AREA: MAR CINESE MERIDIONALE
parole chiave: Cina, US Navy
China cautions U.S. Navy on patrols in South China Sea Options are on the table to fly surveillance aircraft and sail Navy ships nearby in a move that puts the U.S. directly into a contentious territorial contest in East Asia, in which, until now, the U.S. has avoided overtly taking sides. The South China Sea is the subject of numerous rival — often messy — territorial claims, with China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam disputing sovereignty of several island chains and nearby waters.
China on Wednesday cautioned the U.S. against taking any actions that might be considered provocative, according to a report from the state-run Xinhua news service. While Beijing supports freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the U.S. must be careful in how it uses that right, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in the report.
“Freedom of navigation does not give one country’s military aircraft and ships free access to another country’s territorial waters and airspace,” Hua is quoted as saying in the Xinhua report.
A U.S. Navy statement Wednesday said the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth arrived for resupply in the Philippines after completing a week long patrol in the South China Sea that took it near the disputed Spratly Islands. The Navy said it was the first time an LCS, one of the newest vessels in the U.S. fleet, had operated in international waters near the islands. The Spratlys have been claimed in whole or in part by China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, according to the U.S. State Department.
“As part of our strategic rebalance to bring our newest and most capable Navy platforms to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, (the LCSs have) a regular presence in Southeast Asia. Routine operations like the one Fort Worth just completed in the South China Sea will be the new normal as we welcome four LCSs to the region in the coming years,” Capt. Fred Kacher, commodore of the Navy’s Destroyer Squadron 7, said in the Navy release.
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