American Patrols of the South China Sea: How Will China Respond?

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 Last week’s revelation that the Pentagon had been briefing Asian allies that U.S. Navy warships would soon conduct freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea has ramped up tensions in the world’s most hotly contested body of water. Expected to take place within the next few days, the patrols would see U.S. naval ships come within 12 nautical miles of at least one of China’s controversial features in the South China Sea for the first time since 2012.

China has responded to the news about the impending patrols by stating that it will “not permit any country to infringe on China’s territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands in the name of ‘protecting freedom of navigation and over flight.’” However on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, reinforced the U.S.’s more muscular stance in the region, declaring that the U.S. “will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do around the world, and the South China Sea is not and will not be an exception.”

Read more: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/american-patrols-the-south-china-sea-how-will-china-respond-14127

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