Photo Credit: MC3 Elesia K. Patten/ Navy
South China Morning Post: US patrols challenging Beijing in South China Sea will continue, says US Navy commander
Freedom of navigation operations in the disputed waters still ongoing, says US Navy commander
The United States’ naval patrols in the South China Sea will continue as part of Washington’s aim to challenge “excessive maritime claims” in the disputed waters, the US Navy commander says.
“US forces operate in the Asia-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea”, US Navy Commander Gary Ross said in an emailed response to questions about whether US “freedom of navigation” operations – also known as “FONOPs” – in the area have been halted.
“We are continuing with regular FONOPs, as we have routinely done in the past and will continue to do in the future,” Ross said, adding that the patrols are “not about any one country”.
He made no mention of China’s claims in the disputed region.
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WNU Editor: This US Navy admiral can say what he wants, but so far the Trump administration has said no to any freedom of navigation patrols .... No freedom of navigation operations yet: Trump administration wrestles with posturing in the South China Sea (Navy Times). In the meantime, the Chinese are showing no reluctance to test the boundaries of neighbouring states .... Chinese coast guard sails near Japan's Okinawa, Senkaku Islands (UPI)
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