Published: Mon, July 03, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

US destroyer sails close to disputed island in the South China S

US destroyer sails close to disputed island in the South China S

China claims most of the south China sea, including areas very close to the coast of many countries of South-East Asia.

The representative pointed out that the United States had a comprehensive Freedom of Navigation Operations program (FONOP) aimed at challenging excessive maritime claims in order to preserve the rights, freedoms and uses of airspace and sea guaranteed for all countries.

The 12-mile line is the internationally recognized distance that separates the shores of a sovereign nation from global waters.

"Under the pretext of 'freedom of navigation, ' the USA side once again sent a military vessel into China's territorial waters off the Xisha Islands without China's approval", the spokesperson said in a statement, adding that such United States behavior "violated Chinese law and relevant worldwide law, infringed upon China's sovereignty, and disrupted the peace, security and order of the relevant waters".

In recent months, Trump has approached a traditional foe, Chinese President Xi Jinping, to assist in US -led efforts to disarm North Korea's nuclear weapons arsenal.

The Trump administration has also approved an arms package for Taiwan worth about $1.4 billion, the State Department said last week.

The Trump administration last week fined two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for their efforts in helping North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. "At least I know China tried!" he wrote at the time.

"U.S. forces operate in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea", Brown said.

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Beijing's continuing construction in the area will allow Chinese planes to operate over almost the entire South China Sea, according to the AMTI. "All operations are conducted in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

In late March, AMTI reported that dozens of aircraft hangars and high-end radar capabilities on the man-made islands in the South China Sea were nearly operational.

In February, 2017, China had 20 outposts in the Paracels. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims. "That is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe".

China has also expanded radar facilities on Fiery Cross and two other disputed reefs - Subi and Mischief - in the Spratly Island chain, and started building underground structures that Greg Poling, AMTI director, assesses will be used to store munitions. Beijing has called the moves purely defensive.

Beijing's occupation of features in the Spratlys is more recent and its development of large-scale artificial islands there began in late-2013.

Radar domes have recently been completed or are under construction around both Fiery Cross and Mischief, AMTI reported.

All three islands boast hangers that can accommodate 24 fighter jets and four larger planes, including surveillance, transport, refueling or bomber aircraft. Washington is particularly concerned about China placing ground-to-air missiles on the chain.

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