US warships provocatively challenge China’s claims in South China Sea

  US warships provocatively challenge China’s claims in South China Sea By Peter Symonds 21 May 2019 Amid sharply rising confrontation with China over trade and economic policies, the US yesterday dispatched a naval warship within the 12-nautical-mile territorial limit claimed by China around one of its islets in the South China Sea. The naval operation is the latest in a growing number of US military provocations in strategically sensitive waters close to the Chinese mainland. It underscores the danger that trade war will escalate into military conflict as the…

Collision course in the South China Sea

China is expanding an aggressive program of constructing artificial islands in the South China Sea. Since beginning the massive dredging operations in the Johnson South Reef of the Spratly Islands in late 2013, Beijing has built a total of seven such islands. Think of it as an “ink blot” strategy — each artificial island becomes a claimed “island,” about which Beijing seeks to control a 12-mile territorial sea, a 24-mile contiguous zone, and a 200-mile exclusive economic zone. It has also claimed dozens of extant atolls in addition to the…

US warship challenges China in South China Sea, second time this month

A US Navy guided-missile destroyer checked China in the South China Sea on Sunday, drawing Beijing’s ire for the second time this month. The USS Preble conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation near the disputed Scarborough Shoal, sailing within 12 nautical miles of this territory to “challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” a 7th Fleet spokesman told Reuters. China seized the Scarborough Shoal, part of a strategic triangle that also includes the Paracel and Spratly Islands, from the Philippines in 2012. China claims…

Images show Chinese ships are back in South China Sea to harvest endangered clams and wreck coral

WASHINGTON – China’s “most destructive” clam fishing boats have returned to the disputed South China Sea in force over the last six months to harvest endangered giant clams, destroying vast swaths of coral reef, a U.S. think thank said in a study released Monday. Citing satellite imagery since late 2018, the Center for Strategic and International Studies said Chinese clam fleets operated frequently at Scarborough Shoal, disputed between China and the Philippines, and throughout the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by Vietnam, China and Taiwan. These fleets typically include dozens…

Keep Away Your Ships From South China Sea

BY GAURAV SHARMA China on Monday lacerated the US for sailing its warship in the disputed South China Sea, saying Washington was trying to disturb peace and stability in the region. The disputed South China Sea is one of the hot button issues between the US and China who are going through a very rough patch in their ties. The United State sailed its destroyer ‘Preble’ near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, its second such operation in a month in disputed waters claimed by Beijing and other…

Chinese clam fleets return to South China Sea; swaths of coral reefs destroyed » Manila Bulletin News

Published May 21, 2019, 9:52 PM By Roy Mabasa Chinese clam harvesting fleets have returned to the South China Sea in force over the last six months, destroying vast swaths of coral reef in order to extract the endangered giant clams, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) said in a report published on Monday. The AMTI report said the Chinese fleets, which typically include dozens of small fishing vessels accompanied by a handful of larger “motherships,” are back after a sharp drop in activity from 2016 to late 2018. The…

Taiwan conducts humanitarian rescue drill near Taiping Island | Politics | FOCUS TAIWAN

Taiping Island, May 21 (CNA) The Taiwan government plans to cooperate with countries close to Taiping Island in the South China Sea on humanitarian assistance and rescue, Coast Guard Administration (CGA) Director-General Chen Kuo-en (陳國恩) disclosed Tuesday, during a multi-agency humanitarian rescue drill off the coast of the Taiwan-administered island. “Rendering humanitarian aid and rescue is a universal value shared by (people) all over the world,” Chen told CNA during the exercise. “As long as it is something conducive to cooperation, the government will endeavor to achieve it.” Chen said…