The United States is not taking any chances in the South China Sea as it deploys more forces into the disputed region. According to reports, the USS Spruance has started doing patrol missions on the sea as the tensions rise. Is the United States gunning for territory?
China vs US
China maintains that it has rights over the South China Sea islands through history and rights. However, not all nations agree including the United States and its allies. For this reason, the West has stared deploying forces in the region in hopes that its show of force will deter any aggression further from Beijing.
According to the United States Navy, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) was sent to a routine patrol in the disputed region in line with the Pacific Surface Action Group (PAC SAG) initiative to the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
“Spruance is currently operating in the South China Sea in support of maritime security and stability of all nations, especially in the Indo-Asian-Pacific,” explained Cmdr. Manuel Hernandez, commanding officer of Spruance.
“Spruance is ready and capable. The Spruance team has trained extensively for this deployment.” The said destroyer left San Diego last April 19 and has been under the management of the Commander, 3rd Fleet.
“In the past two weeks, we have operated in the Eastern Pacific with the U.S. Coast Guard and Pacific Island partners. Now, we are conducting operations in the South China Sea,” said Hernandez.
“The versatility to conduct multiple missions proves our capability to execute a variety of maritime operations across thousands of miles of ocean.”
The Premise of US and China
While the United States claims that it does not want China to continue aggression in the South China Sea thus the military operations, a new editorial in the Beijing-based Global Times newspaper suggest that the US is trying to squeeze China strategically, as reported by Forbes. However, it can also be noted that the paper is not the official voice of the nation although it continues to expose views on political matters.
The United States sees China as a violator of international law specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Beijing signed off on in 1982. Forbes maintained that the US has been a guarantor of freedom of navigation in the Pacific Ocean from World War II onwards that it will most likely pursue press for free access to the region as China continues its territorial ambitions.