Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Medical | By Carla Vaughn

USA dares China, takes naval warships to Chinese waters without permission

USS John S McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, came within 12 miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

A stronger statement was released on August 6, in which the foreign ministers said that after an extensive discussion related to the South China Sea, they took note "of the concerns expressed by some ministers on the land reclamation and activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region".

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen recently after North Korea carried out two nuclear tests past year and two ICBM tests last month, prompting a strong round of United Nations sanctions.

Experts and officials have criticised President Barack Obama for potentially reinforcing China's claims by sticking to innocent passage, in which a warship effectively recognised a territorial sea by crossing it speedily without stopping.

"The document nearly didn't happen because of disagreement over references to the South China Sea disputes, with Vietnam leading the push for stronger language despite objections from Cambodia and the host, the Philippines. But China's own reclamation work did not end in mid-2015 with the completion of its artificial islands in the Spratlys", the think tank said on its website.

It was the third mission aimed at challenging China's claim on the territory under the Trump administration. The Department of Foreign Affairs did not comment further on the issue.

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.

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"We urge the USA to immediately correct its mistake, stop provocations in the name of "freedom of navigation"," it said.

"They called and said "please turn around, you are in our waters", the official said. Earlier in the week, Wang said talks on a nonaggression pact aimed at preventing clashes from erupting in the South China Sea may start this year if "outside parties" don't cause a major disruption, in an apparent reference to Washington and allies such as Japan.

The Pentagon declined to provide any details but said that all operations are conducted in accordance with global law. China said in July that its navy had the right to pass though a strait linking it with the Pacific Ocean, after one of its warships entered the area.

But analysts feel the opening of the first Chinese military base overseas was in tune with PLAN's ambitions to expand its global reach amidst China's growing economic and political footprint.

The SSF is also responsible for keeping an eye on the resource-rich South China Sea where China is involved in maritime disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam, among other nations.

The archipelago is claimed in its entirety by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines.

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