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posted by martyb on Friday May 26 2017, @03:45AM   Printer-friendly
from the sabre-rattling dept.

A US Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since US President Donald Trump took office.

The US patrol, the first of its kind since October, marked the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters.

US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday the USS Dewey traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands - among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbours.

The move angered Beijing, which reiterated its position that China has "indisputable sovereignty" over the Spratly Islands and their surrounding waters.

[...] One US official said it was the first operation near a land feature that was included in a ruling last year against China by an international arbitration court in The Hague. The court invalidated China's claim to sovereignty over large swathes of the South China Sea.

The US has criticised China's construction of man-made islands and build-up of military facilities in the sea and expressed concern they could be used to restrict free movement.

[...] US-based South China Sea analyst Greg Poling, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said [...] the key question was whether the US warship had engaged in a real challenge to the Chinese claims by turning on radar or launching a helicopter or boat - actions not permitted in a territorial sea under international law.

Otherwise, critics say, the operation would have resembled what is known as "innocent passage" and could have reinforced rather than challenged China's claim to a territorial limit around the reef.

War brewing with North Korea, picking fights with China. Good times.


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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @03:47AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @03:47AM (#515818)

    Love the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket
    Like the lost catacombs of Egypt only God knows where we stuck it
    Hieroglyphics? Let me be Pacific I wanna be down in your South Seas
    But I got this notion that the motion of your ocean means "Small Craft Advisory"
    So if I capsize on your thighs high tide, B-5 you sunk my battleship
    Please turn me on I'm Mister Coffee with an automatic drip
    So show me yours I'll show you mine "Tool Time" you'll Lovett just like Lyle
    And then we'll do it doggy style so we can both watch "X-Files"

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday May 26 2017, @04:08AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 26 2017, @04:08AM (#515825) Journal
    I noticed the last, throw away line:

    Otherwise, critics say, the operation would have resembled what is known as "innocent passage" and could have reinforced rather than challenged China's claim to a territorial limit around the reef.

    That's a weird grammar issue given that we have a "critic", Greg Poling in the previous paragraph to which this observation is apparently attached. Yay for editors.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by krishnoid on Friday May 26 2017, @04:17AM (5 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Friday May 26 2017, @04:17AM (#515827)

    "Mom! America's on my side of the water again!"

    "Nuh uh! China's trying to limit freedom of navigation on purpose! Why would China name it 'Mischief Reef' unless they were trying to get me in trouble!"

    Ugh -- I should have never had kids ... "You two shut up and play nice or I'll turn the heater up until you *really* have something to complain about."

    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by davester666 on Friday May 26 2017, @05:57AM (1 child)

      by davester666 (155) on Friday May 26 2017, @05:57AM (#515849)

      Please, turn the planet around and make Trump stay home while the rest of us continue our journey.

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday May 26 2017, @08:09AM (1 child)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 26 2017, @08:09AM (#515882) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, it's like watching two gay men who are in love with each other participate in a fencing match.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @10:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @10:22PM (#516167)

        Yes it's just like that, except with navies instead of swords.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Friday May 26 2017, @10:58AM

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 26 2017, @10:58AM (#515914) Homepage Journal

      "I'm not bombing you... I'm not bombing you!"

      "Mom!!!"

      --
      --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @06:48AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @06:48AM (#515865)

    We all know Trump is a coward. He won't dare do anything to someone who can bite back. He's too chicken shit to nuke China or even pathetic NK. What a pussy! A little pussy-grabbing pussy.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @07:21AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @07:21AM (#515874)

      It used to be that liberals were anti-war and anti-nuke.

      Last election, we had Hillary Clinton eagerly increasing tension with Russia. They have more nukes than the USA. She was acting like she wanted a war.

      Here we have a Trump-hater daring Trump to start a couple wars. Eh, probably land wars in Asia. This is inadvisable.

      I guess it's relative, and the conservatives haven't changed. Liberals went from "we love Russia" (with Hillary's reset button stunt) to "we should fight Russia". Conservatives steadfastly see Russia as an untrustworthy frenemy that we should carefully try to get along with. Liberals made fun of Sarah Palin for her concern about Russia, then Crimea was annexed. Look, it's the same damn country with the same damn culture, and it even has the same damn leader. Russia hasn't changed.

      • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Friday May 26 2017, @08:26AM

        by Wootery (2341) on Friday May 26 2017, @08:26AM (#515884)

        I think that AC is being sarcastic/just trolling.

        Not sure it matters who has more nukes, though. There are enough that all-out nuclear war remains 'infinitely bad'.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @08:37AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @08:37AM (#515891)

        Idiot, this isn't about Russia. China isn't even part of the country asia! Typical clueless Trump supporter.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by butthurt on Friday May 26 2017, @09:04AM

        by butthurt (6141) on Friday May 26 2017, @09:04AM (#515895) Journal

        > She was acting like she wanted a war.

        I missed that. Checking the conservative media, I found the headline: "Hillary Clinton advocates war with Russia." According to the story, what she said was: "I personally would be advocating now for a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air, to try to provide some way to take stock of what’s happening, to try to stem the flow of refugees."

        http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2015/10/02/hillary-clinton-advocates-war-russia/ [redstate.com]

        Mr. Trump, you seem not to recall, ordered an attack on a Syrian air base. That's rather similar, I'd say.

        Conservatives steadfastly see Russia as an untrustworthy frenemy that we should carefully try to get along with. Liberals made fun of Sarah Palin for her concern about Russia, then Crimea was annexed.

        When were the liberals making fun of Ms. Palin? During the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008? Seriously, how ridiculous can those liberals be?

        In a brief, five-day conflict, the Russian army routed its outnumbered and outgunned Georgian opponent and advanced to within a short drive of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Bush officials ruled out military options and found that, given the deterioration in U.S.-Russian relations over the previous five years, they had few good levers to influence the Kremlin. The sanctions Washington applied at the time had little resonance in Moscow.

        -- http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/03/bush-georgia-obama-ukraine-104929 [politico.com]

        The response by the Obama administration to the events in Ukraine and Crimea also entailed sanctions--so again there's a similarity.

  • (Score: 1) by mayo2y on Friday May 26 2017, @01:07PM

    by mayo2y (6520) on Friday May 26 2017, @01:07PM (#515940)

    And here I thought expanding the Spratly Islands and declaring that International Shipping Lanes were part of Chinese Territorial Waters was the quintessential action of someone picking a fight. (Or being an aggressor when sensing weakness).

    Responding to this action by the Chinese Govt and saying that these are international waters is not picking a fight - it may very well prevent a fight in the next generation.

    You need to read a few more history books and not blindly react to news.

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