US forcing Beijing to accelerate South China Sea deployments, People’s Daily says

In this undated file photo released on Aug. 6, 2016, by China's Xinhua News Agency, two Chinese SU-30 fighter jets take off from an unspecified location to fly a patrol over the South China Sea. (AP)
Updated 22 January 2018
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US forcing Beijing to accelerate South China Sea deployments, People’s Daily says

BEIJING: China’s top newspaper, decrying Washington as a trouble-maker, said on Monday US moves in the South China Sea like last week’s freedom of navigation operation will only cause China to strengthen its deployments in the disputed waterway.
China’s foreign ministry said the USS Hopper destroyer came within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan island, which is better known as the Scarborough Shoal and is subject to a rival claim by the Philippines, a historic ally of the United States.
It was the latest US naval operation challenging extensive Chinese claims in the South China Sea and came even as President Donald Trump’s administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs.
The ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said in a commentary that, with the situation generally improving in the South China Sea, it was clear that the United States was the one militarising the region.
“Against this backdrop of peace and cooperation, a US ship wantonly provoking trouble is singleminded to the point of recklessness,” the paper said.
“If the relevant party once more makes trouble out of nothing and causes tensions, then it will only cause China to reach this conclusion: in order to earnestly protect peace in the South China Sea, China must strengthen and speed up the building of its abilities there,” it said.
The commentary was published under the pen name “Zhong Sheng,” meaning “Voice of China,” which is often used to give the paper’s view on foreign policy issues.
The Scarborough Shoal is located within the Philippines’ 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone but an international tribunal in 2016 ruled that it is a traditional fishing ground that no one country has sole rights to exploit.
The US military says it carries out “freedom of navigation” operations throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and that they are separate from political considerations.
The Pentagon has not commented directly on the latest patrol but said such operations are routine.


US calls on Russia to destroy new missile system

Updated 44 min 3 sec ago
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US calls on Russia to destroy new missile system

GENEVA: The United States called on Russia on Monday to destroy a new cruise missile system which it said constituted a “direct violation” of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and accused Moscow of destabilising global security.
“Unfortunately, the United States increasingly finds that Russia cannot be trusted to comply with its arms control obligations and that its coercive and malign actions around the globe have increased tensions,” Robert Wood, US disarmament ambassador, told the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament.
“Russia must verifiably destroy all SSC-8 missiles, launchers and associated equipment in order to come back into compliance with the INF Treaty,” he said, reiterating the Trump administration’s plan to withdraw from the 1987 pact in early February.