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Old 10-11-2017, 08:11 AM
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Arrow US warship 'carries out threatening manoeuvres near Chinese islands' after Beijing wa

US warship 'carries out threatening manoeuvres near Chinese islands' after Beijing warning
By VINCENT WOOD - PUBLISHED: 02:53, Wed, Oct 11, 2017 | UPDATED: 03:05, Wed, Oct 11, 2017

A US Navy destroyer has sailed past territories claimed by China despite repeated warnings from Beijing over military presence in the region.

China has described previous US decisions to sail through the waters as behaviour that “threatened the sovereignty of the South China Sea countries”.

Last month Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: “For some time now, some countries have used the pretext of freedom of navigation to bring their planes and fleets near the South China Sea.

"Actually, I think this is behaviour that has threatened the sovereignty of South China Sea countries.”

Meanwhile, in August Fan Changlong, a vice chairman of China's powerful Central Military Commission, told the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, that mutual trust mechanisms between the two militaries had continued to improve.
He added: “But wrong actions on the Taiwan issue, the United States deploying the THAAD system around China, US ships and aircraft's activities in the South China Sea, the United States close-in surveillance in the sea and air near China have had a large, negative influence on bilateral military ties and mutual trust.”

However, the course charted by the latest US vessel to cross the waters was more cautious than those that came before it.

Unlike in August, when a US Navy destroyer came within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, officials said the destroyer sailed outside the range of the islands.

Twelve nautical miles mark internationally recognised territorial limits – with former missions within that range making clear the US does not respect China’s claims in the region.

The Pentagon did not comment directly on the operation but said the US carried out regular freedom-of-navigation operations and would continue to do so.

In a statement, the White House said: "This morning President Donald Trump met with members of his national security team to receive a briefing from Secretary of Defence James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford.

“The briefing and discussion focused on a range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons.

After the meeting, the US flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean peninsula, and US Pacific command confirmed the USS Tuscon – a nuclear submarine – is present in the region.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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