US Swipes at China Signal a Micro Policy Shift in Disputed Sea

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The U.S. government is challenging China over its dominant position in Asia’s major maritime sovereignty dispute, but those moves, after months of silence, are seen as aimed at reassuring nervous Southeast Asian countries rather than as a major anti-Beijing pivot.

President Donald Trump has shelved the South China Sea issue for most of his nearly half-year term as he tries to get along with Beijing, especially seeking Chinese help in throttling missile and nuclear weapons development in North Korea.

But on May 24, the U.S. Navy passed a destroyer near a Chinese-held artificial islet in the contested sea’s Spratly chain. Then on Saturday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told an annual Asian security event, the Shangri-la Dialogue, that China’s construction of artificial islands for military deployments hurts regional stability.

https://www.voanews.com/a/us-swipes-at-china-signal-micro-policy-shift-in-disputed-sea/3890198.html

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