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

  • Innocent teen killed amid 'uptick in gang violence': Vancouver police chief

    Canada News CTV News
    An innocent teen who was killed by gunfire while in a car with his parents was the victim of surging gang violence, Vancouver’s police chief told reporters on Monday. “We haven’t seen gang violence like this in probably the last 10 years,” Chief Constable Adam Palmer said at a press conference. Source
  • TSB investigating after plane's wheel goes off runway at Toronto airport

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Transportation Safety Board is investigating after a wheel of a plane went off a runway at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Sunday evening. A spokeswoman for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority says the Air Georgian flight became temporarily disabled on the taxiway after an aborted takeoff. Source
  • Liberal MP says abortion clause in summer jobs program 'not right'

    Canada News CBC News
    Newfoundland MP Scott Simms says he is petitioning his own government to reverse a clause in a student summer jobs program that requires groups applying for grants to attest to abortion rights.Churches upset by new abortion clause in jobs programScheer accuses Trudeau of 'imposing' values on abortion with summer jobs grantsThe Liberal MP said its unfair that churches and Christian groups are being asked to violate their fundamental beliefs in order to receive funding for jobs and programs that…
  • Feds move to replace U.S. border barriers in New Mexico

    World News CTV News
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Trump administration announced Monday it was preparing to replace existing vehicle barriers along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico that officials call "an area of high illegal entry. Source
  • Woman, called inspiration for Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96

    World News CTV News
    LONGVIEW, Wash. - A woman identified by a scholar as the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter, the iconic female World War II factory worker, has died in Washington state. The New York Times reports that Naomi Parker Fraley died Saturday in Longview. Source
  • Aw shucks!: Silo collapse sends about 9,000 tons of corn onto road

    World News CTV News
    NEW CARLISLE, Ohio -- A silo collapse has sent about 9,070 metric tons of corn onto an Ohio road, shutting it down for days. WHIO-TV reports emergency crews first responded to calls of an explosion at the Miami Valley Feed & Grain Co. Source
  • Alberta Creep Catcher gets fine, probation for 'repugnant and malicious' crime

    Canada News CBC News
    An Alberta man who was convicted of criminal harassment for his participation in the vigilante group Creep Catchers has been fined and sentenced to probation by a judge in Red Deer, Alta. Carl Young, also known as Karl Murphy, impersonated a 15-year-old boy with the intent to confront the victim, a man he ultimately met up with in Lacombe on Nov. Source
  • Saskatchewan family sells everything, moves to Alberta in search of jobs

    Canada News CBC News
    Christine Angst and her spouse, Jeremy Dole, were lifelong Saskatchewan residents until last November, when they decided to sell everything they owned and move to Alberta in search of work. "Our life basically degraded to a point where we couldn't look after our children properly and were in fear we'd have to give them up," said Angst from her new home in Edmonton where she lives with Dole and their five children. Source
  • Man accused in U.K. van attack against Muslims was 'ticking time bomb'

    World News CBC News
    A man accused of driving a van into worshippers near London's Finsbury Park Mosque became convinced that all Muslims were extremists or rapists in pedophile gangs, a prosecutor said Monday. Darren Osborne, 48, is accused of driving into a crowd of worshippers attending Ramadan prayers in June. Source
  • Ex-train engineer apologizes for his role in Lac-Megantic tragedy

    Canada News CTV News
    SHERBROOKE, Que. - One of the three men acquitted of criminal negligence in the Lac-Megantic railway disaster is apologizing publicly for his role in the tragedy that killed 47 people. Tom Harding spoke to reporters today for the first time since he and two former railway colleagues were found not guilty last week. Source