US Navy destroyer conducts operation in South China Sea

US NAvy

Interaction between the Chinese and United States ships was "safe and professional", according to an unnamed United States official.

"If China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade", he said. Ongoing tensions in the South China Sea, on the Chinese-Indian border and on the Korean Peninsula will continue to produce new avenues of friction.

He said the concerns could then be discussed in the future meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) if China indeed proceeds with land reclamation and militarization.

An worldwide tribunal refuted China's claim to a large swathe of the South China Sea in 2016 in a case brought by the Philippines, though Beijing has rejected the ruling.

Under former President Obama, the USA suspended FONOPs in the South China Sea for three years between 2012 and 2015, during which time Beijing made massive strides towards militarizing the area. This is partly because not all 10 members are claimants to the South China Sea.

According to a US defense official, the USA destroyer was planning to sail within 6 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, one of Beijing's man-made islands.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer undertook the "freedom of navigation" mission to challenge China's claim to the territory.

"This clearly shows who does not want a stable South China Sea and who is the major force driving the militarization in these waters", the ministry spokesperson said.

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DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar stressed ASEAN did not ignore China's continued reclamation activities in the South China Sea.

Abe's government believes Japan is better placed than Washington to woo Southeast Asia away from Chinese influence, as it is free from the rules forbidding the United States to fully engage with non-democratic regimes, such as Thailand and Vietnam. "They're not reclaiming land anymore, so why will you put it again this year?"

Territorial waters are defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as extending no more than 12 nautical miles from a state's coastline. According to the ruling, the disputed Spratly Islets are not an exceptional economic zone. This fundamental security dilemma has now become plain for all to see: an increasingly aggressive China eroding a USA -led status quo with an increasingly divided and irrelevant ASEAN.

The USS John S McCain destroyer cnducted a fereedom of navigation patrol in disputed waters of the South China Sea on Thursday.

The ship entered the Meiji Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands on Thursday.

The Guardian reported Friday a USA official said the Chinese frigate sent radio warning at least 10 times to the USS McCain.

Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have already asked about taking Japan's submarine-hunting P3-C maritime patrol aircraft, made by Lockheed Martin Corp, as they are replaced by Kawasaki Heavy Industries P-1 planes, two of the sources said.

The U.S. military has a long-standing position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and they are separate from political considerations.

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