China island-building still on

12 August, 2017, 00:17 | Author: Warren Cooper
  • North Korea war

China expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the United States over the Navy's latest freedom of navigation operation in which a warship sailed past one of China's man-made islands in the strategic South China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a similar statement.

The United States and its regional allies have accused Beijing of inflaming tensions in the South China Sea by expanding islands and reefs into military installations, refusing multilateral negotiations over overlapping territorial claims and spurning a ruling past year from an worldwide tribunal that rejected the legality of China's claims to much of the sea.

Geng said, "China has the firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests".

China reiterated that the USA provocation will force PLA to take further measures to strengthen homeland defense capacity.

A handout photo dated 14 June 2017, made available by the US Navy on 10 August 2017 showing the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) maneuvering alongside the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6, unseen) for a refueling-at-sea at the Philippine Sea.

"All operations are conducted in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever worldwide law allows", he said.

"China is resolutely opposed to this kind of show of force and pushing of regional militarization by the USA that may easily cause an unexpected incident at sea or in the air", the ministry said in a statement.

"China holds indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands and surrounding waters", Beijing's defense ministry said.

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"The continuing reclamation and militarization in these waters, if the report and photos from a Washington-based think tank are accurate, these can be taken up by the ASEAN in future discussions, so we defer to ASEAN", said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella on Friday, August 11.

McCain "traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals", Reuters reported.

China has territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano claimed Tuesday the Philippines did not want to mention land reclamation in the Joint Communiqué of the foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as China is no longer reclaiming land.

Washington is accusing China of taking an aggressive stance on the issue because of its island reclamation projects. "To this end, Beijing has undertaken substantial upgrades of its military infrastructure in the Paracels". That occurred around Triton Island in the Paracel archipelago, which is claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

They sought compliance with an arbitration ruling previous year that invalidated China's claims in the South China Sea. It is also believed to be rich in natural resources, including oil.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Chris Logan declined to comment on whether there had been a freedom of navigation sailing but he said the United States would continue to do such operations.

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