The U.S. is planning more naval patrols in the South China Sea despite a strong rebuke from the Chinese government, according to a new report.
The news, attributed to an anonymous U.S. defense official by by Voice of America, comes after a China Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned a U.S. patrol in the disputed waters as “deliberately provocative actions.” U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus had been summoned to explain the perceived violation of China’s territory on Tuesday. The U.S. official said of the patrols: “This is not going to be the last one.”
“We stand firmly against the harm caused by any country to China’s sovereignty and security interests under the cloak of navigation and over-flight freedom,” said a statement from the Chinese government.
The U.S. patrol occurred near artificial islands built by China on reefs in the Sea. Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines also have claims in the region. The U.S. move follows prodding from allies.