U.S. warships sail in disputed South China Sea, angering China


WASHINGTON (Information) – U.S. Navy warships twice sailed close to islands claimed by China within the South China Sea previously few days, the U.S. navy advised Information on Thursday, at a time of heightened pressure between the world’s two largest economies.

FILE PHOTO: An aerial photograph taken although a glass window of a Philippine navy aircraft exhibits the alleged on-going land reclamation by China on mischief reef within the Spratly Islands within the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, Could 11, 2015. Information/Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool

The busy waterway is certainly one of a variety of flashpoints within the U.S.-China relationship, which embrace a commerce struggle, U.S. sanctions, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Earlier this week throughout high-level talks, China referred to as on the U.S. navy to cease flexing its muscle groups within the South China Sea and including “new uncertainties” over democratic Taiwan, which is claimed by China as a wayward province.

The U.S. Navy repeatedly angers China by conducting what it calls “freedom of navigation” operations by ships near among the islands China occupies, asserting freedom of entry to worldwide waterways.

The littoral fight ship Gabrielle Giffords traveled inside 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef on Wednesday, Commander Reann Mommsen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, advised Information.

The destroyer Wayne E. Meyer challenged restrictions on harmless passage within the Paracel islands on Thursday, Mommsen mentioned.

“These missions are based mostly within the rule of regulation and exhibit our dedication to upholding the rights, freedoms, and lawful makes use of of the ocean and airspace assured to all nations,” she mentioned.

China’s navy confirmed on Friday that the 2 U.S. warships had sailed via the contentious waterways and mentioned it tracked the passage of the American ships.

“We urge (the US) to cease these provocative actions to keep away from any unforeseeable accidents,” the spokesman for China’s Southern Theatre Command mentioned in an announcement. “China has indeniable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and its surrounding space.”

China claims nearly all of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, the place it has established navy outposts on synthetic islands. Nonetheless, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam even have claims to elements of the ocean.

The USA accuses China of militarizing the South China Sea and attempting to intimidate Asian neighbors who would possibly wish to exploit its intensive oil and gasoline reserves.

U.S. Protection Secretary Mark Esper met Chinese language Protection Minister Wei Fenghe earlier this week for closed-door talks on the sidelines of a gathering of protection ministers in Bangkok.

Wei urged Esper to “cease flexing muscle groups within the South China Sea and to not provoke and escalate tensions within the South China Sea,” a Chinese language spokesman mentioned.

Esper has accused Beijing of “more and more resorting to coercion and intimidation to advance its strategic goals” within the area.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Further reporting by Huizhong Wu in Beijing; Enhancing by Sandra Maler, Rosalba O’Brien and Paul Tait