Us destroyer “John McCain” passed through the disputed waters near one of the Chinese artificial Islands. About it reports Reuters.
The incident occurred in the area of the reef, Mischief, part of the Spratly archipelago in the South China sea. The ship approached to a distance of 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometers). As explained in the Pentagon, the operation was carried out in the framework of the “strategy of freedom of navigation”: thus the U.S. Navy show the Chinese that do not recognize their territorial claim to the waters around the artificial Islands.
China started to build artificial Islands in the disputed waters in June 2014. In these areas in the South China sea claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam. Most tense is the situation around the Scarborough reef and the Spratly archipelago, which is believed rich in oil and gas. The Islands have a strategic importance: the construction on the Islands runways, which is actively engaged in China, will significantly strengthen China’s position in the region.
In addition, Beijing is thinking about creating in the area of missile defense system that will make the territory completely under the control of China.