World

China vows to raise defence capabilities after United States warship approaches Nansha Islands

China vows to raise defence capabilities after United States warship approaches Nansha Islands

"If the fundamentals of these disputes remain unchanged, the tensions between China and Vietnam could escalate given that Vietnam has been tough on territorial issues", Zhang said. Since the mid-2000s, China has ramped up efforts to consolidate its position through diplomacy and military means.

But the issue that arguably affects Asean the most is the series of disputes over the South China Sea, and the grouping did well to achieve a consensus agreement on a joint communique calling for non-militarisation and self-restraint in the area.

China's defense ministry said two Chinese warships "jumped into action" and warned the USA ship to leave, labeling the move a "provocation" that seriously harms mutual trust.

According to Reuters, the maneuver by the USS John S. McCain was the third in a "freedom of navigation operation" or "fonop".

"Since then, China has undertaken additional reclamation on the Southern end of North island and built a retaining wall around the seven acres of new land to prevent further erosion", the organization said.

A United Nations-backed tribunal ruled previous year that China's territorial claims in the sea were without legal basis. It found no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources within the Nine-Dash Line. "They (China) are not reclaiming land anymore", Cayetano said.

Under global law, countries can claim territorial sea up to 12 nautical miles from islands under their sovereignty. This strategy of containment and encirclement assumes that even the U.S. -Russia rift might be transcended to constrain China's geostrategic dominance in the Asia-Pacific through collaboration with Moscow.

The U.S has dared China as its USS John S McCain Naval warship passed close to an artificial reef created by China in the South China Sea, prompting a protest from China.

Construction is shown on Mischief Reef, in the Spratly Islands, on June 19, 2017.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the United States official told AFP a Chinese frigate sent radio warnings at least 10 times to the USS McCain.




"They called and said 'Please turn around, you are in our waters, '" he said.

The official said the interactions were all "safe and professional", with the operation lasting about six hours.

China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated on Thursday.

China said two of its warships "jumped into action" on Thursday (10 August) to warn the US Navy to stop provoking Beijing in the name of its "freedom of navigation operation" near a disputed South China Sea island.

He also insisted that such operations "seriously endanger lives". The three countries have criticised the Chinese claims, which they said pose a threat to freedom of navigation and overflight in the area, which sees about US$5 trillion (166 trillion baht) of goods pass through annually.

"And the point of that is to demonstrate that the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

The Spratly Islands, for example, are claimed in full by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, and in part by Malaysia and the Philippines.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano told reporters on Tuesday he had lobbied against referring to land reclamation in the ASEAN statement because he believed China had stopped.

It also came days after China and Asean countries adopted the framework in Manila for a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.


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