South China Sea not a U.S.-versus-China battle, navy commander says

SYDNEY, Australia - The commander of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said Monday that he is wary of the situation in the South China Sea being painted as a battle between the United States and China, but added the presence of a Chinese missile system on a disputed island will not stop the U.S.

See Full Article

military from flying over the region.

U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin's comments come a week after it was revealed that Beijing had deployed surface-to-air missiles on an island in the fiercely contested region. The U.S. said the presence of missiles provided increasing evidence of militarization of the area by China.

China subsequently accused the U.S. of militarizing the region, saying patrols by U.S. Navy vessels and military aircraft had escalated tensions and raised concerns about stability in the area.

Last month, a U.S. warship deliberately sailed near one of the Beijing-controlled islands in the Paracel chain in a so-called freedom of navigation exercise. China, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims in the Paracels.

Aucoin, whose Japan-based fleet covers a region from India to the international dateline in the Pacific Ocean, said the U.S. is not making such manoeuvrs to single out any country, and wants all nations that are reclaiming land to stop.

"I wish it wasn't portrayed as U.S. versus China," Aucoin told reporters in Sydney, one of his stops on a visit to Australia to meet with defence officials. "This shouldn't seem provocative. What we're trying to ensure is that all countries, no matter size or strength, can pursue their interests based on the law of the sea and not have that endangered by some of these actions."

Last week, U.S. and Taiwanese officials confirmed commercial satellite images showed anti-aircraft missiles had been placed on Woody Island in the Paracel chain. China has not denied the appearance of the missiles, but says it is entitled to defend its territory.

Aucoin said the missiles had provided a "destabilizing effect" across the region, and urged China to be transparent about its intentions. Asked whether the presence of the missile system would affect U.S. preparedness to fly over the area, Aucoin said no.

"We will fly, sail, operate wherever international law allows, including those areas," he said.

Aucoin also expressed concerns about North Korea's recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

"They should immediately abandon their nuclear weapons," Aucoin said. "We want them to do this in a comprehensive, verifiable, irreversible way, to stop their nuclear programs and abide by their commitments, their obligations, to stabilize that area of the world."


Latest Canada & World News

  • ISIS using tens of thousands as human shields in Mosul

    World News CBC News
    ISIS appears to be using tens of thousands of people as human shields in and around Mosul, where Iraqi forces are waging a large-scale offensive aimed at retaking the country's second largest city, the UN human rights office said Friday. Source
  • Alberta sheriff convicted of drunken assault on girlfriend outside downtown Edmonton bar

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    An Alberta sheriff was convicted of assault Thursday for drunkenly punching his girlfriend outside a downtown bar and dragging her along the sidewalk. Luke Jerace, 38, was found guilty by provincial court Judge Kirk MacDonald, who ruled Jerace forcefully punched Kristen Walker in the body and pulled her. Source
  • 'He was aggressively in my face': Accused killer's friend testifies at manslaughter trial

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A friend of an Edmonton MMA fighter accused of killing a man with one punch told a jury Thursday the victim had threatened them seconds before the incident. Testifying at the manslaughter trial of Justin Nanaquawetung, 28, Adam Mueller said he had knocked on a window of a Bonnie Doon pub to get the attention of a friend after being told by victim Mike Laronde and a woman with him that they had missed last call. Source
  • Canadian sports doctor Anthony Galea found guilty of professional misconduct

    Canada News CBC News
    A renowned sports doctor who was convicted in the U.S. for importing unapproved and mislabeled drugs, has been found guilty in Canada of professional misconduct. In a ruling issued on Monday, the discipline committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) ruled that Dr. Source
  • Mississippi mom says noose put around teen son's neck will leave emotional scars

    World News CBC News
    A black 15-year-old in Mississippi shook in fear as he described how white schoolmates put a noose around his neck and pulled it tight, leaving no physical scars but perhaps a life-changing emotional wound, his mother said. Source
  • Retired teacher, hockey billet convicted of sexually assaulting boys in 1960s, ‘70s

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    KINGSTON, ONT. - A jury convicted longtime hockey billet and retired Kingston school teacher Neil Joynt on Thursday on two of three historic sex-related assault charges. The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for more than 10 hours — nine hours on Wednesday and one hour on Thursday morning — before convicting Joynt, 75, of two counts of indecent assault. Source
  • 'Atrocious in the extreme'; Parents jailed for torturing, sexually abusing daughter for 15 years

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — An Australian husband and wife were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on Friday for sexually abusing, torturing and confining their daughter over 15 years. The District Court in Sydney was told that the father used various sharp tools to rape and torture the girl who was left tied up in a shed or in a plastic box for up to three days at a time on the family’s rural property in northern New South Wales. Source
  • Syrian rebels launch Aleppo offensive in bid to break siege

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- Fierce fighting broke out around the northern Syrian city of Aleppo Friday as rebels announced a large-scale offensive to break the government's nearly two-month siege of opposition-held areas. A reporter inside the city on the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV channel reported attacks on "all sides" of the city, "from the furthest points north to furthest south. Source
  • Student accused of taking topless Snapcat selfie, rear-ending police car

    World News CTV News
    BRYAN, Texas -- Police say a 19-year-old Texas A&M University student who rear-ended a squad car told an officer she was taking a topless selfie. Miranda Kay Rader posted $200 bond after she was charged with drunken driving and possessing alcohol as a minor. Source
  • Student accused of taking topless Snapchat selfie, rear-ending police car

    World News CTV News
    BRYAN, Texas -- Police say a 19-year-old Texas A&M University student who rear-ended a squad car told an officer she was taking a topless selfie. Miranda Kay Rader posted $200 bond after she was charged with drunken driving and possessing alcohol as a minor. Source