US Navy ship sails past Chinese-claimed reef within the South China ocean

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A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed among twelve miles of the controversial Scarborough Shoal within the South China ocean on Mon during a challenge to China’s maritime territorial claims that may possibly depart revived Chinese complaints.

“The guided-missile destroyer USS Preble conducted a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) within the South China ocean, May 20. USS Preble sailed among twelve transportation miles of Scarborough Reef so as to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as ruled by law,” aforementioned Cmdr. Clayton bed down, a voice for the Navy’s Seventh Fleet.

Scarborough Reef, aka Scarborough Shoal, is AN unsettled reef within the South China ocean regarding a hundred and twenty miles west of the Philippines enclosed by made fishing grounds claimed by each China and therefore the Philippines. China took management of the reef from the Philippines in 2012 as a part of a trial to say management of the South China ocean areas close to the Spratly Islands and therefore the Paracel Islands.

Under the law, a country’s territorial water limits extend twelve transportation miles from its outline. The U.S. Navy can sail what area unit legendary FONOPS among that limit to challenge a country’s excessive maritime territorial claims. The U.S. Navy executes FONOPs worldwide to challenge excessive maritime claims, however, the missions difficult China’s claims within the South China ocean perpetually draw the foremost attention.

“U.S. Forces operate within the Indo-Pacific region on a commonplace, together with within the South China ocean,” bed down aforementioned. “All operations area unit designed in accordance with the law and demonstrate that the u. s. can fly, sail and operate where the law permits. that’s true within the South China ocean as in different places around the globe.”

Monday’s passage by the USS Preble is merely the Navy’s second Freedom of Navigation Operation off Scarborough Shoal — the primary one was in January 2018. The passage past Scarborough Reef was the USS Preble’s second FONOP this month. In early might, the destroyer was one among 2 warships to sail past the Spratly Islands.

The Pentagon has criticized China’s social control of the Spratly and Parcel Island chains. China has placed important military structures and instrumentation on seven artificial islands it’s engineered on reefs within the Spratly Islands.

There are U.S. and Philippine issues that within the future China may interact in similar dredging operations to make a man-made island around Scarborough Reef.

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