Saturday, 23 February, 2019

China strongly dissatisfied by US warships entering South China Sea

Gold Bars and Dollar China strongly dissatisfied by US warships entering South China Sea
Melinda Barton | 12 February, 2019, 07:56

If a deal wasn't made by that date, the White House has said it will raise the tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10%.

British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson confirmed in a speech Monday morning that the Royal Navy's HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail into waters that are the subject of dispute between China and other nations.

Two US Navy destroyers conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea on Monday, challenging China's claims to the Spratly Islands.

During that operation, a Chinese destroyer came within 41kms of the U.S. warship, forcing it to manoeuvre to avoid a collision.

Guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble entered the waters without permission from China, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

The FONOP involved the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble, which patrolled through the area to "challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by worldwide law", as U.S. Navy 7th Fleet spokesman Cmdr.

The objective was "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways", as well as to show that the United States "will fly, sail, and operate wherever global law allows", Cmdr.

China has laid claim to nearly all of the strategic South China Sea which is viewed as important for shipping lanes and potential resources.

'The relevant actions of the USA warships violated Chinese sovereignty, and undermined peace, security, and order in the relevant sea areas, ' Hua said.

An airstrip, structures, and buildings on China's man-made Subi Reef in the Spratly chain of islands in the South China Sea. In January, the destroyer USS McCampbell sailed within 22kms of the Paracel Islands.

"There's been sort of a steady increase", Admiral John Richardson, the US Chief of Naval Operations, told reporters earlier this month when asked about China's militarization of the area.

The United Kingdom will deploy its new aircraft carrier, loaded with two squadrons of F-35 aircraft into the politically-fraught South China Sea.

China says the bases are essential for self-defense and accused the USA of ramping up tensions in the region by sending battleships and warplanes close to the disputed islands.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan have competing claims in the region.

The two countries are also at odds over regional security, including Washington's overtures to the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own.