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

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.


NickyGall Thu, 08/10/2017 - 07:35 Permalink

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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.

Manthong Looney Thu, 08/10/2017 - 08:04 Permalink

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 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.

In reply to by Looney

Manthong Looney Thu, 08/10/2017 - 09:38 Permalink

  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 GEORGE HERBERT WALKER.  I am a navy vet and  the more I learn, the more I get pissed........ don't even start on McCain....... 

In reply to by Looney

thatthingcanfly Looney Thu, 08/10/2017 - 09:10 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Looney

lucitanian boooyaaaah Thu, 08/10/2017 - 09:54 Permalink

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.

In reply to by boooyaaaah

Jim in MN Manthong Thu, 08/10/2017 - 10:35 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Manthong

b-sugar FrozenGoodz (not verified) Thu, 08/10/2017 - 08:30 Permalink

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.

In reply to by FrozenGoodz (not verified)

Son of Captain Nemo Winston Churchill Thu, 08/10/2017 - 07:51 Permalink

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!...


In reply to by Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill Son of Captain Nemo Thu, 08/10/2017 - 08:26 Permalink

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..

In reply to by Son of Captain Nemo

Son of Captain Nemo Winston Churchill Thu, 08/10/2017 - 08:52 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Winston Churchill

Doom Porn Star Winston Churchill Thu, 08/10/2017 - 08:21 Permalink

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!'

In reply to by Winston Churchill