE islands in INTERNATIONAL WATERS. International waters is international waters whether off HAINAN, China or off CALIFORNIA, USA.
Just because a part of an internatinational waters is NEAR your shores doesn’t mean youu can build an island there and claim overiengnty around it.
What if Mororcco or Spain builds a fake island in the Straits of Gubraltar on the premise that the Straits is closer to them and choke off freedom of navigation there? What if Russia builds a fake island in the international waters the Black Sea so close to Turkey on the same ludicrous proximity assumption.
Where these FAKE Chinese islands now stand, there used to be no land mass, only water in a part of international waters, no islands existed there and not blocking free passage there, ships used to sdail freely there. The sutiation is worse now by China claiming 12-mile limit around these fake islands that never existed before.
China might as well build fake islands in INTERNATIONAL WATERS anywhere on this planet. China is grabbing seas to illegally to build illegal islands that blocks international navgigation in a part of an international waters. My analogy still hold waters.
Comments are closed.