UK To Send F-35s, Aircraft Carrier to South China Sea
UK To Send F-35s, Aircraft Carrier to South China Sea
US destroyers sail in disputed South China Sea amid trade tensions with China
12 February, 2019, 07:58
At the start of next month, U.S. tariffs on $200billion (£155billion) worth of Chinese imports are set to more than double from 10% to 25%.
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 alleged incursion by two US warships into the internationally disputed waters of the South China Sea was the second such move within five weeks.
Monday's operation was the second in the South China Sea reported by the US Navy this year.
"Spruance and Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by worldwide law".
"Such exercises have often been carried out by the U.S. Navy and have been the cause diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing".
Communist superpower China claims ownership over nearly all of the South China Sea - frequently slamming the United States and its allies for naval operations in the territory.
Beijing sharply criticised the operation. When asked if the Navy's move would affect the talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called it "a series of USA tricks, "according to Reuters". Beijing rejected the ruling and the authority of the tribunal.
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It remains to be seen if Monday's operation will impact the negotiations.
China then accused the United States of trespassing, and Chinese media announced it had deployed a "far-reaching anti-ship ballistic missile", the DF-26, that was "capable of targeting medium and large ships".
The Chinese military has since bolstered its presence in the region through deploying surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, jamming technology, and other defence systems to Chinese-occupied territories.
Analysts have said it would be hard for the world's two largest economies to resolve their trade disputes by the designated date, given the challenge of USA demands for structural reform in China to address issues of intellectual property protection, forced technology transfers and state subsidies favouring domestic companies.
The destroyers conducted the passage, illustrating the continuing US military presence in the area, to which China routinely has objected.
The US Navy, however, has stressed that it's not going anywhere.
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