South China Sea WARNING: Tensions ERUPT after Beijing accuses US of ‘undermining peace’
SOUTH China Sea tensions erupted after Beijing claimed the US had “undermined peace” when its vessels were spotted in islands near the hotly disputed waters.
By CLIVE HAMMOND
PUBLISHED: 00:04, Tue, May 7, 2019 | UPDATED: 22:10, Tue, May 7, 2019
The US admitted it had sailed two warships close to the Spratly Islands, in a move denounced by Chinese officials as the bitter row over the sea continued to build. The destroyers Treble and Chung Hoon travelled within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs, Commander Clay Doss, from the US military said. Commander Doss, a spokesman for the Seven Fleet, claimed it was an “innocent passage”.
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He added that the move was “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law”.
Tensions in the South China Sea have risen in the past year as the US tries to push back China’s hold on the region.
The waters are the world’s busiest trade route is also claimed by the likes of Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei.
The two nations are also rowing over Taiwan, which has become a major stumbling block in improving ties.
When China heard of the US’ presence in the seas, the country ordered them to leave according to the Chinese foreign ministry.
Geng Shuang, a ministry spokesman, said: “The relevant actions of the US warships violated China’s sovereignty and undermined peace, security and good order in the relevant sea areas.”
He added that “the Chinese side expresses strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the US’ presence.
US President Donald Trump increased pressure on China on Sunday as he announced tariffs would be raised on $200bn worth of Chinese goods.
He will targets hundreds of billions more in the coming weeks.
Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, told an audience at the National Review Institute’s 2019 Ideas Summit that “there is an important relationship between the US and China”.
But he added: “Their moving into the South China Sea is not because they want freedom of navigation.
“Their efforts to build ports around the world aren’t because they want to be good shipbuilders and stewards of waterways, but rather they have a state national security element to each and every one of them.”
Categories: Rumors and Threats of Wars