05:30 In less than 2 weeks, the US destroyer will patrol Nansha Islands and reefs again



The USS Russell, the destroyer of the US Navy, sailed into the twelve nautical miles of the Nansha Islands on the 17th to perform a freedom of navigation mission.  (Taken from the US Navy website)

The USS Russell, the destroyer of the US Navy, sailed into the twelve nautical miles of the Nansha Islands on the 17th to perform a freedom of navigation mission. (Taken from the US Navy website)

2021/02/18 05:30

[Compiled by Chen Chengliang/Comprehensive Report]The United States continues to challenge China’s sovereignty in the South China Sea. The US Aegis destroyer “Russell” (DDG-59) sailed into the 12-nautical mile waters of the Nansha Islands, which China claims to have sovereignty, on the 17th to carry out “Navigation Operation Freedom” This is the second time the US military has carried out similar operations in the South China Sea since President Biden took office.

A statement from the Seventh Fleet of the “Russell” stated that the freedom of navigation operation challenged the illegal restrictions imposed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan on innocent passages, and safeguarded the right to free and lawful use of the relevant sea areas recognized by international law, no matter which one it is. The claimant country and the United States have challenged the global excessive maritime claims.

The US military’s last freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea was carried out by the Aegis destroyer USS McCann (DDG-56) on the 5th of this month in the Paracel Islands. It was the first such operation after the Biden administration took office. The statement of the Seventh Fleet at the time also confirmed that the McCann’s four-day voyage passed through the Taiwan Strait, saying that this was a “routine crossing” in compliance with international law. “The ship’s crossing of the Taiwan Strait shows that the United States is committed to maintaining the freedom and openness of the Indo-Pacific. Will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.”

In addition, less than a week ago, the USS Roosevelt and the USS Nimitz also held a rare joint exercise of two-aircraft strike group in the South China Sea.



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