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."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Prince William on his final shift as air ambulance pilot

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Prince William is completing his final shift in his job as an air ambulance pilot as he gets ready to take on more extensive royal duties. The heir to the British throne is working the night shift Thursday at the East Anglian Air Ambulance, where he has been flying medical crews to emergencies such as traffic accidents for about two years. Source
  • Cops seeking owner of 77-pound tortoise found on road

    World News Toronto Sun
    MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. — Police on Long Island are looking for the owner of a 77-pound tortoise found on the side of a road. Newsday reports (http://nwsdy.li/2u1voB3 ) Nassau County police found the large African spurred tortoise in the Massapequa area. Source
  • Edmonton's K-Days fair closes Fire Ball ride after fatal accident in Ohio

    Canada News CTV News
    A popular midway ride called the "Fire Ball” has been closed “until further notice” at Edmonton’s annual K-Days fair this week after a man was killed on the same ride in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday. Source
  • Trump's transgender troops ban divides veterans in Congress

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender service in the armed forces drove a wedge through military veterans in Congress, with one camp standing squarely behind the commander in chief and the other decrying his order as an ugly attack on dedicated troops. Source
  • Fake Facebook accounts used to spy on Macron's election campaign, sources say

    World News CBC News
    Russian intelligence agents attempted to spy on French President Emmanuel Macron's election campaign earlier this year by creating fake Facebook personas, according to a U.S. congressman and two other people briefed on the effort. About two dozen Facebook accounts were created to conduct surveillance on Macron campaign officials and others close to the centrist former financier as he sought to defeat far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and other opponents in the two-round election, the sources…
  • Women accused of poisoning Kim Jong Nam plead not guilty

    World News Toronto Sun
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Two women accused of poisoning the estranged half brother of North Korea’s ruler in a bizarre airport assassination are expected to plead not guilty when they appear in a Malaysian court on Friday, their lawyers said. Source
  • Inmate who escaped notorious Rikers Island caught seven hours later

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Guess there's really no escaping Rikers Island afterall. Authorities say an inmate who escaped from a section of New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex has been found on the island. The inmate was captured around 3 a.m. Source
  • Michelle Obama discusses emotional scars from critics

    World News CTV News
    DENVER - Michelle Obama says breaking the glass ceiling in becoming the first black first lady left a few lasting emotional scars. Obama spoke at an event for the Women's Foundation of Colorado in Denver on Wednesday night. Source
  • Woman pleads guilty in slaying of another woman outside Vancouver nightclub [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VANCOUVER - A young woman who was charged in connection with the fatal attack of another woman outside a downtown Vancouver nightclub last year has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. During a brief appearance in Vancouver Provincial Court Wednesday, Samantha Nadine Doolan, 30, entered her plea in relation to the slaying of Lauren Lindsay McLellan, 28, near the Caprice Nightclub in the Granville entertainment district. Source
  • Video: Horrifying moment State Fair ride breaks apart, killing one and leaving seven more injured

    World News Toronto Sun
    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A swinging and spinning amusement park ride called the Fire Ball broke apart on the opening day of the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, hurling people through the air, killing at least one and injuring seven others. Source