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.
A U.S. defense official says the U.S. Navy plans to conduct patrols within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands in the South China Sea about twice a quarter to remind China and other countries of U.S. rights under international law. "That's the right amount to make it regular but not a constant poke in the eye," the official said.
As a result of talks between U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson and Chinese Commander of the People's Liberation Army Navy Admiral Wu Shengli about a U.S. warship's transit with 12 nautical miles of China's man-made islands in the South China Sea, the United States and China agree to maintain dialogue and follow Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea protocols, according to a U.S. official.
A United States Navy ship, the U.S."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".
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui summons US ambassador Max Baucus to protest a US naval patrol close to Beijing's man-made islands in the South China Sea. Zhang called the US patrol "extremely irresponsible" and urged Washington to cease actions that harm China's sovereignty and security.
The U.S. Navy plans to send guided missile destroyer USS Lassen within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea. This first freedom of navigation challenge to China's territorial claims in one of the world's busiest sea lanes may occur as soon as tomorrow, according to a U.S. defense official.
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.