Trump Provokes China Again, Sends Another Destroyer To South China Sea

Tyler Durden's picture

A US Navy destroyer sailed within 12 miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea on Thursday, a "provocation" that threatens another angry response from the Chinese government and further complicating President Donald Trump’s efforts to align the Communist Party in his pursuit to find a diplomatic resolution to the North Korean crisis.

As Reuters reports, the USS John McCain (yes, he the Senator has a ship named after him) passed by the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in what US military officials justified as yet anoter “freedom of navigation” operation, the third since Trump took office. Over the past six months, the US has grown increasingly bold, or provocative as Beijing calls it, by sending aircraft and ships to contested waters in the South China Sea to the anger and frustration of Beijing.

As is well-known, China has been engaged in a long-running dispute with its neighbors over its decision to build a network of artificial islands in the area. Last summer, the Philippines won a lawsuit filed in a UN court challenging China’s claim to ocean territory within a “nine-dash line.” However, China refuses to recognize the ruling.

Meanwhile, the US military maintains that it’s within its rights to send military ships through the contested territory, adding that the dispute is “separate” from the US’s political considerations involving China. Here's Reuters with more:

“The United States has criticized China's construction of islands and build-up of military facilities in the sea, and is concerned they could be used to restrict free nautical movement. The U.S. military has a long-standing position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and they are separate from political considerations.


The Trump administration has vowed to conduct more robust South China Sea operations.”

Critics of Barack Obama argue that the former President didn’t do enough to counter China’s claims in the region, and that Trump is simply making up for lost ground.

“Experts and officials have criticized President Barack Obama for potentially reinforcing China's claims by sticking to innocent passage, in which a warship effectively recognized a territorial sea by crossing it speedily without stopping.”

Whatever the motive, the region is a critical chokepoint for global trade with $5 trillion in cargo crossing the area every year; it is claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. While the US’s escalating tensions with North Korea have occupied the headlines, a series of near-miss confrontations with Russia and China have hinted at potentially more serious conflicts simmering beneath the surface.

Thursday’s provocation comes only a week after the US backed off a threatened trade war with the Chinese after its leaders supported tough new UN sanctions against North Korea amounting to a $1 billion ban on the isolated kingdom’s exports. Beijing also slammed its neighbor for its ongoing missile tests, which have provoked an unprecedented escalation of tensions with the US, although it has withheld from engaging in more aggressive containment measures aside from jawboning.

The move - which Beijing will shortly call another provocation by Washington  - comes as Trump and Kim Jong Un continue to trade threats of nuclear annihilation, and which absent the diplomatic support of China will most likely result in military engagement.

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NickyGall's picture

Here is an article that looks at China’s terse response to the recent U.S. arms sale to Taiwan:

It would appear that Washington feels that it can continue to ignore the long history of geopolitical strain that has affected Taiwan - China and China's relationship with North Korea since the end of the Korean war without any repercussions against the United States.

FrozenGoodz's picture

How many nations can we provoke in 140 characters?


Anybody have 'All of them' in the office pool ...


If we extend his vacation 3 years we might get out of this alive

Looney's picture


The next strategic move is to bill Mr. Xi for the Yummy Chocolate Cake he barely touched at Mar-a-Lago. ;-)


BandGap's picture

And that extra scoop of ice cream he got.

Wonder if that ship has a trolling motor.

Looney's picture


A trolling motor won't work - the USS John McCain has a GPS Cancer.  ;-)


Manthong's picture


O Sh F me

This is getting tiresome..


Surface ships even with hi-tech are toast in a hot war.


The only things that matter are cyber or stuff that reigns down from altitude, including way way way high up.

thatthingcanfly's picture

Major correction here. The ship is not named after John McCain, the current US Senator from Arizona, but after his father and Grandfather, both Admirals, and both named John S. McCain (Sr. and Jr.).

We don't name ships after people who are still alive.

Come on Tyler.

Manthong's picture

good comments......

about the scmuck ancestors

Looney's picture


We don't name ships after people who are still alive.

THAT is not entirely correct – the USS George H.W. Bush

Looney   ;-)

Manthong's picture


another good comment…

we do not all hold complete ownership of truth….

But we can try our best…….


and    no disrepect to the honorable sailors/shipmates but  the GHW Bush  name  of a US military  vessel.....

is a travesty and a deep state testimonial to the Nazi banker schmuck



I am a navy vet and  the more I learn, the more I get pissed........


don't even start on McCain.......


thatthingcanfly's picture

Looney is right. That's the one exception (that I'm aware of). I guess the DoN figured King Bush I was close enough to death...

But to Manthong, I'm more deeply troubled by the fact that we named one of our Nimitz boats after Tsar Lincoln the Terrible.

I actually landed the helicopter in my avatar on that boat.

Showered three times when I got back to the hangar. Then burned my boots. Bleagh.

Manthong's picture


I respect that action....

geez you were likely an 03 or so...

WTF do we do now?

boooyaaaah's picture

China didn't mind having the US Navy in the South China Sea when they were

sinking the Japanese Navy.

Cutting the supply lines to the Japanese army which had conquered most of China.

We sink agressive Navies

Get used to it

Manthong's picture


um..... it might be a bit different when their subs are just off the west coast.

lucitanian's picture

Sorry, even then US was on the wrong side helping Chang Kai Shek in a war started because of another embargo against a sovereign state. Now you the US exacerbates the situation in the Korea peninsular with its aggressive exercises and rhetoric on twitter... the end of which was punctuated by a civilian catastrophe which it seems the US is willing to repeat.

Boooooyaaa must be an expression of ignorance that relishes violence. I thought the US was looking at China to help resolve the Korean nuclear threat. Resolution is easy and cheap. What does N. Korea want? The elimination of American bases of aggression in the south, and an end to aggressive military exercises. What have they offered? a non nuclear Korean peninsular if the south agrees.

What does the US want? a whole other story with the ability to threaten China and Russia, with their aggressive basis that do not in fact support the defense either of Japan or Korea.

High time China and Russia realized that they are facing the Boooyaaa, mentality and supported the little piggy in the middle, N. Korea against the worlds most dangerous regime.

boooyaaaah's picture

Yes, Mao and the Bolsheviks pushed Chang to Taiwan

Taiwan where there were no purges or great leaps forward that flopped

The further Chian mainland gets from Bolsheviks the better for the Chinese people. 


boooyaaaah's picture

China didn't mind having the US Navy in the South China Sea when they were

sinking the Japanese Navy.

Cutting the supply lines to the Japanese army which had conquered most of China.

We sink agressive Navies

Get used to it

Manthong's picture


@ unlikely like bees can fly

Geez.. the worst that happened to me was pulling a few G’s trying to avoid an aggressive IL-38.


.. that was meant with good humor...


Jim in MN's picture

Well if someone builds a sand castle in international waters, anyone can use it.

Very simple.  Just start booking tours and electronic dance music festivals on these 'islands' and all will be well.

If someone in uniform gets pissed about it, just puke on them and/or set a babe with a pacifier necklace on their arm.

Amicus Curiae's picture

he made it cos he was brain dead maybe?

SoDamnMad's picture

Named for his father that helped cover up the USS Liberty tragedy.  Shot up by Is ra hell who didn't recognize it (even though they did)

madashellron's picture

MCain's father allowed the US Liberty to be attacked by Israel. How fitting the navy names a ship after this scumbag. 

madashellron's picture

MCain's father allowed the US Liberty to be attacked by Israel. How fitting the navy names a ship after this scumbag. 

sickavme's picture

If not him then her....


We are on autopilot for WW3...

FrozenGoodz's picture

If it were for the prior administration's job creation rolling over ... it would've already hit you that that was a mistake

Déjà view's picture

Goodz...get bun redone at Pet Smart...

b-sugar's picture

Look people like you, traitors, in the eyes! Look at what they are ready to say now, defending NK, China, Iran, Iraq... Those who want to eradicate what we have built are our enemies and should be annihilated. 


You and your party for peace (when convenient) should show some shame, if not for more, for your record.

Kidbuck's picture

Building those islands was provacation. Give those chinks an inch and they will take a mile. Trump should water ski behind that destroyer as it circles the islands.

Sandmann's picture

China should simply put a container ship in the area for the USS Nevermiss to collide with

man from glad's picture

Or build a great seawall from mainland to the island? Maybe they could just cirlcle Japan and the Philipines with it too - problem solved!

pc_babe's picture


Give us a break, you ignorant LIBTARD

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Syphilis-in-Chief to President Xi

Send U.S. moar of your GOLD!... Or else we will have to take you and DPRK out TOGETHER!

MFL5591's picture

Economy on brink of disater, the Rothchild/ Bush/ Mccain/Graham courruption must hide their stealing once again.  

SubjectivObject's picture


<tRump ordered it

<Pentupgunners gifted him

Jack Oliver's picture

Trump is completely 'shackled' by the MIC !

Shame - Shame - Shame ( as Gomer Pile would say ) !!

Winston Churchill's picture

The "fuckit" moment is very nearly upon us.

You can only push someone sofar until they say "fuckit".

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Yes indeed W C

I keep envisioning that great scene in the movie Cowboys where Bruce Dern faces off with John Wayne

"Allright that's enough"!... "I've seen what you can do to little boys... NOW let's see what you can do when they come a little bigger"!...

Dern ends up shooting John Wayne in the back which is what the U.S. coward will ALWAYS DO when he's losing the war.. But like all sweet revenge he gets his in the end!...


madashellron's picture

And you have to wonder.  If the US is stupid enough to Nuke North Korean.  Will both Russia and China say fuck it and let Uncle Sam have it up the,ass.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

To my point.

At some point the outcome is inevitable and doesn't matter.

It the U.S. MIC is that maniacally stupid, I'll be happy with the understanding that the U.S. will be wiped off the map and Russia will fair better than all the rest of them because they came to the PARTY "prepared"!

Winston Churchill's picture

If the RoW doesn't turn on the USA in response to such a blatant war crime, then a first strike is their only option left.The fear of MAD will no longer apply.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

It's fucked up beyond all conceivable thought but we've had ample opportunities to fix this behavioral disorder in our own backyard going on more than 2 decades...

Today is as good a day as any to pay for all the crimes we keep committing without end!

Winston Churchill's picture

The deep state knows they'll hang, its now fear thats the motivation, you can see it in the current reckless actions.
Before it was logical, in a very twisted way, but now its blindly lashing out.They won't go down without trying to take us all with them.We have to take them down now, before they kill us all.
We have seen the enemy and it is us by our docile aquiesence..

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

BINGO! Ding!... Ding!... Ding!... Ding!!!

And here's the real kicker a "juicy bone" for contemplation to all the worn out Western CBs (!

The things that the last 6 Congress's and 3 Presidents fear more than life itself is losing control of their banks with the shifts already in motion heading East...

Weighs heavily on the minds of the JCS if that money should ever open up a new branch of the "Hague" somewhere in Eastern Europe that will hang all of them for the war crimes they keep committing. ...

No wonder it's got to be "Thelma and Louise"???... I guess in their own warped and demented state of psychopathy at least they aren't being shackled to a Russian commercial jetliner to be embarrassed for the last time in front of the whole World.

Doom Porn Star's picture

Even Yamamoto knew better.   He gave 'em all of six months -and they had NOT ONE day more...

Chi-Na will bow low, and do as they are told -or be felled.  

The US built a nice big industrial park -and it can bomb it right back out of existance in a thousandth of the time..

America will rule the world or destroy most of what is worth ruling.  

No one wishes to behold the ceremonial abdication worthy of a Nuclear Rome committing suicide..

Next up: the middle class finally demands FULL payment of it's long overdue peace dividends, with compound interest; or starts clamoring for the spoils of war as in olden days of 'Fuck you!'

c2nnib2l's picture

 USS John McCain