United States warship challenges China's claims in South China Sea

United States warship challenges China's claims in South China Sea

This, after the Asian Maritime Transparency Institute (AMTI) in Washington D.C. published photos Wednesday showing continuing land reclamation in the South China Sea.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John McCain (DDG-56) sailed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Island chain, according to Fox News.

The US Department of State official also welcomed the Southeast Asian foreign ministers' reaffirmation of the importance of freedom of navigation.

China, one of Pyongyang's closest diplomatic partners, has been working to ease tensions, but President Trump has often urged China to do more to use its influence to help address the dispute over North Korea's nuclear program.

Xue Li, a maritime policy expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Hanoi would continue to use the global stage to take a strong stand on the South China Sea.

The reportedly concerned that China's construction of artificial islands and build-up of military facilities in the South China Sea are meant to restrict nautical movement in the area.

The U.S. has previously said it would like to see more participation in these type of operations in the country's disputed South China Sea.

The reef is part of a string of highly strategic islets and shoals where Beijing has built artificial islands to stage military bases.

More news: People are dying after getting these weight-loss implants
More news: Smugglers throw migrants in Yemen Sea, 5 die, 50 missing
More news: Eric Bolling suing for defamation following suspension at Fox

He said there was a limit to Vietnam's approach because of the uncertainty of the Trump administration's Asia-Pacific policy and its lack of interest in challenging China on the maritime front.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies' Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) wrote in an analysis just after November's USA presidential election that the FONOP location most directly related to enforcement of the arbitration court ruling was Mischief Reef, which was found to be a low-tide elevation that does not generate an entitlement to a territorial sea, exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.

"They called and said "please turn around, you are in our waters", the official said.

In July 2016, in a case brought by the Philippines, an arbitral tribunal in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague found no legal basis for China's claim of "historic rights" within the Nine-Dash Line in the South China Sea.

The US military has a long-standing position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and they are separate from political considerations.

The Joint Communiqué reflects the consensus of the ministers on issues concerning ASEAN, wherein Vietnam and the Philippines are member states.

They sought compliance with an arbitration ruling previous year that invalidated China's claims in the South China Sea.

"All operations are conducted in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever worldwide law allows", he said.