Skip to main content

American Warship Sails Near Disputed Islands, Challenging China

USS Decatur conducts 10-hour patrol in the South China Sea, sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-held outposts in Spratly island chain

The USS Decatur operates in the South China Sea in October 2016. PHOTO: PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS DIANA QUINLAN/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

72 COMMENTS

By 

Gordon Lubold in Washington and 

Jeremy Page in Beijing

Updated Sept. 30, 2018 3:49 a.m. ET

A U.S. Navy warship patrolled near at least two Chinese-held outposts in the disputed Spratly island chain in the South China Sea on Sunday, challenging Beijing’s maritime claims amid growing tensions between the two countries.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur navigated past Gaven and Johnson reefs over the course of a 10-hour patrol in the South China Sea, sailing within 12 nautical miles of both features in what amounts to a freedom of navigation operation, or FONOP.

The two outposts are among seven where China has built heavily fortified artificial islands since 2013, raising fears among its Asian neighbors and in the U.S. that Beijing could use them to enforce its claims to almost all of the South China Sea.

RELATED

South Korean Warship Sails by Disputed South China Sea Islands (Sept. 28, 2018)China Denies U.S. Navy Ship’s Request for Hong Kong Visit (Sept. 25, 2018)U.S. Hits Chinese Unit in New Phase of Sanctions on Russia (Sept. 20, 2018)China Retaliates With Tariffs on $60 Billion of U.S. Goods (Sept. 19, 2018)Trump Announces New Tariffs on Chinese Imports (Sept. 18, 2018)China Says British Warship Entered Its Territorial Waters Without Permission (Sept. 6, 2018)China Protests U.S. Warships in Disputed Waters (May 27, 2018)

U.S. forces operating in the region navigate through international waters regularly and always abide by international law, a U.S. official said, adding that such patrols demonstrate the U.S. will “fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.”

“That is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe,” the official said. “FONOPs are not about any one country, nor are they about making political statements,” the official said.

There was no immediate response from the Chinese government. Beijing says it has “indisputable sovereignty” over all South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters.

Last week, China said the recent flight of American B-52 bombers over the South China Sea was “provocative.” The Pentagon called the flight routine.

The last time the U.S. conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea was in May, when two warships—the USS Antietam and USS Higgins—navigated through the Paracel Islands.

Such maritime patrols are typically planned weeks in advance. Still, Sunday’s patrol comes amid rising tensions with China.

This month, the State Department imposed sanctions on a Chinese military agency for buying Russian combat aircraft and a surface-to-air missile system.


That resulted in China formally complaining to U.S. ambassador Terry Branstad and the acting defense attaché, and recalling Beijing’s navy chief, Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong, during a high-level visit to the U.S., canceling a Pentagon meeting with his counterpart, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. China also denied a request from the U.S. Navy for an American warship to schedule a port visit in Hong Kong.

Tension over economic issues between the two countries have been high too. The Trump administration imposed new 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods last week, which led China to declare tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods.

The patrol Sunday follows a series of patrols through those waters from American allies, including a British ship which conducted a freedom of navigation patrol in August in the Paracels, which are controlled by China but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. French navy ships navigated through the Spratly Islands in May. This month, a South Korean navy ship sailed close to disputed waters in the South China Sea, but Seoul said the ship was taking refuge during a typhoon and wasn’t challenging China’s claims.

Write to Gordon Lubold at Gordon.Lubold@wsj.com and Jeremy Page at jeremy.page@wsj.com

SHOW COMMENTS(72)

What to Read Next...


https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-warship-sails-near-spratly-islands-challenging-china-1538290867

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

https://www.dawn.com/news/1366135

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

China’s 'Digital Silk Road': Pitfalls Among High Hopes

https://thediplomat.com/2017/11/chinas-digital-silk-road-pitfalls-among-high-hopes/


Will information and communication technologies help China realize its Digital Silk Road?By Wenyuan WuNovember 03, 2017In his speech at the opening ceremony of China’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping depicted China as a model of scientific and harmonious development for developing nations. Xi’s China wants to engage the world through commerce but also through environmental protection and technological advancement. This includes Beijing’s efforts to fight climate change with information and communication technologies (ICTs) that it plans to export along its “One Belt One Road” initiative (OBOR). Xi may have ambitious plans, but could China be throwing up obstacles in its own way?In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need to modernize the country’s environmental protections. The Chinese state is taking an “ecological civilization” approach to development and diplomacy, with a natio…