Indonesia to open fishing zone near disputed S. China Sea

JAKARTA – Indonesia plans to open a fishing zone within its exclusive economic zone at the southern edge of the disputed South China Sea, most of which is claimed by China, later this year, to prevent foreign encroachment, a Cabinet minister said Wednesday. Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan told a press conference the fishing zone is located in the Natuna Sea, a section of the South China Sea, which is within Indonesia’s EEZ but which China claims to be part of its “traditional fishing grounds.” “We have now…

Chinese Militia Aside, Philippines to Keep Building on Disputed Islet

TAIPEI —  China and the Philippines became friends in 2016 after four years of struggling for control over a shoal where both sides fish. The friendship has held, but in December and January, China moved as many as 90 ships close to another islet they dispute to monitor Philippine construction of a beaching ramp. The naval, coast guard and idle fishing vessels just watched, but Philippine officials know China has the more powerful military. Still, the Philippines is expected to keep building on the islet, called Thitu, without hurting relations…

Inside the Ring: U.S. destroyers in disputed waters

Two U.S. destroyers sailed into waters of some of China’s militarized islands in the South China Sea this week in a challenge Beijing’s expansive maritime claims, the Pacific Fleet said. The guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble conducted freedom of navigation operations in the sea on Feb. 11. “Spruance and Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman, a fleet spokesman, told Inside the Ring.…

Shifting Foreign Policy: Britain To Deploy Aircraft Carrier Through Disputed South China Sea

Britain is deploying the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to the heavily disputed South China Sea in a joint mission with the United States. The vessel will deploy following recently completed training near the Naval Air Station in Maryland. United Kingdom (UK) Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced the mission earlier this week at the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London. Williamson has shifted Britain’s international rhetoric, declaring that the UK should be prepared to show hard power to counter growing threats from China and Russia. This shift represents…

Inside the Ring: Destroyers in Disputed Waters

The Spruance Class Destroyer USS Cushing / Getty Images BY: Bill Gertz Follow @BillGertz February 15, 2019 9:09 am Two U.S. destroyers sailed into waters of some of China’s militarized islands in the South China Sea this week in a challenge Beijing’s expansive maritime claims, the Pacific Fleet said. The guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble conducted freedom of navigation operations in the sea on Feb. 11. “Spruance and Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access…

Why the US Navy sails past disputed artificial islands claimed by China

(WASHINGTON) — Two U.S. Navy destroyers sailed within 12 miles of Chinese-claimed artificial islands in the South China Sea on Monday, and, as expected, the operation drew swift condemnation from China. A defense official said Monday’s transit did not involve any unprofessional or unsafe actions on the part of Chinese military ships in the area. But that was not the case last October, when the destroyer USS Decatur had to take evasive maneuvers to avoid colliding with a Chinese warship that came within 45 yards of its bow. Why does…

US ships sail in disputed South China Sea

Two United States warships have sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea, a US official has told Reuters. The move is likely to anger Beijing at a time of tense relations between the world’s two biggest economies. Beijing and Washington are locked in a trade war and the two sides are trying to hammer out a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline when US tariffs on $US200 billion ($A280 billion) worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per…

Two Navy warships sailed through disputed South China Sea waters on Monday

Two U.S. destroyers steamed near islands in the increasingly contested South China Sea Monday as part of a continuing effort to counter Beijing’s claim over those waters, officials confirmed. The guided-missile destroyers Spruance and Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands “in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” Cmdr. Clayton Doss, spokesman for the Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet, said in a statement. These freedom of navigation operations, or FONOPs, are designed to challenge China’s increasingly strident…

Two U.S. ships sail near disputed island in South China Sea

Feb. 11 (UPI) — Two U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed artificial island in the South China Sea on Monday, prompting “strong dissatisfaction” from China. The USS Spruance and USS Preble — both Arleigh Burke-class destroyers — participated in what the U.S. Navy calls a “freedom of navigation operation,” according to a statement by Cmdr. Clay Doss, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, obtained by ABC News. “Spruance and Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in order to…