US Navy challenges China amid the Taiwan drills with its naval mission


Image credit – Sydney Morning Herald

According to the US Navy, its guided-missile destroyer USS Milius has conducted a navigational rights and freedoms mission in the South China Sea, abiding by International Laws. The incident took place around Spratly Island on Monday.

While there is tension building between the two nations, China has already military simulated precision strikes against Taiwan in military drills around the island and the announcement came following it.

The US Navy said in a statement, “At the conclusion of the operation, USS Milius exited the excessive claim area and continued operations in the South China Sea.” They further confirmed, “This freedom of navigation operation upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea.”

Last month, the US and China were sparring over the movement of the USS Milius where China claimed that the US Navy destroyer has entered its territorial waters in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands. Whereas the US Ship sailed within 22 kilometers of Mischief Reef, which is the largest Chinese outpost.

The Seventh Fleet (United States Pacific Fleet) said, “These operations demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows – regardless of the location of excessive maritime claims and regardless of current events.”

China claims a vast region that consists of exclusive economic zones of various countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, and many others. Every year, more than Trillions of dollars in trade flow through this waterway region.

After the meeting between Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and US House of Representative Speaker Kevin McCarthy, China announced the three days of drills on Saturday right after his return to Taipei. Beijing has its rights over 80% of the South China Sea and the rest is owned by other countries are Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Brunei. The freedom-of-navigation operations are set to challenge all the claims of China.

Japan is also concerned about these activities on the pacific ocean, as Japan’s defense ministry said that the Shandong conducted air operations in waters close to Japan’s Okinawan islands. They further said that Jet fighters and helicopters took off and landed on a Chinese aircraft carrier 120 times. All the activities took place within 230 kilometers of Japan’s Miyako island.

On Monday, Taiwan said that 59 Chinese military planes have been spotted near the region. They also said that 39 Chinese planes crossed the Taiwan Strait median line and entered Taiwan’s air defense zones. It is quite evident that the show off of military water on the sea sounds quite chaotic already even though there is no situation for war.

It all heavily sparked after the US noticed an unidentified balloon-like object. It was shot down in U.S. airspace off the coast of South Carolina. According to the US, that unmanned balloon is a diplomatic move by China that was equipped to detect and collect intelligence signals. Amid the tension, new activities on the ocean are embarking on a controversy.