US Vice President to attack China in major speech as ties worsen

Geneva Stokes
October 5, 2018

Gorman said in an emailed statement the ship "conducted a series of increasingly aggressive manoeuvres accompanied by warnings for Decatur to depart the area".

The incident with the USS Decatur in the South China Sea appears to be the most serious of such incidents in recent weeks, following as it did last week's flights of two B-52s over the sea, the earlier USA sanctions imposed on China's military procurement agency for buying Russian hardware, and the us $330 million arms deal with Taiwan.

The Chinese defense ministry said October 2 it opposes the USA warship's entry into the waters "around China's islands and reefs".

The Chinese have laid claim to a series of small islands and reefs in the South China Sea, infuriating neighbouring countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

The images show the Lanzhou approaching the Decatur from behind and to the left of the United States ship.

Beijing confirmed that the Luoyang, a Chinese missile destroyer, was immediately deployed to identify the USA warship and drive it away. "We strongly urge the US to immediately correct its mistakes and stop such provocative actions so as not to damage Sino-US relations", the Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed. The move prompted a furious response from Beijing, ratcheting up tensions between the two countries. "As the secretary of defence has said on countless occasions, we don't comment on future operations of any kind", Lieutenant Colonel David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson said.

"We're cool heads in this situation", Mr Morrison told 6PR today.

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"Times of uncertainty are exactly that and it's our job to work with everybody to reduce that uncertainty - that's what we're doing".

Australia's Defence Minister said it views any intimidation tactics in the disputed region as "destabilising and potentially dangerous".

And Washington has placed financial sanctions on China for its recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.

"The Chinese military will resolutely perform its defense duties and continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard our sovereignty and the regional peace and stability", Wu said. "And while our administration will continue to respect our One China Policy, as reflected in the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, let me also say that Taiwan's embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people", Pence will say.

Noting that such actions violated established rules, Glaser added the encounter in the South China Sea represented a "different level of interfering" in a USA freedom of navigation operation.

In addition, bombers B-52 americans have over the last week of the disputed areas of the south China sea, in the framework of what the United States called "continued presence of bombers" in the region, efforts to assert the u.s. presence in the Pacific.

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