Trump restarts freedom of navigation tours, setting up dispute with Xi
Wars take years to begin. Huge forces must build and certain norms must collapse under the weight of those forces. The world has been heading toward war AGAIN in the Korea peninsula ever since Wendy Sherman and Bill Clinton decided foolishly — to allow the North Korean nuclear program a way forward. Just like she did in Iran more recently. But that’s another story.
As noted before, this entire thing isn’t about North Korea, it’s about China, and Chinese plans to completely dominate the area around their country – and have hegemony far beyond that.
The National Post
From Reports by Bloomberg and The Washington Post, May 25, 2017
The US warship USS Dewey sailed near a reef claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea on May 25, 2017, a US official said, the first such operation by US President Donald Trump’s administration in the disputed waterway. Beijing again denounced the move Thursday.
China’s government warned a U.S. warship to leave waters around a reef it claims in the South China Sea, saying the vessel was trespassing on its territory and undermining security in the region.
The U.S. warship entered waters adjacent to the Spratly islands, an area where China has “indisputable sovereignty,” defense ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said at a briefing in Beijing on Thursday. China “identified, tracked, verified and warned off the ship.”
The so-called freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea was the first under President Donald Trump. The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey made the patrol on Wednesday near Mischief Reef, where China has built an artificial outpost equipped with an airfield, the Wall Street Journal reported.
China claims most of the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes. In recent years it has increased its military presence in the waters by reclaiming thousands of acres of land to build artificial outposts on reefs.
“The Chinese military is resolutely opposed to U.S. behaviour which boosts regional militarization and makes accidents more likely,” Ren said. “China has already made solemn representations to the U.S. side.”
The U.S.’s move was aimed at signaling to China that it intends to keep critical sea lanes open, according to the Journal. The U.S. carries out freedom of navigation operations by sending navy ships and aircraft near disputed territory to demonstrate the right to fly and sail through what it considers to be international waters and airspace.
President Donald Trump’s administration, keen to get China’s help containing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, had reportedly earlier declined to conduct freedom of navigation operations despite requests by U.S. Pacific Command.