U.S. warship sails near island; China protests

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Beijing has been sensitive to any further engagement by what it calls "outside parties" in the South China Sea, especially after a ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague past year that invalidated Beijing's claims to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.

This amounts to an explicit recognition that the Philippines is toeing China's line as ASEAN's chair.

Chinese navy guided missile frigates "took immediate action to identify and verify the U.S. ship, and warned and dispelled it", the Defense Ministry said.

Party bosses in Beijing lay claim to huge swathes of the disputed South China Sea.

"Even though Singapore is not a direct claimant, it has interests in the South China Sea", said Kang Lin, a researcher with the National Institute for South China Sea Studies.

China immediately dispatched two missile frigates to identify the ship, and they warned it to leave, said Wu Qian, spokesman for the Defence Ministry, early on Friday.

Hence, it would not be surprising to see that "hard" rather than "soft politics" issues will set the tone of the rivalry between Beijing and D.C.in the coming months and years.As far as global hegemonic competitions are concerned, the USA perceives China as the only viable candidate that could potentially challenge its global dominance through empowerment in political, economic and military realms. They do that on a daily basis, including the South China Sea. He is the author of "Asia's New Battlefield: U.S., China and the Struggle for the Western Pacific", and the forthcoming book "Rise of Duterte".

"China holds indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands and surrounding waters", Beijing's defense ministry said. On Thursday, he suggested that he might spare China trade penalties if it did more to curtail North Korea.

For the Pentagon and the American security establishment, China stands at a critical stage where it could translate its massive economic might into modern military technology and political muscle in a matter of years, rather than decades. Nicole Schwegman said all Navy operations "are conducted in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

"They called and said 'Please turn around, you are in our waters, '" he said.

Recently, China-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting adopted the framework of the Code of Conduct (COC).The Code of conduct states that South China Sea disputes should be addressed through negotiations and consultations among the countries directly concerned, and China and ASEAN countries should work together to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Tensions in the region escalated after China began to turn seven reefs in the Spratly group, including Mischief, which is also claimed by US defence treaty ally the Philippines, into islands, including three with runways. "Beijing continues to reclaim land farther north in the Paracel Islands", AMTI said. "And the behaviour of the US, Japan and Australia is unlikely to change either, no matter how cordial relations between China and the other Asean members become", Zhang said.

Cayetano made his claim when he justified on Tuesday, August 8, why the Philippines sought to exclude China's land reclamation activities from a joint statement by foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"About 45 islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military forces from China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam".

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