Monday, Jun 24

US warship sails in China Sea amid trade tensions

China claims almost all of the strategic South China Sea and slams the US and its allies over naval operations near Chinese islands.
20.05.2019 - 11:24

The US military said one of its warships sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea on Sunday, a move likely to anger Beijing at a time of tense ties between the world’s two biggest economies.

THE SECOND US OPERATION IN THE LAST MONTH

The busy waterway is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the US-China relationship, which also include a trade war, US sanctions and Taiwan.

The US destroyer Preble carried out the operation, a US military spokesman said. “Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Reef in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” said Commander Clay Doss.

It was the second such US military operation in the South China Sea in the last month. On Wednesday, the chief of the US Navy said its freedom of navigation movements in the disputed South China Sea drew more attention than they deserved.

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