South China Sea WW3: US Warship Patrol Angers China

South China Sea WW3: US Warship Patrol Angers China
East China Sea Naval Surface Warriors / Flickr cc

Tensions along the South China Sea are on the rise, especially after a recent showdown of military might between the Chinese military and U.S. Navy. China is even referring to its latest encounter with the U.S. as a “serious provocation.”


It seems that China has had enough of the U.S. as it answers with military might in the face of recent Chinese aggression against U.S. allies, particularly the Philippines.

Earlier this year, the U.S. has expressed its commitment to send more troops and build more bases in the Philippines following the increased aggressive actions of China aimed toward staking further claim on the disputed Scarborough Shoal.

Last month, U.S. had also detected two Chinese fighter jets flying on Wood Island, which is the largest island in the Paracel chain of islands that China has been trying to claim from Taiwan and Vietnam.

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This time, China is saying that the U.S. made a move first. In fact, China’s Ministry of National Defense says it was forced to respond with “countermoves” when the USS William P. Lawrence entered the waters near Yongshu Reef in China’s Nansha Islands along the South China Sea illegally.

In response, China scrambled two J-11 fighter jets along with one Y-8 AWACs from the PLA Navy’s aviation force.

Following the incident, Chinese Defense Ministry Senior Col. Yang Yujun remarked, “We cannot help but ask how far the U.S. tries to go on the way of pushing forward militarization of the South China Sea and undermining the peace and stability in that region.”

Moreover, he also pointed out that recent “provocations by U.S. warships and aircraft” justified China’s construction of defense facilities on related islets and reefs along the Nansha islands.

According to a report from Reuters, the U.S. was undergoing a freedom of navigation operation aimed to “challenge, excessive maritime claims” by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, which would end up restricting navigation rights in the South China Sea.

For the said operation, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Bill Urban said the guided missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence traveled within 12 nautical miles of the Fiery Cross Reef that was occupied by the Chinese.

Also read: South China Sea WW3: China Deploys Jets As US, PH Build Military Bases

Related:South China Sea WW3: Philippines Leaving US, Australia As Allies? Rodrigo Duterte Raises Alarm

Related:South China Sea WW3: China Bans US Warship From Hong Kong

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  • britbob

    Effective sovereignty Argument: A case that supports this view of effective sovereignty is relevant is the Minquiers and Ecrehos Case, France/UK of 17th November 1953. In this case both the UK and France had requested the ICJ to determine which country held sovereignty over the uninhabited Islets and rocks in the Minquiers and Ecrehos. France had claimed sovereignty because of historic sovereignty going back to the Dutchy of Normandy in the 11th century while the UK claimed that Jersey had historically exercised administrational jurisdiction on them. The Court decided that in the absence of valid treaty provisions, they considered the argument that the British government has exercised effective control to be superior, so that sovereignty control over the Minquiers and Ecrehos belonged to the UK. (the UK had protested to the French government when a French national had intended to build a house on one of the islats and any deaths occurring on the islets were dealt with by inquests held on Jersey). ICJ Minquiers & Ecrehos Judgment, 17 Nov 1953, p28, paras 6 & 12.

    No delimitation between states with opposite or adjacent coasts may be affected unilaterally by one of those states. For some interesting judgments on territorial seas and to gain an understanding as to how the world court deals with such disputes: ;