U.S. naval vessels plying international waters in the South China Sea, including areas claimed by China, cannot be considered provocative, a senior U.S. Navy uniform official said Thursday, while the Chinese press has called for a firm response to any “dishonest” United States. Behavior.
In the South China Sea, China deals with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei, with $ 5 trillion shipping each year. In the name of naval independence, Beijing has warned that it cannot cross its maritime borders. The United States says international law prohibits the use of areas around artificial islands built on previously submerged rocks.
John Richardson, head of U.S. naval operations, told reporters in Tokyo: “It is not surprising that we will exercise freedom of navigation where international law allows.” He reiterated that China continues to respect and protect.
“But we strongly oppose any country harming the sovereignty and security of any country in the name of freedom of navigation and excessive aviation,” he told reporters. In an editorial in the Global Times, a widely read and influential tabloid, these potential U.S. patrols are not really about freedom of navigation, but rather the strength to assert American global dominance.
“In this sense, the United States should not allow warships and aircraft to behave immorally near islands and reefs reclaimed by China, and challenge China’s base,” the ruling Communist Party said in a statement. Official people daily.
“China’s navy and air force must prepare the U.S. military provocations and respond accordingly with counter – measures,” it added. “If the U.S. side openly and repeatedly enters the 12-nautical-mile zone and its airspace, a firm counter-attack is needed.”
Some analysts in Washington believe the United States has already decided to carry out freedom-navigation operations within the 12-nautical-mile border that China claims around islands built on the rocks of the Spratly Archipelago. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Tuesday that the U.S. military will travel or fly wherever international law allows.
Richardson, who was promoted to his position last month, is in Japan at the start of a 12-day tour around Asia and Europe. Starting in Japan, he showed the importance of the alliance between the two countries.