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US Warship “Expelled” From South China Sea By PLA Forces 

US Warship “Expelled” From South China Sea By PLA Forces 

The superpower clash between China and the U.S. continued on Friday as a U.S. Navy ship sailed near the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands in the heavily disrupted South China Sea, only to get an stern rebuke (and what some would call, an appropriate response) from Beijing.

The USS John S. McCain, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, entered the waters near Paracel islands Friday without China’s permission on a “freedom of navigation operation,” the first known operation in the heavily disputed area under the new Biden administration. 

The heavily disputed waterway is one of the flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, including a trade war, technology war, U.S. sanctions, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

U.S. sailings of warships near the militarized islands in the South China Sea have angered Beijing in the past.

The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said the destroyer USS John S. McCain “asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law”.

Meanwhile, according to the latest naval deployment map from Stratfor, other US naval ships located just off China’s coast include the carrier CVN 71 Roosevelt, and the LHA 6 America large Amphibious group.

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China To Hold Military Drills In Gulf Of Tonkin As Warning To Nearby US Carrier Group

China To Hold Military Drills In Gulf Of Tonkin As Warning To Nearby US Carrier Group

China has announced plans to hold military exercises in the South China Sea this week, a mere days after the Pentagon confirmed a US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt had entered the disputed waters in a “freedom of the seas” operation and after daily Chinese incursions of Taiwan’s airspace had been reported the prior week.

Beijing, indignant at the US muscle-flexing in its own backyard, will hold the drills in the Gulf of Tonkin also during a crucial week top Communist Party leaders of Vietnam are meeting for the once in five years National Congress to select a new leader for the country.

Reuters reports of the new Chinese military drills, “A notice issued by the country’s Maritime Safety Administration prohibited entry into a portion of waters in the Gulf of Tonkin to the west of the Leizhou peninsula in southwestern China from Jan. 27 to Jan. 30, but it did not offer details on when the drills would take place or at what scale.”

The new drill notification came after on Monday Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian slammed the nearby US military movements:

“It does no good to regional peace and stability for the United States to frequently send military vessels and aircraft to the South China Sea to show off muscles,” Zhao said.

He further said, “We urge the US side to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues, and refrain from sending any wrong signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces so as to avoid damaging China-US relations and peace and refrain from sending any wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces so as to avoid damaging China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

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Is War With China Becoming Inevitable?

Is War With China Becoming Inevitable?

Tensions are rising between the U.S. and China, as the list of ideological, political and economic clashes continues to lengthen. And there is a transparent new reality: China seems in no mood to back down.

“The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo ominously warned on Friday.

He spelled out what he meant to commentator Larry O’Connor:

“The Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north. … They absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight.”

Pompeo had just returned from a Tokyo gathering of foreign ministers from the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad,” the group of four democracies — U.S., Japan, Australia, India — whose purpose is to discuss major Indo-Pacific geostrategic issues.

Exactly what kind of “ally and partner” the U.S. is to be “in the fight” between India and China over disputed terrain in the Himalayan Mountains was left unexplained. We have no vital interest in where the Line of Control between the most populous nations on earth should lie that would justify U.S. military involvement with a world power like China.

And the idea that Japan, whose territorial quarrel with China is over the tiny Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, thousands of miles away, would take sides in a Himalayan India-China conflict also seems ludicrous.

Yet, tensions are rising between the U.S. and China, as the list of ideological, political and economic clashes continues to lengthen.

And there is a transparent new reality: China seems in no mood to back down.

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China Blasts Latest US Navy Deployment Near Paracel Islands: “Halt Provocations!”

China again put the United States on notice on Friday, warning the Pentagon to “halt provocations” in the South China Sea.

This after the latest incident involving the US destroyer John McCain sailing near the disputed Paracel Islands administered and militarized by China.

Illustrative image: Guided missile destroyer USS Forest Sherman, Wiki Commons.

A PLA military spokesperson denounced the sail-by, saying Washington must seek permission to navigate the area. “We demand the US immediately stop such provocative actions, (and) strictly control and restrict military operations in the sea and air,” the spokesperson said.

This constitutes the latest notable incident after last summer there was a major uptick in US military flights over the region, however, during the past month there seems to have been fewer of these provocative sail-throughs.

Prior angry denunciations from Beijing related to American spy aircraft observed in the region, sometimes even shielding any identifying characteristics to appear like civilian aviation, which the PLA has said is dangerous given the possibility of ‘mistaken’ incidents.

The Chinese military has repeatedly charged that the US Navy has ‘frequently’ deployed warships in the South China Sea to “show off its force and severely infringe upon China’s sovereignty and security interests,” according to a quote in The Daily Mail.

The Pentagon response has typically been that it’s conducting peaceful ‘freedom of navigation’ operations to ensure adversaries adhere to international law for open waters.

China has over the past years used both artificial islands as well as expanding military bases on the tiny land masses to extend its maritime claims, butting up against that of American allies in the region like the Philippines or unrecognized Taiwan.

2 Aircraft Carriers Lead ‘Show Of Strength’ In South China Sea As Navarro Slams Beijing For “Spreading The Virus”

2 Aircraft Carriers Lead ‘Show Of Strength’ In South China Sea As Navarro Slams Beijing For “Spreading The Virus”

On the eve of Independence Day, the White House is once again stoking tensions with Beijing, as President Trump continues to embrace aggressive rhetoric toward China as a key campaign issue that (he hopes) will help bring out more Trump voters worried about Biden and/or members of his family’s dubious business ties to China and Ukraine.

Media reports claim that the US is sending not one but two aircraft carriers into the South China Sea, one of the hottest flashpoints on earth right now (at least, one of the hottest flash points that’s not situated along India’s land-border), as the US Navy holds military exercises in the area, a major middle finger to Beijing and the PLA-Navy.

The USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz are scheduled to hold some of the Navy’s largest exercises in recent years in the area, which is frequently beset upon by American destroyers sailing within 12 miles of certain islands developed by China that are the subject of competing international claims.

The exercise will involve the two carriers as well as 4 other warships along with round-the-clock fights and missions.

The news comes as Peter Navarro, who has seemingly been relegated back to a supply closet office in the West Wing now that the trade deal is dead in the water, has apparently been let out of his cage long enough to rant about Beijing and the CCP leadership’s unforgivable failure to contain the coronavirus.

Perhaps it’s because China has seemingly been on a agricultural commodity buying spree in Latin America?

For a while there, it seemed like China would buy up ever-more American agricultural products for the simple reason that they were cheap and China needed the supplies.

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Chinese Warns US To Halt Military Operations In South China Sea

Chinese Warns US To Halt Military Operations In South China Sea 

The Chinese military is closely monitoring a US Navy guided-missile destroyer transiting the South China Sea on Tuesday (April 28). 

Global Times✔@globaltimesnews

When US destroyer Barry trespassed into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands on Tue, the PLA Southern Theater Command coordinated with naval and air forces to follow its course; they identified the ship, warned and expelled it:PLA Southern Theater Command spokesperson

View image on Twitter

The People’s Daily, quoting senior colonel Li Huamin, spokesperson for the Chinese Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command, said a US warship entered the “territorial waters off Xisha Islands in the South China Sea without China’s permission. The Southern Theater Command of PLA deployed air and navy forces to monitor and verify the ship, and warned it to leave.”

 People’s Daily, China✔@PDChina

A US warship on Tue entered the territorial waters off Xisha Islands in the South China Sea without China’s permission. The Southern Theater Command of PLA deployed air and navy forces to monitor and verify the ship, and warned it to leave, according to Senior Colonel Li Huamin.

View image on Twitter

Bloomberg reports that the “Chinese navy followed and expelled it [US Navy warship],” citing a PLA Daily report. 

Huamin went on to say, the US Navy violated “relevant international law and was a serious infringement of China’s sovereignty.” 

CGTN News said China urged the US to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding across the country rather than conduct freedom of navigation missions in the South China Sea. 

The PLA has spent the last 3 to 4 weeks ramping up military operations in the highly contested waters as the pandemic sweeps across the world. 

The US blasted China last week for its “bullying behavior” in the region. The US State Department recently said China is taking advantage of the region’s focus on the COVID-19 pandemic to “coerce its neighbors.” 

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China Demands US Stop “Flexing Muscles” After Its New Carrier Sails Across Taiwan Strait

China Demands US Stop “Flexing Muscles” After Its New Carrier Sails Across Taiwan Strait

China has gone on the diplomatic and military offensive Monday as China’s Defense Minister told his US counterpart that Washington must stop “flexing its muscles” in the South China Sea. At the same time Beijing has deployed its new domestically produced aircraft carrier to the South China Sea for “training and research purposes,” CNN reports. Before that it passed through the Taiwan Strait, reportedly followed closely by US and Japanese ships. 

China said it would not tolerate “any Taiwan independence incidents” and urged the United States not to provoke any further problems or interference in the region.

China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier, via Reuters.

This latest incident reported by Reuters involved the “Chinese carrier ship passed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, tailed by U.S. and Japanese ships.”

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met in Bangkok where they are attending a summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other countries.

Wei is reported to have told Esper that China is determined to maintain “peace and stability in the South China Sea and demands the US stop flexing its muscles in the South China Sea and do not provoke and escalate tension in the South China Sea.” They also discussed the unrest in Hong Kong and a host of other security-related issues.

Chinese Defense Minister Wie Fenghe greets US Defense Secretary Mark Esper in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday, via the AP.

The day before, Esper had publicly accused Beijing of “increasingly resorting to coercion and intimidation to advance its strategic objectives” in the region.

Esper acknowledged in a Tweet that the two discussed “how our two nations can continue a relationship focused on maintaining the international rules based system.”

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Marines “Remind China Of America’s Military Edge” During 11-Day Exercise In The Pacific

Marines “Remind China Of America’s Military Edge” During 11-Day Exercise In The Pacific 

The US is escalating the intensity of its military drills in the waters around mainland China. According to the South China Morning Post, US marines recently held airfield and island-seizure drills in the East and South China seas in order to remind Beijing of “US military supremacy” the Pacific – and of a treaty that the US has with Taiwan, the ‘wayward’ province that President Xi Jinping has vowed to ‘re-unify’ with the rest of the country, by force, if necessary.

The 11-day-long naval drills were carried out around the Philippines and the Japanese island of Okinawa (not far from Taiwan) by the Okinawa-based US marine expeditionary units.

The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit said the exercises were intended as a ‘warning’ to Beijing: That Washington could carry out amphibious campaigns far from home if Washington ever needed to, say, intervene in “territorial disputes between China and America’s allies in the region.” Most of the activity took place in the Philippines and East China Seas, and around an American naval base in Japan.

The drills were also intended “to remind Beijing of America’s military edge” at a time when the Communist Party is dramatically increasing its military budget in an arms race with the US.

The team performed “reconnaissance” and “surveillance” missions, but they also practiced landing a team of troops to “establish a refueling point” from a massive troop-carrying aircraft.

The unit’s Amphibious Reconnaissance Platoon also performed a reconnaissance and surveillance mission through a high-altitude, low-opening parachute jump onto Okinawa.

A tilt-rotor aircraft, which hovers like a helicopter but flies like an aeroplane, afterward sent a landing team from a Wasp ship more than 400km (250 miles) away to establish the arming and refuelling point. The team achieved its objective in just over one hour, the statement said.

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US Slams China’s Escalating Oil & Gas ‘Interference’ In Vietnam Recognized Waters

US Slams China’s Escalating Oil & Gas ‘Interference’ In Vietnam Recognized Waters

Late this week, the US State Department accused China of escalating its coercive actions against Vietnam in the South China Sea. 

A spokesman said the US is “deeply concerned” China is continuing its interference with Vietnam’s longstanding oil and gas activities in the Vietnamese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) claim.

“This calls into serious question China’s commitment, including in the ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, to the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes,” the statement said

Military officers of the Vietnamese Navy’s Second Regional Command signalling territorial claims. Source: Viet Nam News

This week the National Interest described in detail the worsening situation in a piece aptly titled South China Sea Showdown: China vs. Vietnam (Round 2).

The report described a Chinese survey vessel dispatched inside the Vietnam claimed EEZ accompanied by Chinese Coast Guard military vessels:

The Haiyang Dizhi 8, a survey vessel belonging to a Chinese government-run corporation, began surveying a large swath of seabed on 3 July northeast of Vanguard Bank, which falls within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. The ship has been escorted by other vessels, including from the China Coast Guard and maritime militia. At the same time, China Coast Guard ships have been harassing Vietnamese drilling operations to the south.

Western analysts see Beijing’s expansion in regional waters as part of a broader campaign of natural resource exploitation, with the ultimate goal of forcing rival countries into ‘joint exploration’ partnerships, even in undisputed waters. 

According to the report, the current crisis is the most serious tensions have been between China and US ally Vietnam in years

Chinese incursions into Vietnam’s EEZ are by no means a new phenomenon. The most serious recent incident occurred in 2014, when China deployed an oil rig into Vietnam’s EEZ, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the two neighbors. The current situation near Vanguard Bank, however, represents a more serious challenge on several levels.

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“Warning Shot Across The Bow:” US Warns China On Aggressive Acts By Maritime Militia

“Warning Shot Across The Bow:” US Warns China On Aggressive Acts By Maritime Militia

Earlier this month, we reported that 275 Chinese fishing militia and Coast Guard vessels surrounded the island of Thitu in the South China Sea, which is currently being occupied by the Philippines. The US recently delivered a stern message to Beijing about its aggression in the highly disputed body of water, announcing that Chinese fishing militia and Coast Guard ships would be treated as military vessels.

Admiral John Richardson, head of the US Navy, described how he told, vice-admiral Shen Jinlon of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), back in January, that the Trump administration would label the Coast Guard and the maritime militia as military vessels.

“I made it very clear that the US navy will not be coerced and will continue to conduct routine and lawful operations around the world, in order to protect the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of sea and airspace guaranteed to all,” Admiral Richardson told the Financial Times.

China’s Coast Guard has more than doubled its feet to over 130 ships in the last decade, making it the largest coast guard in the world. Beijing trains and provides financial subsidies to the maritime militia, an armed reserve force of civilians and fishing boats, has significantly increased in size since 2015.

In its last annual report on the PLAN, the Pentagon said the fleet “plays a major role in coercive activities to achieve China’s political goals without fighting.”

In 2H17 through 1H18, the maritime militia sailed through the East China Sea with commercial grade laser pointers — striking low-flying American warplanes with damaging beams of light.

China has more frequently deployed the maritime militia in the East and South China sea because the US Navy is likely not to respond to aggression from small fishing boats. But that seems to be coming to an end, as the latest warning from Admiral Richardson could provoke a hot conflict.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Admiral Warns About ‘Hazardous’ Military Buildup In South China Sea

US Admiral Warns About ‘Hazardous’ Military Buildup In South China Sea 

Though it rarely makes headlines in the US, the simmering rivalry between American and Chinese military forces has prompted some to declare the South China Sea – where Beijing has been building out its military and naval infrastructure in defiance of international court rulings – the “world’s most dangerous hotspot”.

And as China has transformed rocky atolls into stationary aircraft carriers, nobody has been more vocal about the dangers of China’s increasingly aggressive posture in the Pacific than Admiral Philip Davidson, the commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, who has warned about the growing geopolitical threat even as many established economists have played down the risk of a conflict because, in theory, the economic links between the world’s two largest economies represent a reliable counterweight.


Admiral Philip Davidson

Offering yet another ominous warning just days after Washington again provoked Beijing by flying two B-52 bombers over the contested sea, Davidson told a group of reporters that he had observed a rise in Chinese military activity in the Pacific.

Nine Dash

Asked about the US’s “freedom of navigation” operations in the region, Davidson declined to offer specifics but said only that the US would remain “an enduring Pacific power.” But turning the focus again to China, Davidson warned that China’s military buildup was a “hazard” to trade flows and financial information that circulates via fiber optic cables running on the ocean floor under the South China Sea.

“It’s building, it’s not reducing in any sense of the word,” Davidson told reporters on Thursday in Singapore when asked about China’s military activities in the South China Sea. “There has been more activity with ships, fighters and bombers over the last year than in previous years, absolutely.”

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Washington Provokes Beijing By Flying 2 B-52 Bombers Over South China Sea

Washington Provokes Beijing By Flying 2 B-52 Bombers Over South China Sea 

So far, simmering tensions between the US and Chinese Navy in the South China Sea haven’t had much of an impact on trade-deal talks. But that doesn’t mean investors should just ignore the US’s increasingly provocative “freedom of navigation” operations in the contested region that is also a vital chokepoint for one third of global trade.

As Trump reportedly pressures his negotiators to walk away with a deal, the US air force has for the first time since just before Thanksgiving risked a confrontation with Beijing by flying two B-52 bomber on a mission that brought them within close proximity to the Chinese mainland.


The “training mission” brought the bombers close to disputed airspace over the South and East China Seas, according to RT. The mission was part of the US Pacific Command’s “Continuous Bomber Presence Missions”, which are designed to act as a means of deterrence against Beijing, which hasn’t shied away from flexing its growing military presence in the Pacific.

Two US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress long-range bombers, based in Guam, participated in “routine training missions” on Monday by flying through the disputed airspaces over the South and East China Seas. As one bomber “conducted training in the vicinity of the South China Sea,” the other practiced off the coast of Japan in “coordination with the US Navy and alongside our Japanese air force,” US Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.

The provocation is particularly notable because of Beijing’s increasingly belligerent rhetoric toward Taiwan, which President Xi pledged earlier this year would soon be “reunited” with the mainland, eliciting cries from Taiwan’s leader that the Taiwanese people would never accept this.

The bombers reportedly took off from Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.

Back in October, a Chinese warship nearly collided with a US destroyer in the South China Sea, provoking condemnations from both sides. Of course, these ongoing provocations apparently don’t matter to global markets…until they do.

Mike Pompeo’s War Warning to China

Mike Pompeo's War Warning to China

Mike Pompeo’s War Warning to China

Could America sustain such a commitment? More important, why should we? Has the White House thought through the implications of what the Pompeo threat may bring?

As President Trump flew home from his Hanoi summit with Kim Jong Un, Mike Pompeo peeled off and flew to Manila. And there the Secretary of State made a startling declaration.

Any armed attack by China on a Philippine ship or plane in the South China Sea, he told the Philippine government, will be treated as an attack on an American ship or plane, bringing a U.S. military response.

“China’s island building and military activities in the South China Sea threaten your sovereignty, security and, therefore, economic livelihood, as well as that of the United States,” said Pompeo. “As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defense obligations under article 4 of our mutual defense treaty.”

Article 4 requires the U.S. and the Philippines to come to the defense of the other if one is attacked. The treaty dates back to August 1951. There are Americans on Social Security who were not born when this Cold War treaty was signed.

Pompeo’s declaration amounts to a U.S. war guarantee.

Why would we make such a commitment? Why take such a risk?

Is Trump aware of what Pompeo’s promise could entail?

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For years, Beijing has claimed as national territory virtually the entire South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines all reject China’s claims to the Paracel and Spratly Islands within that sea. But Beijing has occupied and expanded half a dozen islets; landed planes and troops; and fortified them as military and naval bases.

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Some Confucian Calm, Please!


The United States and China look like two punch-drunk prizefighters squaring off for a major championship fight. They have no good reason to fight and every reason to cooperate now that both their stock markets have been in turmoil.

Six hundred point market swings down and then up look like symptoms of economic nervous breakdown.

Factions in both nations are beating the war drums, putting presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping under growing pressure to be more aggressive.

Trump shoulders much of the blame for having started this unnecessary confrontation by imposing heavy duties on Chinese goods. The US president has turned the old maxim on its head that nations that trade heavily don’t go to war. The US and China, both huge trading partners, appear headed to military clashes, or even full scale war, if their governments don’t come to their senses soon.

Trump was clearly trying to bully China into major trade concessions and better commercial behavior. He is right about this. I’ve done business in China for over 15 years and seen every kind of chicanery, fakery and double-dealing imaginable. China learned from the French that the First Commandment is ‘Thou Shalt Not Import.’

The Japanese are no better. I recall Japanese health authorities telling my pharma firm that all our tablets had to be triangular shaped to make them nearly impossible to swallow.

Theft of technology is indeed rampant, as Trump asserts. But has he looked into CIA and NSA’s techno spying recently? They ransacked the Soviet Union during its last dying days. Much of our postwar missile technology was developed by German scientists spirited off to the USA. After the Sputnik launch in 1957, I recall seeing a German cartoon showing a Soviet and US satellite in orbit next to one another. One whispers to the other, ‘Now that we’re alone, let’s speak German!’

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As Trade Talks Begin, US Infuriates Beijing With Latest Navy Operation In South China Sea

As a US delegation led by senior trade officials arrived in Beijing on Monday to begin the first round of in-person talks to resolve the burgeoning US-China trade war, the US has reportedly carried out its latest ‘Freedom of Navigation’ operation in the South China Sea – though at least this time there wasn’t a near-collision with a Chinese ship.

Since President Trump’s inauguration, the US has stepped up its ‘Freeops’ as the US Navy seeks to contain China’s growing military ambitions in the Pacific. But since the trade war began, the US has demonstrated a keen sense of timing, contributing to China’s decisions to cancel security conferences and reconsider coming to the table to talk on trade.

Nine Dash

But this time, the controversial maneuver seemingly doesn’t bode well for the fate of a lasting US-China trade compromise. According to the Wall Street Journal, the US-guided-missile destroyer the USS McCampbell patrolled within 12 miles of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Monday. In particular, it came within a few miles of three islands: Tree, Lincoln and Woody.

China sent its own ship to try and deter the McCampbell, but ultimately decided to file an official complaint. According to Bloomberg, China urged the US to halt “provocative actions” in the South China Sea. “The actions by the U.S. fleet have violated Chinese law and related international laws, and undermined the peace, security and good order in the relevant waters,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a briefing Monday in Beijing. “China strongly opposes the actions.”


The Paracels are claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan but have been controlled by China since the Communist Nation seized them from Vietnamese forces in 1974. Further alarming the US, Beijing has upgraded several military outposts in the Paracels and deployed jet fighters to at least one, according to satellite images and US officials.

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