PH backs US Navy presence in disputed maritime area

PH backs US Navy presence in disputed maritime area

The so-called "freedom of navigation" mission involved the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer sailing within the 12-mile range of an artificial island reclaimed by China, Reuters reported, citing U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

When foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) met in Manila last weekend, the timing seemed just right to tackle the simmering tension on the Korean peninsula.

However, in recent years, Beijing has managed to weaken regional resistance by courting some ASEAN members.

The Trump administration has vowed to conduct more robust South China Sea operations. The agreement also includes expanded cooperation between their two navies and intelligence sharing.

Nevertheless, China was angered by wording in the statement pushed by Vietnam that expressed concerns by some about land reclamations, even though it did not name Beijing. It failed to win support from the other members. Irked by Hanoi's proactive diplomacy, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi canceled a scheduled meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh.

Spokesmen from both the Defence Ministry and the Foreign Ministry issued statements condemning the "unauthorised entry into neighbouring waters of relevant islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands" by the USS John S. McCain. "But this is the main danger of this geopolitical whirlpool", Terekhov said.

Kisner one ahead of Matsuyama and Stroud at PGA
He had sent his tee shot into left rough at the par-5 15th when the horn sounded halting play . Lahiri missed three putts inside 10 feet and one of them, on the first was inside four feet.

China claims almost all of the strategically vital sea, through which $5 trillion in annual shipping trade passes and is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits.

"If Vietnam thinks China is pushing it too hard, it will push back", said Ian Storey, senior fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, a think tank based in Singapore. It is also alleged to have threatened countries operating in the area including Vietnam. "Yet at the same time they can not risk a major confrontation with their much more powerful northern neighbour".

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) defended the statement of Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano that China has stopped its South China Sea reclamation activities in 2015, a claim refuted by a US-based think tank. Even staunch USA strategic partner Singapore may be warming to China and its political positions. "And that there is this freedom of navigation", he said.

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.

"The US is still not ready to give up showing its presence in this region. Hindi naman nila sinabi na ititigil ang pag-i-improve sa pag-reclaim tulad ng Subi Reef Mischief Reef at isa pa, we will leave it at that, hindi naman natin sila mautusan na tigilan nila", Lorenzana said. But at a time when the far-right Modi administration is flirting with the US, a judicial coup against Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif changed everything and contributed to the American strategy of encirclement.

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