China completes the construction of two lighthouses on the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea according to Chinese state media. The U.S. and the Philippines have opposed the construction efforts.
Sources: The Guardian
Sources: The Guardian
Admiral John Richardson says the United States has seen Chinese activity around Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from the Philippines nearly four years ago, in the northern part of the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea. An international court ruling on a case brought by the Philippines against China over its South China Sea claims is expected within a month.
A U.S. B-52 long-range bomber on a routine mission over the South China Sea mistakenly flew within two nautical miles of an artificial island built by China near the Cuarteron Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands archipelago, according to a senior U.S. defense official. The Chinese Defense Ministry issues a statement accusing the U.S. of deliberately raising tensions in the disputed region.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin says the United States was making political provocations with its patrols in the disputed South China Sea. He also says China is building military facilities on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of its national defense policy. Yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama said, for the sake of regional stability, countries should stop building artificial islands and militarizing their claims in this sea.
Japan's prime minister Shinzō Abe says he is considering sending Japanese Navy warships to the South China Sea to back-up U.S. naval operations, saying, "With regard to activity by the Self-Defense Forces in the South China Sea, I will consider it while focusing on what effect the situation has on Japan’s security." In response, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Hong Lei, told Chinese state media that China will remain on “high alert for intervention by Japan in the South China Sea issue”.
A United States Navy ship, the USS "Lassen", sails near the Spratly Islands, challenging Beijing's claim that the islands are Chinese territory. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned the actions of the United States in the South China Sea, saying “China will firmly react to this deliberate provocation".
The United States and Australia warn China they remain committed to freedom of navigation in the waters of the South China Sea and express strong concerns at China’s construction of artificial islands in the disputed waters.
Taiwan plans to expand a pier on one of the disputed Spratly Islands, parts of which are also claimed by Vietnam, Brunei, China, Malaysia and the Philippines, as the other claimants strengthen military deployment in the South China Sea.