US tells ASEAN nations US navy will send ships into East Sea

(VOVworld) – The US has told nations in Southeast Asia it will send naval vessels soon into what China claims as its territory in the disputed East Sea.

US tells ASEAN nations US navy will send ships into East Sea - ảnh 1
A runway China built illegally on the Fiery Cross Reef in the East Sea (Photo: AFP)

US diplomatic sources said on Sunday that the US is expected to sail warships within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands that China has created in the Spratly Islands in defiance of opposition from other claimants, like the Philippines and Vietnam. The announcement to the countries involved through diplomatic channels underscores President Barack Obama’s strong opposition to the Chinese territorial claims. The move is likely to escalate tensions between China and the US. The sources said the US government earlier this month conveyed its plan for securing “freedom of navigation” to nations near the disputed waters and sought their understanding of the plan, which will be carried out soon.
Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at the 6th Xiangshan Forum in Beijing on Saturday that Malaysia remains convinced that a Code of Conduct (COC) is the best way to deal with competing territorial claims in the East Sea. He called for intensified consultations to ensure the expeditious establishment of an effective COC, calling such efforts essential to ensuring proper management of vital sea lanes and open skies. He emphasized Malaysia’s view that problems in the East Sea should be resolved peacefully through multilateral platforms.

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