US Sail-By Rattles Beijing’s Sovereignty Claims

The South China Sea includes some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and areas of the sea are under dispute. China, one of several claimants, has built up reefs once submerged under high tide, adding airstrips, ports and other infrastructure. A US Navy warship challenged China’s claims by sailing within 12 nautical miles of the disputed Mischief and Subi reefs in the Spratly archipelago. China protested what the United States describes as a routine exercise of the right to navigate in international waters: “while USS Lassen's sail-by was the United States' most significant challenge yet to China's territorial claims in the disputed waters, analysts believed neither side would allow the situation to escalate beyond control,” reports Minnie Chan for South China Morning Post. “Just last month, days before President Xi Jinping set off for his first state visit to the US, the PLA and its American counterpart signed a Sino-US accord to maintain safe encounters between their military pilots.” Depending on their leaders, other Asian countries have a range of responses: Japan supports challenges and South Korea urges restraint. An international court decision on a Philippines claim is anticipated soon. – YaleGlobal

US Sail-By Rattles Beijing's Sovereignty Claims

China protests US sail near manufactured islands and calls in US ambassador; US views disputed areas as international waters and plans more excursions
Minnie Chan and Agencies
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Additional reporting was aprovided by Reuters, Bloomberg, Agence France Presse and Associated Press.

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