Monday, October 26, 2015

The United States Successfully Defends the Freedom of the Seas against China’s Claims in the Spratlys

The United States today sent a Navy ship in a freedom of navigation exercise into Communist China’s claimed 12 nautical-mile territory  around one of the disputed Spratly Islands claimed by China.  The American warship was not impeded by the Chinese, thereby defending the freedom of the seas.   

I had posted last month, Update: China’s Expanding Claims of the Spratly Islands Inhibits Freedom of the Seas,  In it, I had urged the Obama Administration to conduct a freedom of navigation exercise, which would not necessarily provoke any hostile incident.  I explained that not only has China been asserting its claims to all of the Spratlys, against all the claims of the numerous other Asian states which each claim some of the islands, and expanding the Chinese-occupied islands exponentially by reclaiming thousands of acres from the sea, but also, through its economic exclusionary zone, to all of the South China Sea.  The area is rich in fish and oil.  It is significant that the freedom of navigation exercise undertaken by the U.S. was not only within the claimed economic exclusionary zone, but even within the waters claimed by the Chinese as sovereign territory.

The Americans have thus defended the interests of the world for travel and commerce by defending the freedom of the seas.  Without fear of Chinese intimidation, the U.S. must continue to conduct such freedom of navigation operations from time to time.

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