• US strike ships patrol China Sea

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    WASHINGTON, D.C.: A US aircraft carrier strike group is patrolling in the South China Sea, the US Navy said Saturday (Sunday in Manila), days after Beijing told Washington not to challenge its sovereignty in the waterway.

    China asserts ownership of almost all of the resource-rich waters despite rival claims from several Southeast Asian countries. It has rapidly built reefs into artificial islands capable of hosting military planes.

    The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group was engaging in “routine operations in the South China Sea,” the navy said in a statement on its website.

    It noted that the ships and aircraft had recently conducted exercises off Hawaii and Guam to “maintain and improve their readiness and develop cohesion as a strike group.”

    “We are looking forward to demonstrating those capabilities while building upon existing strong relationships with our allies, partners and friends in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” strike group commander Rear Admiral James Kilby said in the statement.

    China’s foreign ministry said ships and aircraft were allowed to operate in the area according to international law.

    But Beijing “firmly opposes any country’s attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight,” spokesman Geng Shuang told journalists Wednesday, responding to reports that the Vinson was headed to the South China Sea.

    “We also urge the US to refrain from challenging China’s sovereignty and security and to respect regional countries’ efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea,” he said.

    The Vinson has deployed to the South China Sea 16 times in its 35-year history, the US Navy said.

    Washington says it does not take sides in the territorial disputes but has several times sent warships and planes to assert freedom of navigation in the Sea, sparking protests from Beijing.

    Code of conduct eyed
    As this developed, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) began fast-tracking the framework of a code of conduct (COC) to address mounting tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) in a meeting in Boracay, Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said.

    “I think officials of both sides are working very hard to be able to meet this deadline…I think all Asean member-states would like to see the early conclusion of the negotiation of actual code of conduct which I think will be useful for managing the region and in regulating the future behavior of the parties concerned in the South China Sea region,” Jose said in a news briefing in Boracay.

    The target date of the completion of the COC framework is 2017.

    “The Philippines being this year’s Asian host, would prefer not to escalate the tension because while they were talking to Asean for a possible COC, they are actually doing something else on the ground,” Jose said referring to escalating rhetoric between China and US which has been fanning tensions among members of the Asean.

    “The COC is a legally binding document, hopefully, since they are coming up with the framework and will be trying to put flesh on the framework so long as we go along towards the final negotiated COC,” he added.

    “I think China is sincere in maintaining peace and stability and for managing tensions in the area.”

    Asean member-states and China signed the Declaration of Conduct (DOC), the mother document of the proposed COC, in November 2002 in Cambodia after years of negotiations.

    The DOC embodies the collective commitment of Asean to promote confidence-building measures, engage in practical maritime cooperation, and set the stage for the discussion and conclusion of a formal and binding COC.

    Jose stressed that the DOC has, by and large, “helped maintain the overall stability in the South China Sea.”

    AFP AND PNA

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    14 Comments

    1. China have one (1) rebuilt aircraft carrier and the U.S. have (32) thirty two, and President Trump has promised that there will be more ships to be build during his administration and upgrade the military’s Weapon Systems as well. The U.S. military weapon systems are already the envy of the world, product of their research and development. President Trump reminded the Americans, that there will be no country in the world to doubt the capability of the U.S. Armed Forces. Therefore, the artificial islands that the Chinese have built and militarized, and to choke the International Waters, is a big NO, NO for the Americans and it will be interesting to watch how this issue is resolved. Freedom of navigation is not negotiable, as far as Americans are concerned, and it must remain open.

    2. Official U.S. taxpayer on

      Most of my fellow readers here are getting personal to anybody that contradict what they believe or what actions should have been taken by both parties. However, the first thing we should realize is the reason why China created those artificial islands and militarized them — to enhance their claimed territory, to include their ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone). Every countries have their own territories, and any ship or aircraft entering their territories must call in to a designated frequency to identify themselves and what is their purpose in crossing their territory. There are times when a request is denied, such as the request of U.S. fighter jets coming from Germany trying to cross France’s ADIZ but was denied, because they are on their way to Libyan desert to bomb Momar Khadaffi. The U.S. Fighter jets went around France and there were delayed in reaching their objective.

      Back to China’s ADIZ, they would have every right to deny any ship or aircraft traveling on the International Waters, to include Philippine aircraft or ship originating from Cagayan or Ilocos Region going to Palawan. The United States has announced to the whole world at one time, that they do not recognize China’s newly drawn territory and their ADIZ in East China Sea where Japan have claimed Senkaku Islands as theirs. They were able to succeed in South China Sea because Philippines is so small and have a very weak military. Few months ago, Two Aircraft Carrier Groups sailed in the International Waters in South China Sea and were never challenged by the Chinese Navy and Coast Guard. There were NO Chinese Navy and Coast Guard to be found in South China Sea at that time. They are a lot smarter than most people think, because it would be not be a good bet if they engage with U.S. Navy, even in their backyard. Can anybody imagine the “FIREPOWER” of Just one Aircraft Carrier Strike Group?

    3. Why Is it world leaders cannot get along while the average person, worker, student, and traveler can.

      Make tourists out of everyone and share peace and mutual respect, culture sharing; let the rich nations enhance poorer nations,

      Stop poisoning our mutually owned earth. Spread beautiful music, delicious food, wonderful costumes, and happiness around the world.

      Salamat po…

    4. The Chinese are the bullies. They now have military equipment and they have itchy trigger fingers. Other Asian countries are their targets. How can you claim international waters as your own territory? Since so many Filipinos are working in China, maybe the Philippines should just change its name to East China Islands and call it a day.

    5. Thanks to US aircraft carrier for overseeing the South China Sea. The Philippines couldn’t do anything to protect our interests there. All what D30 is providing is his “big mouth:” of ridicule and accusing remarks against the US. The millions of voters made a mistake in choosing D30. We need a stature of a Solomonic leader in this crucial time! Poor Philippines! How could we get it right? Lord, help us!

      • Mr. Reyes, iam not for or against Pres. DU#) but your loud mouth also must be shut up instead of putting some ridicule and non respect to your President why don’t you give some suggestion as to where we the Philippines must go and do for the welffare of this country … i pity your moronic attitude because we don’t see any of your “SOLOMONIC” character in helping this country and you include GOD to your comment as if you are in his side …. fools are to be forgiven but M…. are not. If you can’t help then again just SHUT UP !!!

      • and if the chinese and american go to war because of the SOUTH CHINA sea issue, will you hide under your bed?

    6. US should not patrol South China Sea. It is a provocation. They are not welcome by any means by Asians.
      What if Russia or China Patrol the Gulf of Mexico? Will the US agree. These Generals of Pentagon are looking like bullies. President Trump would not have like patrolling seas not our own.

      • The chinks do not own the south china sea! PERIOD. After all the numerous warnings of war and even nuclear war from the chinks, they know they can not do squat to the US patrolling the SCS and flying through it. If they did, they know that they will get nuke back to the stone age and its billion plus population reduced to nil. So the chinks should just shut up and swallow hard. They know they have stolen reefs and eez zone from other asian countries and are still trying to claim historical rights (which has no bearing and meaning in the international court and community) to justify their thievery and bullying. As has been established, the US will operate anywhere in the world in international waters and nobody can prevent them from doing so. For the asean countries where the chinks have stolen or will be stealing eez zones from, it is and will be your responsibility to protect your own sovereingtry and not rely on the US to do the work for you. All these while your elected government officials are busy raping your own people and your country’s treasury(PH).

        As for not being welcome by Asians, perhaps you are referring to your selves (PH) and the chinks. Vietnam and Singapore do not have any problems with US patrols in SCS. Don”t generalize.

        For your information, the chinks has had ships near Alaska (US terriroty) within the 12 mile limit. The Russians had a spy ship station off the submarine base in Virginia and Connecticut last couple of weeks. Learn the basics before posting.

      • I’m sorry call you out on your ignorance. Any country can deploy their ships in international waters. Period. That means Russia, China, Mexico, Cuba, Iran, North Korea can deploy their ships, planes, rafts, outriggers, etc, etc outside of the 12 mile limit. It is perfectly legal and there’s nothing that the US can do about it. You got it?

        Now, if your neighbor restricts or does not allow you to pass in the street (a public property) in front of your house, will you just not pass? Do you consider passing on the street a provocation to your neighbor.

        I would love to hear your mental gears turning.