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

  • Government 'will not pursue deportation' of former child refugee: Goodale

    Canada News CTV News
    A former child refugee who pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer will no longer have to fight the federal government in court over his right to stay in Canada. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed in a tweet Tuesday that the government “will not pursue deportation” for Abdoul Abdi. Source
  • Nowhere to run: Rohingya hunker down as monsoon arrives

    World News CTV News
    UKHIYA, Bangladesh -- The hill on which the young woman's shelter is being built is so unstable that the earth crumbles under your feet. The threat of landslides is so dire that her neighbours have evacuated. Source
  • The case against Russians indicted for U.S. election cyberattacks

    World News CBC News
    Twelve Russian military intelligence officers are accused of hacking into the computers of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign and of attempting to penetrate voting systems across the U.S. 12 Russians indicted for cyberattacks during U.S. presidential election Source
  • Immigrant children describe hunger and cold in U.S. detention

    World News CTV News
    SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Wet and muddy from their trek across the Mexican border, immigrant children say they sat or lay on the cold, concrete floor of the immigration holding centres where they were taken. Source
  • Missing boy's remains found along North Saskatchewan riverbank

    Canada News CTV News
    MELFORT, Sask. - Police say they have found the remains of a little boy who disappeared in Prince Albert, Sask., in the spring. Sweetgrass Kennedy was last seen on May 10 and Prince Albert police had said evidence suggested the four-year-old fell into the North Saskatchewan River. Source
  • 800 low-cost airline passengers stranded in Montreal for 4 days

    Canada News CTV News
    Eight hundred airline passengers have been stranded in Montreal for the past four days after a low-cost airline cancelled a series of flights to Paris. Spanish airline Level cancelled the first flight on Saturday. Source
  • Trump's stunning Europe trip smashes presidential precedent

    World News CTV News
    HELSINKI -- Plenty of U.S. presidents have created commotion in their travels abroad, but none as much as U.S. President Donald Trump. The president's tumultuous trip across Europe, historians say, smashed the conventions of American leaders on the world stage. Source
  • B.C. anti-gang agency to monitor Hells Angels anniversary party

    Canada News CTV News
    NANAIMO, B.C. -- As many as 300 Hells Angels club members and other outlaw motorcycle gang members are expected to descend on Vancouver Island this weekend. The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. Source
  • Forgotten hero in marine disaster honoured by Red Cross in N.L.

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Forty-six years ago, Leo Bullen gave up his life when he offered his life-jacket to a small child as a fire raged around them on the schooner Delroy, sinking the ship and claiming the lives of nine people. Source
  • U.S. grand jury indicts woman on charges of being Russian agent

    World News CBC News
    A U.S. grand jury on Tuesday indicted a Russian woman on charges of acting as an agent of the Russian government, the U.S. Justice Department said. Maria Butina, who studied at American University in Washington and is a founder of the pro-gun Russian advocacy group Right to Bear Arms, was arrested on Sunday and is scheduled to appear on Wednesday in federal court in Washington, the department said. Source