Washington/Beijing: US warships carried out patrolling near the Spratly Islands which China claims to be its territory. The US Navy announced that this patrolling was to underline the international rights whereas China has fired a salvo of criticism at the United States saying that the US warships, intruding into the Chinese marine region without permission, should retreat immediately. Meanwhile, the European and Russian media have claimed that this patrolling by the US warships, in the South China Sea, is a warning issued to China, against the background of the rising tension due to the trade war.
The United States imposed taxes on Chinese goods worth billions of dollars, sparking a trade war between the two countries. A 100 member Chinese delegation was preparing to leave for the United States to discuss the issues. But US President Trump imposed new taxes, even before the delegation could leave. While the reaction is still to be received from China over the new taxes, US warships USS Preble and USS Chung Hoon reached the South China Sea.
The two warships carried out patrolling near the Gaven and Johnson reef in the Spratly islands, claimed by China as its own. Commander Clay Doss, the spokesman of the 7th fleet of the US Navy, said that the ships sailed 12 kilometres away from both the islands. This patrolling was to emphasise the transport rights in the international marine sector. Commander Doss targeted China saying that this was also in defiance of those claiming free rights over this region.
The patrolling of the US Navy has drawn reactions from China. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the US warships carried out patrolling in the Chinese marine region, without permission. ‘China has been extremely upset with this action of the US Navy and that the US warships should immediately retreat from the Chinese marine region. The US warships will face strong resistance if they carried out patrolling in the Chinese regions, henceforth,’ the Chinese foreign ministry warned. Even in the past, China had objected to the US patrols in the South China Sea and had warned of retaliation.
Meanwhile, there are severe differences between the United States and China over the South China Sea, Trade war and the Taiwanese problem. In this scenario, the increasing patrolling by the US warships in the South China Sea is only adding to the tension.