US warship in operation near disputed island in South China Sea

FILE PHOTO: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem transits waters east of the Korean peninsula during a photo exercise including the United States Navy and the Republic of Korea Navy during Operation Foal Eagle March 22, 2017. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kurtis A. Hatcher/Handout via REUTERS

A U.S. warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam on Sunday in an operation meant to challenge the competing claims of all three nations, a U.S. Defense Department official said.

The USS Stethem, a guided-missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, part of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, the official said.

The operation was first reported by Fox News on Sunday.

It was the second “freedom-of-navigation operation,” or “fonop,” conducted during the presidency of Donald Trump, following a drill in late May in which a U.S. warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement the U.S. ship had made an unauthorized entry into China’s territorial waters.

The operation was a “serious political and military provocation,” the statement, issued late on Sunday said, citing ministry spokesman Lu Kang. It said China had sent battle ships and fighter jets to warn off the Stethem.

“China strongly urges the U.S. side to immediately stop this kind of provocative action which seriously violates China’s sovereignty and puts at risk China’s security,” Lu said. China would take all necessary measures to defend itself, he said.

Twelve nautical miles marks the territorial limits recognized internationally. Sailing within those 12 miles is meant to show that the United States does not recognize territorial claims there.

“Unlike in the Spratlys, where China has created new artificial territory in the last several years, it has effectively controlled the Paracels since 1974,” said Mira Rapp-Hooper, a South China Sea expert at the Center for a New American Security. “It claims illegal straight baselines around the Paracels, and the fonop may have been contesting these.”

Trump has heaped praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping, but his administration has also stepped up pressure on Beijing as he has become frustrated that China has not done more to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

On Thursday, the administration imposed sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for helping North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and accused a Chinese bank of laundering money for Pyongyang.

The Trump administration has also approved an arms package for Taiwan worth about $1.4 billion, the State Department said last week. China deems Taiwan its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.

Trump is due to speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday, ahead of meetings he will hold with both leaders on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, next Friday and Saturday.

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati and David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Tony Munroe in BEIJING and Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI; Editing by Leslie Adler, Peter Cooney and Paul Tait)

Source: Reuters “U.S. warship in operation near disputed island in South China Sea”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


11 Comments on “US warship in operation near disputed island in South China Sea”

  1. Fre Okin says:

    Eureka moment!

    More than meets the eye. This is not about legal issues as readers are duped by USN propaganda. It is about A2AD while US is rapidly losing.

    The real reason is not the legality. It is US desperately wanting Chinese to stop the A2AD driving CSG, subs from the SCS once and for all. You see the parallel with US desperation to contain N Korea. USN is perpetuating the greatest fraud on the American public.


  2. […] War possible if conflict between two countries ‘not handled properly’ …” –  “US warship in operation near disputed island in South China Sea” – “US Navy Destroyer Challenges Territorial Claims In South China Sea” – […]


  3. Anon says:

    Better yet, send unmanned underwater submersible drones armed with bomb to cripple the incorrigible trespassing American boat.


    • Fre Okin says:

      Be careful what you wish for. Since no war is declared, this is just a game of ‘disputed territory’ which China can play as well like I mentioned below.

      The Art of War means winning without starting one recklessly. Be patient and the US sea monkey will fade away.


      • Fugu says:

        This is not “disputed” territory. Just Washington showing how “macho” it is.

        Didn’t you used to be quite hawkish advocating crab-torpedos and what not? Lol


    • Joseph says:

      Bomb is expensive, and the American would love excuses. Old cargo ships are cheaper. They’re mostly fully automated. Even Abu Shayaf can easily reproram them. In the Fitzgerald incident, the American is actually looking excuse of ‘terrorist attack’ by hacking the autopilot of the cargo ship by terrorists.


  4. Joseph says:

    Time to prepare the cargo ships with bulbous bows. There is an AIS-less ship nearby to sodomize.


  5. Fre Okin says:

    Expect the Chinese to do FON ‘within 12 NM’ of Hawaiian islands when she participate in RIMPAC. China dispute US ownership of some island features just like US dispute hers. Have fun!

    Check Hawaiian map. Far west there is a Chinese sounding name Puuwai, Nihau towns. There is Kuakamoku Rock and Kuakamoku Reef, Kawa Point. Since PCA ruling ‘Taiping island is a rock’, China can do FON inside 12 NM there, even 500′ if she is aggressive enough.


    • Joseph says:

      You don’t need to check the Chinese-sounding name. Hawaii was part of Nanyang. Before the American annexation of Hawaii, it was flourishing because of it lucrative trade of sandalwood, a good-quality ingredient for Chinese incense. The American has no use for sandalwood, but it is highly price by the Asians. To this day, there are two group of Chinese in Hawaii, the pre-Americans and the Chinese Americans. Now that the Chinese is once again strong, the Hawaiian is actively seeking Chinese support for independent Hawaii, free from the American, just like it was.