The United States will continue to send warships over the South China Sea albeit China expressing furor over the move. Deployment of a guided-missile destroyer over the disputed region will take place twice a quarter, according to military sources.
According to military officials who have spoken with Reuters on condition of anonymity, the U.S. Navy’s patrol of South China Sea will be done as frequent as two times every quarter in order for China to be reminded that U.S. has freedom of navigation under international law.
“We’re going to come down to about twice a quarter or a little more than that. That’s the right amount to make it regular but not a constant poke in the eye. It meets the intent to regularly exercise our rights under international law and remind the Chinese and others about our view,” the military insider told Reuters. The decision was made notwithstanding China’s angry reaction when U.S. deployed USS Lassen in the contested region (China Fearless Of WW3 Against U.S).
While there is no confirmation yet from Pentagon, U.S. Deputy national Security Adviser Ben Rhodes hinted that U.S. will showcase its commitment for its rights and the rights of other countries to freely navigate in disputed islands. “That’s our interest there … It’s to demonstrate that we will uphold the principle of freedom of navigation,” Rhodes was quoted as saying by Reuters.
In a press conference Tuesday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the government does not take sides in territorial disputes. He said that the U.S. would like to help the disputing nations to resolve the matter peacefully. He, however, stressed that the government strongly objects further dredging and militarization in the South China Sea.
“That is something that the United States called for a halt on by all parties in the South China Sea, and of course, over the last year, the party that’s done the most with that kind of that kind of dredging and military activity has been China,” Carter told press. The secretary added that most of the Asian countries are seeking greater partnership with the U.S. government in the wake of the issue.