US Navy Warships Sail Near Beijing's Weaponized Islands In South China Sea

Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to Reuters, said powerful U.S. Navy warships have sailed near the disputed islands in the South Sea claimed by China, in a move expected to infuriate Beijing as new reports indicate the US-North Korea summit maybe back on the table for June 12.

Reuters’ sources said this weekend’s naval operation had been planned month ago, and missions to sail warships around Beijing’s weaponized islands in the South China Sea have become more routine. Washington’s motive behind the operation is said to counter Beijing’s efforts to restrict freedom of navigation in critical shipping lanes around the islands.

China’s Weaponized Islands In The South China Sea 

The U.S. Navy’s operation comes at a time when the Pentagon withdrew an invitation for People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to take part in a multinational naval drill in the Pacific this summer, which has put military trust between both countries at a low heading into the second half of the year.

The sources said the USS Higgins (DDG-76), a United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (flight II) and the USS Antietam (CG-54), a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser of the United States Navy, came within 12 nautical miles of the heavily disputed, weaponized Paracel chain in the South China Sea.

2017 Shipping Lanes In The South China Sea 

(Source: Marine Traffic) 

“The U.S. military vessels carried out maneuvering operations near Tree, Lincoln, Triton and Woody islands in the Paracels,” a source told Reuters.

One of the Pentagon’s reasons behind disinviting the PLAN from the multinational naval exercises was due to reports that the military was again — secretly weaponizing its South China Sea islands. Satellite photographs taken on May 12 revealed surface-to-air missiles or anti-ship cruise missile units staged at Woody Island.

The satellite images taken in early May by Imagesat International show surface-to-air missiles or anti-ship cruise missiles on the northern shore of the Island, next to a radar system, all covered by a camouflage net. (ImageSat International)

In early May, People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) for the first time landed several strategic bombers on the islands and reefs, some human-made, in the region where China is actively preparing for war.

In a statement, the Chinese Air Force said that “a division of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) recently organized multiple bombers such as the H-6K to conduct take-off and landing training on islands and reefs in the South China Sea in order to improve our ability to ‘reach all territory, conduct strikes at any time and strike in all directions.”

Reuters said the Pentagon did not directly comment on Sunday’s incident but said U.S. naval warships sail in the region on a regular basis.

“We conduct routine and regular Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs), as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future,” U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement.

Breaking moments ago, the Chinese Ministry of Defense accused Washington of serious infringement of Chinese sovereignty after it sailed its warships into Chinese territorial waters without permission. According to Sputnik, the Chinese military demanded the U.S. warships leave the heavily disputed waters.

Beijing has recently said, it has every right to construct what it calls “necessary defensive facilities” on its islands in the South China Sea. China’s Defence Ministry reiterated that its building of “defense facilities” was to preserve the country’s sovereignty and legitimate claims in the South China Sea, and has very limited to do with militarization.

As the U.S. Navy uses the freedom of navigation card to sail its most dangerous warships miles from Beijing’s heavily weaponized islands in the South China Sea, at some point, China could resort to extraordinary deterrent measures to protect its sovereignty in the region.

Comments

BritBob Sun, 05/27/2018 - 11:32 Permalink

The ICJ has already determined at an earlier tribunal that No delimitation between states with opposite or adjacent coasts may be affected unilaterally by one of those states. And , The delimitation of the exclusive economic zone between states with opposite or adjacent coasts shall be affected by agreement on the basis of international law.

For that and some other interesting judgments on territorial seas (3 pages) and to gain an understanding as to how the world court deals with such disputes Google: ''Falklands – Territorial Waters Academia'' Or use link: https://www.academia.edu/10574593/Falklands_Islands_Territorial_Waters

 

macholatte Billy the Poet Sun, 05/27/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

 

In other news .....

The forthcoming Global Propaganda Machine

The multiyear Netflix agreement, in the works since at least March, calls on the Obamas “to produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docuseries, documentaries and features,” which will be broadcast in 190 countries, according to a statement from the streaming service, which has 125 million subscribers around the globe.

Campaign contributor helped Obamas score Netflix deal
https://nypost.com/2018/05/26/campaign-contributor-helped-obamas-score-…

 

In reply to by Billy the Poet

Looney macholatte Sun, 05/27/2018 - 11:55 Permalink

 

... “We conduct routine and regular Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs), as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future,” U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement.

Just a reminder…

Freedom of Navigation is codified as article 87(1)a of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Not all UN member states have ratified the convention; notably, the United States has signed, but not ratified the convention.

Looney

In reply to by macholatte

Last Man Standing Looney Sun, 05/27/2018 - 12:23 Permalink

The Chinese are preparing for War. These new bases will aid in their invasion of the Republic of China and allow them to intimidate other nations in the area. The U.N. is a joke and meaningless organization, it is full of dictators and tyrants with a few republics and democracies thrown in, which loves to flap their jaws but do nothing useful. Were it not for the media pretending the U.N. was somehow important, the den of spies would be long gone from the United States of America..

In reply to by Looney

Tarzan Last Man Standing Sun, 05/27/2018 - 14:03 Permalink

Maybe I'm mistaken, but in all of Chinese history, they've never invaded another country. 

These islands are in the CHINA SEA, it's not like they're putting missiles in the Gulf of Mexico, or on the boarder of Russia like some Nations. 

How many Military bases does the US have in or near the CHINA SEA?

Do they know something, are they preparing to defend themselves? 

If they dump US Bonds, will we be forced to "defend" ourselves, and attack them?

Oh, the tangled web we wove, when first we practiced to deceive the world with our enslaving debt "money".

In reply to by Last Man Standing

Old Codger Tarzan Sun, 05/27/2018 - 14:30 Permalink

Tarzan,

If China 'owns' the South China Sea, does India 'own' the Indian Ocean?

Does Mexico 'own' the Gulf Of Mexico?

Do the Philippines 'own' the Philippine  Sea?

Does Japan 'own' the Sea of Japan'?

Does Norway 'own' teh Norwegian sea?

Dose Greenland 'own' the Greenland Sea?

Does Bengal 'own' the Bay of Bengal?

OC

In reply to by Tarzan

silver140 Tarzan Mon, 05/28/2018 - 01:11 Permalink

No, it doesn't look defensive. The disputed islands/territory is closest to the Philippine and Vietnam. China is a thousand miles to the northwest. You might want to look at a map before you say what it "looks" like. China is being a bully to both the Philippines and Vietnam as it wants to control the strategic shipping routes, and rip off the oil that lies underneath Vietnamese and Philippine waters. Not that the US is not a bully or that its not a lot farther away.

http://qa.answers.com/Q/Distances_of_spratly_islands_to_the_claimant

In reply to by Tarzan

deepelemblues Tarzan Sun, 05/27/2018 - 15:25 Permalink

Yes, you are mistaken.

 

In her history, China has invaded:

The Korean peninsula (multiple times)
Mongolia (multiple times)
Manchuria (not always a part of China, wasn't for centuries) (multiple times)
Tibet

India

Nepal
Bhutan

The Philippines (raided and invaded by Chinese pirates, not the Chinese government, but the Emperors sure didn't try to stop them)

The area that today is Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Burma (multiple times)
The area that today is the Russian Far East (multiple times)
Attempted invasions of both Japan and Indonesia ( failed)

There is not a single country that borders that China or is off Chinese shores that China has not invaded at some point in her history. 

 

Where the fuck do you ZH dipshits read your history? The Ron Paultard "Everyone in history was 100% peaceful until the Jews and/or Americans showed up" history book?

In reply to by Tarzan

CuttingEdge macholatte Sun, 05/27/2018 - 11:58 Permalink

A blatant thread hi-jack with no apology.

Something I picked up while doing the rounds on Tommy Robinson. It originated on Reddit...

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DeIEwioX0AAX0HF.jpg:large

 

Smoking gun?

That's a fucking howitzer battery after a barrage, right there.

 

And as a reminder, Robert Hannigan’s surprise departure leaves a large hole to fill at GCHQ

 

The last line of the article is seriously fucking hilarious:

 

And why is Hannigan leaving so early? Those hoping for a conspiracy theory are likely to be disappointed: talk of a family illness is, I understand, closer to the mark.

Judge Napolitano nailed it.

In reply to by macholatte

Last Man Standing Fireman Sun, 05/27/2018 - 12:29 Permalink

LOL, too funny, too funny. The Brits kicked your butts and sent you scrambling, it's still the Falkland Islands on all real maps. Argentina may be the next south American nation to go the way of Venezuela, Venezuela was one the second wealthiest nation in the Western Hemisphere but then they went socialist and the whole economy collapsed. How sad but it shows the dangers of Socialism/ Communism, it NEVER works. Argentina needs to dump socialism and become a great nation once again. Until they dump socialism they will falter.  

In reply to by Fireman

InnVestuhrr Sun, 05/27/2018 - 11:40 Permalink

China's island grab, absurdly far away from China, is exactly the same as Tojo's island grabs in the Pacific 80+ years ago - stop them now, or pay a very much higher price later.