Beijing warns United States away from disputed reefs in South China Sea

Jan 23, 2018, 01:37
Beijing warns United States away from disputed reefs in South China Sea

He said the USA warship had already left the vicinity.

Monday's editorial put it this way: "If the relevant party once more makes trouble out of nothing and causes tensions, then it will only cause China to reach this conclusion: to earnestly protect peace in the South China Sea, China must strengthen and speed up the building of its abilities there".

But Manila's Malacanang Palace said it did not want to be part of the latest spat between Beijing and Washington. "The United States can take care of its own interest", Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Lu said as the warship sailed in the area without government permission, "China will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty".

Jay L. Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines' Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said the Duterte government's response could help China and hinder the lending credence to Beijing's claims.

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The US Embassy in Manila, referring to the "strategic point" description, clarified on Sunday that the US military presence in the area had to do with partnership with the Philippine military.

Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam each also claim some shred of the region - but China has aggressively pushed its claim through the construction of artificial islands around the disputed Spratly Island chain.

On Wednesday, a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed near territory that China has claimed sovereignty over in another of a series of Freedom of Navigation missions intended as a sort of diplomatic show of force, making it clear to the Chinese government that the United States does not acknowledge China's ownership of what now constitutes almost the entire waterway.

One of the more commonly challenged excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea that has featured prominently across multiple U.S. FONOPs is a prior notification requirement for innocent passage. China refused to participate and ignored the decision.

Instead of asserting the Philippine victory, President Rodrigo Duterte, who came to power in June 2016, chose to mend fences with China in exchange for loans and investments. -China and U.S. -Philippine ties - especially because the Philippines, which used to control the shoal, appears to have lost interest in contesting it. He has promised, however, to take up the arbitration ruling with China at a still-unspecified time during his six-year presidency. (Inset) Chinese air patrol with Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in background.

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China has matched Duterte's gesture by reportedly easing restrictions on Filipino fishermen at Panatag Shoal.

"Against this backdrop of peace and cooperation, a U.S. ship wantonly provoking trouble is singleminded to the point of recklessness", the article reads, arguing that USA naval activity is a hindrance to peace and stability in the South China Sea.

"All I'm saying is that there is still no breach of the good faith obligation for as long as China has not embarked on new reclamations", he said.

"We have no say over whatever the Americans do in the South China Sea".

The US does not claim territory in the South China Sea but has declared it has a national interest in ensuring that the territorial disputes there are resolved peacefully in accordance with global law.

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The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) and the Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE-6) conduct an underway replenishment in the USA 5th Fleet area of responsibility.