By: Agence France-Presse
The Pentagon is planning to conduct more regular patrols within the South China Sea — as many as two to 3 a month — to claim freedom of navigation in disputed waters claimed by China, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The newspaper stated the purpose is to create a more constant posture to counter China’s maritime claims, fairly than a more advert hoc method favored throughout Barack Obama’s administration.
US officers declined to say the place or when the brand new patrols can be made, however stated the plan developed by the US Pacific Command calls for 2 or three so-called “freedom of navigation” operations a month over the following few months.
Future patrols additionally may embrace US navy plane in addition to US Navy warships, the Journal stated.
There have been three “freedom of navigation” operations since President Donald Trump took workplace in January — the final one by the USS John S. McCain, a destroyer that collided with a cargo ship days later off Singapore, killing 10 sailors.
During the Obama administration, the US Navy performed 4 such operations within the South China Sea, the place China has asserted its claims by constructing synthetic islands and establishing runways, ports and different services on them.
China claims almost all the sea, by way of which $5 trillion in annual delivery commerce passes and which is believed to sit down atop huge oil and fuel deposits.
Its sweeping claims overlap with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei — all ASEAN members — in addition to Taiwan.
Washington and Beijing have seen their relations develop more and more fraught since a promising summit between Trump and China’s Xi Jinping in April.(AFP)