US warship sails close to South China Sea island claimed by Beijing: Official

This was the first time that a US warship sailed near waters claimed by Beijing for the first time after President Donald Trump took office.

IANS May 25, 2017 12:28:47 IST
US warship sails close to South China Sea island claimed by Beijing: Official

Washington: A US Navy destroyer has sailed close to a disputed South China Sea island controlled by China for the first time after President Donald Trump took office, an official said.

The USS Dewey sailed within 20 km of Mischief Reef (a man-made Chinese island), in the Spratly Island chain, on Wednesday, in a "freedom of navigation operation," according to a US official.

While he didn't confirm details of this particular operation, Pentagon Spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis told CNN: "We operate in the Asia-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea."

US warship sails close to South China Sea island claimed by Beijing Official

Representational photo. Reuters

"We operate in accordance with international law. We fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows," he added.

China has previously described such operations as a serious breach of law and an intentional provocation.

The Pentagon said such operations were "not about any one country, or any one body of water", the CNN reported.

The US regularly undertook freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea under former US President Barack Obama.

However, there were suggestions that the Trump administration was putting them off to avoid antagonising China.

China claims ownership of the vast majority of the South China Sea, including the Paracel and Spratly island chains, a claim disputed by numerous other countries including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Earlier in 2017, the US military had requested permission to perform a freedom of navigation operation but it was turned down by the Pentagon, as part of an effort to ease US-China relations, a US defence official told CNN.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Donald Trump's Republican wall of support erodes as US House begins impeachment proceedings
World

Donald Trump's Republican wall of support erodes as US House begins impeachment proceedings

The choice facing Republicans isn't just about the immediate fate of the outgoing president, but also whether the party's elected leaders are ready to move on

Xiaomi and 8 other Chinese companies blacklisted by the US over alleged military links
News & Analysis

Xiaomi and 8 other Chinese companies blacklisted by the US over alleged military links

US investors will have to divest their stakes in Chinese companies on the military list by November this year.

US ends decades-old restrictions on official contacts with Taiwan, says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
World

US ends decades-old restrictions on official contacts with Taiwan, says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

This decision, coming in the final weeks of the Donald Trump administration, is certain to anger China. Beijing has been stepping up its threats to bring the self-governing island under its control by military force