US warships enter disputed waters in South China Sea, escalating tension with China

US warships enter disputed waters in South China Sea, escalating tension with China

A current military stand off is happening in the South China Sea, off the Malaysian claimed waters.

Last week a Chinese registered survey ship called the Haiyang Dizhi 8 began shadowing the West Capella, a drill ship conducting exploration activities off the Malaysian coast and operated by Petronas, the Malaysian state oil company.

Haiyang Dizhi 8 was know to have done the same shadowing oil operations off Vietnam.

USS America LHA 6. amphibious assault ship
(photo credit to owner)

US warships have sailed into the disputed waters a fact which according to defense analysts will heightened a standoff in the waterway and sharpening the rivalry between the United States and China, even as much of the world is in lockdown because of the coronavirus.

According to the defense experts, the USS America, an amphibious assault ship, and the USS Bunker Hill, a guided missile cruiser, entered contested waters off Malaysia. At the same time, a Chinese government ship in the area has for days been tailing a Malaysian state oil company ship carrying out exploratory drilling. Chinese and Australian warships have also powered into nearby waters.

US Navy Amphibious assault ship USS America operating 53 nautical miles from area of a standoff between China and Malaysia in South China Sea.(photo credit to owner)

Despite the global pandemic brought about by the novel coronavirus 2019 disease or COVID-19, the Chinese government has not reduced its expansive activities in the disputed waters, military analysts has a conclusion that they have even intensified their activities.

“It’s a quite deliberate Chinese strategy to try to maximize what they perceive as being a moment of distraction and the reduced capability of the United States to pressure neighbors,” said Peter Jennings, a former Australian defense official who is the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
Over the weekend China has declared two new districts in the South Chia Sea that includes dozen of contested islets and reefs. Many are submerged bits of atoll that do not confer territorial rights, according to international law.
“It seems that even as China was fighting a disease outbreak, it was also thinking in terms of its long-term strategic goals,” said Alexander Vuving, a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu. “The Chinese want to create a new normal in the South China Sea, where they are in charge, and to do that they’ve become more and more aggressive.”

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Report from ABS-CBN News

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  1. It is high time for US to emphasize thru military action to send atrong signal to China that their ambition in WPS will not be tolerated!!..This is Trump's presidency and. O longer of Obama who was weak and lame!